As per Mr. de la Jonquière; Mention is the ultimate monitoring tool to create alerts for your brand, your industry, your company, your name or your competitors and be informed in real-time about any mentions on the web and social web.
Mention.net is a media monitoring tool that allows to be notified in real-time, on any devices, about any mention of a keyword on the web and social web.
Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. de La Jonquière regarding his start-up “Mention.net”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Mention.net” is all about?
Mention changes the way you monitor the web. Create alerts for your brand, your industry, your company, your name or your competitors and be informed in real-time about any mentions on the web and social web. Benefit from a strong anti-noise technology, real-time alerts, team collaboration, smart actions and multiplatform application.
2. When has “Mention.net” been founded? And what stage is “Mention.net” currently at?
Mention was founded in November 2011. We developed our API and applications during 5 months, and launch beta version in April 2012.
This beta version is already available on 6 platforms (web app, Chrome app, Mac, PC, Linux desktop app and iPad). Mention already have 10,000 users. iPhone app will be released for Le Web London, and Android app might come in July.
3. What is “Mention.net” business model and how does it work?
Mention is operated with a smart freemium business model.
Users benefit from 1,000 free mentions per month. This monthly basic quota can be increased by sharing mention to friends and colleagues : 100 extra free mentions (per month) for every new sign up. Monthly fee starts at 9,99$ for 5,000 mentions. In a word, the more visible you are, the more you pay.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
The team is composed of 5 talented and passionate people : Thibaud Elzière, founder and CEO of Fotolia (last valuation : $480M), Edouard de La Jonquière – CEO (ex Management Consultant, CEO of PressKing) – Arnaud Le Blanc – CTO (resolved more than 100 bugs in PHP), Didier Forest – Artistic Director (worked on PressKing, Mailjet, Textmaster, Scoville, …) and Quentin Nickmans, Cofounder of EFounders (belgium startup accelerator), ex BCG. The whole team meet at EFounders. We have also 2 business developers (San Francisco and Berlin).
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
Mention USP : simple, relevant, real-time, mobile. mention aggregates hundreds of sources in a simple, easy-to-use and beautiful single-page application, and pushes them in real-time, on all devices. Be in the know, on the go!
Mention targets a huge market : the prosumers; Professional + Consumers, users that sit on the edge of profesional products.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “Mention.net” achieved so far?
After 1,5 months, mention already counts 10,000 sign up. mention main milestones :
- April : release of mention beta version on 6 platforms
– Press coverage : Techcrunch US, Frenchweb (FR), Gründerszene (DE)
– Startup competition awards : SF Beta (San Francisco), Start in Paris
– May : 10,000 users
– 0,5% premium users
– 30% conversion rate
7. Who are your competitors? And what is “Mention.net”’s competitive advantage over them?
The competitive landscape is crowded with enterprise’ solutions such as : Synthesio, Radian 6, Engagor, Linkfluence.
On the other side, Tweetdeck and Google alerts target individual.
Mention unique competitive position addresses the prosumers market with a clear USP : monitor in real-time your online visibility, collaborate with your team and smartly react to any mention.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
We didn’t face any major obstacles as of today.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
To target prosumers, the key success factor is simplicity and mobility. Everyone that has little activity on the web cares about his online visibility. De facto, a “prosumers” like mention has the potential to be on millions of mobile devices. Nevertheless, to be handy on a daily basis, to become the ultimate monitoring out-of-pocket tool, it has to be simple, easy-to-use and real-time. Plus, mention has great potential because it is an answer to “offline vulnerability” : it’s when you are far away from your computer that you fear what’s being said about you on the web and social web.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We are going to succeed because we have a great team, with complementary skills. All the founding members have extensive experience in their own field of expertise.
We have a product that can be use by millions of people.
11. If “Mention.net” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
It’s a little bit too soon to be envisioned. Our product strategy is based on principles :
Beyond those principles, we want to develop mention social, mention mobile and mention analytics.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “Mention.net” based on?
We just created the perfect monitoring tool that we have been dreaming about for years. A very simple solution to stay informed about what is being said about you without having to subscribe to many feeds and wasting time everyday sorting them out, to, in the end, still miss most of the information. A tool with a great interface that could be used by a single person or by a team to track and react smartly.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
We’ve learned that virality can be successful as a $0 marketing strategy : as an illustration, 50% of our sign up come from twitter and facebook.
We’ve also learned that a motivated team is key for success : we work night & days, and we see results.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Our success Our 1,000,000 users
15. What’s the benefit for the user?
To be in the know, on the go! Not to fear what’s being said about them when they are offline.
Mention is very simple and easy-to-use. It’s a free product that delivers professional results.
16. How did customers and/or users find out about you?
As we said, 50% of our customers come from social networks. mention has based its marketing strategy on virality, buzz and referral.
A happy user is the best evangelist ever!
We got pretty good press coverage in Europe and in the US, as well as rewards at startup competitions in France and in the US.
17. Who are your current users? Who are your target users?
Our users are Prosumers (Professional + Consumers : individuals that sit on the edge of professional products.
Basically, our market is the Fortune 5,000,000, and more generally all the users of Google Alerts!
Our users could be the same as Dropbox’s or Evernote’s.
18. Where do new users come from and what makes new users try you?
What make new users try us is that we benefit from very nice products review and customers feedback. Also because mention is free.
19. What do your users say about your product and/or service?
@LyricalOps Yeah we got this app called “mention” that tracks things for us. You should check it out – http://t.co/WyzpkadL (it’s free!)
just tried out @mentionapp nice to track whats happening around the socialverse
Loving @mentionapp. Great tool for elevating brand exposure and getting an ear to the ground https://t.co/AbUmGIlg
Looking for efficient way to monitor what’s being said abt your brand online? Try Mention! for free! https://t.co/QytUcKvJ via @mentionapp
20. How are you going to scale?
Mention is based on a API that broadcast the data to the various client we administrate.
Mention has been developed as a thin client using the latest technologies (node.js, backbone.js, QT).
That’s why Mention has a high level of portability and is easy to scale (basically with technical resources).
Mention will be also scale by translation in several languages. mention’s already available in 4 languages (english, french, german and spanish), and we plan to have it available in 8 languages by the end of the year.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers keep asking for?
Analytics and data export. Fortunately for our users, those features will be available in mention V2 in a few months.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
As we said, we planned to translate Mention in the 8 main languages spoken on the Earth.
We also planned to increase our international reach by recruiting business developers on our main markets.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
Mention has the potential to have 20 millions users by 2015. We think that we can be as big as Dropbox or Evernote.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
There is no open position by now. But in the next future (2 to 3 months), we’ll open technical positions (developers, API and Mobile) as well as marketing resources.
Applications can be sent at email@example.com
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
We are currently engaged in a Series A funding. We are looking for $2M to achieve our goals.
Potential partners can contact mention CEO directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Never work alone, work hard, have fun.