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Rinku.co: A Business Analytics Platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

http://www.rinku.co/

Rinku is a business analytics platform for for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

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Start-Ups.Co had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. ‘Ben Widdowson‘, Marketing NINJA  at the United Kingdom (Manchester)-based start-up “Rinku” about his company.

“Rinku” is a business analytics platform for SMEs.

Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Widdowson’ regarding his start-up “Rinku”;

1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Rinku” is all about?

Rinku is a business analytics platform for SMEs.

Rinku helps you track all your business metrics in one place, so you can discover what makes your business tick.

We’re talking seamless syncing with all the systems you use every day, like eCommerce platforms, Adwords, Google Analytics, Social Networks, Email Marketing all in once place.

We’ve built some pretty cool tech to make this happen smoothly, and the best thing is single sign on, no inputting data, no importing spreadsheets. Just log in, sync and discover.

2. When has “Rinku” been founded? And what stage is “Rinku” currently at?

Rinku was founded in July 2012 and is currently in private BETA.

We’re testing our ideas with a few visionary early adopters like Scott Woodhead from Loving Outdoors.

There’s a form on our website to register your interest and be part of the public BETA when it becomes available.

So far rinku has been really well received with hundreds of people registering their interest in the first few days.


3. What is “Rinku”’s business model and how does it work?

Our business model is to deliver real-time business analytics to owner/managers of online SMEs.

The service will be delivered entirely online and will likely be charged on a monthly subscription model.

However we intend to roll in all the great feedback we’ve received from our subscribers to further inform the business model we ultimately choose.

4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?

Our team has worked together since early 2011 on another web based business so we know each other well.

Tim Sharpe (CEO) – leads the strategy for the business and keeps us all on our toes.

Ben Widdowson (Marketing NINJA) – Helped conceive the initial idea an is responsible for testing interest with early adopters.

There is also an in-house development team responsible for the product development.

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?

Having successfully deployed platforms in some of the most demanding environments in the world we know how to connect to almost any data source.

But more importantly we know how to make it simple and elegant for a non technical person to get what they need and share it with their colleagues, customers and suppliers.

Rinku is powered by an industry leading platform which ensures it can stand up to the needs of any business.

6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “Rinku” achieved so far?

At the time of writing rinku is in private BETA with a handfull of visionary customers.

To date we’ve demonstrated there is interest in a business analytics platform for SMEs, and built the technology required to bring all your data into one place.

The next steps are to feedback insights gained from the private BETA into the product and work towards a public BETA.

7. Who are your competitors? And what is “Rinku”’s competitive advantage over them?

Our main competitors are:

Jirafe
Ducksboard
Geckoboard

We believe that for a business analytics platform to be of greatest value, people have to be able to take action on the data.

Rinku is built with communities in mind.

Rinku enables people to quickly create dashboards and then seamlessly share them with colleagues, customers and suppliers giving everyone a shared view.

8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest obstacles we’ve faced and something that a lot of businesses face is being really specific about who your customers are and who your customers aren’t.

For example, rinku is great for online businesses who need to track metrics like ecommerce, Google Analytics etc however for someone who runs an ice cream stand, it probably won’t help.

So getting specific about who your customers are is really important.

9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?

Those that haven’t run a business probably won’t appreciate the amount of time it takes people to sift through all the data in order to discover those valuable insights which drive actions.

Individually, all these tools do a great job at tracking their own metrics but to compare things side by side can be really difficult.

10. Why are you going to succeed?

We believe we’re going to succeed for three reasons.

1. We always put the customer at the center of everything we do. Their problem is our problem.

2. We test everything we do as quickly and cost effectively as possible to validate ideas.

3. We love what we do and have a great team who are passionate about helping businesses.

11. If “Rinku” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?

We love Small businesses and they are our primary focus.

We want to create the best way for them to manage their business analytics.

This will our primary focus for the foreseeable future.

However we’re always interested in new ideas and opportunities so feel free to get in touch:
enquiries@sabisu.co

12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “Rinku” based on?

We chose the idea because we’ve experienced the pain of trying to manage our own business analytics.

From talking with other small business owner/managers it seems like this problem is common for a lot of people.

We believe our experience from previous web apps puts us in a strong position to help solve this problem.

13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?

The single biggest lesson we’ve learned so far is to test your ideas quickly and cheaply in order to validate them.

The dangerous alternative is to build products and services in isolation without speaking to customers which is far more risky.

The book The Lean Startup provides some great practical advice on this topic.

14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?

The biggest challenge for us moving forward is to provide a consistently great experience for all our users.

We constantly question ourselves by asking “how can we do things better?”.

This will always be a big challenge, but it’s one thrive on and ensures we create the best products for our customers.

15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?

Rinku takes away all the hassle of multiple logins.

You can link the systems you already use into a single real-time dashboard – no inputting data, no importing spreadsheets. Just log in, sync and discover.

Rinku helps you spot the trends between data sources.

Identify the factors that drive your key metrics; traffic, sales, tweets or whatever’s relevant to your business.

Develop new insights; find out what makes your business tick.

16. How did customers/users find out about you?

We’ve created rinku for owners/managers of online businesses.

Initially we approached a select few business owners who we already knew.

Now, our customers find out about us on sites like this, startup blogs and forums.

We also market rinku using social media and by approaching people directly and asking them what their biggest challenge is in running their business.

17. Who are your current customers/users? Who are your target customers/users?

Currently we’re in private BETA with a select few visionary customers like Scott Woodhead from Loving Outdoors – a UK based online outdoor retailer that sells running, cycling, camping and adventure equipment. 

Rinku is designed for owner/managers of online SMEs who need to get real-time information about what makes their business tick.

18. Where do new customers/users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?

A lot of our traffic comes from sites that promote product BETAs.

These sites attract early adopters who are interested in the latest technologies to help run their business.

The reason they want to try rinku is because many people have experienced the pain of trying to manage their business analytics and they haven’t found a suitable solution yet.

19. What do your customers/users say about your product and/or service?

Everyone who has seen rinku so far is excited by its potential for saving them time and making it easier to run their business.One quote we had is:

“Rinku puts all our key business metrics into one place, using one login. It saves us time, money and lets us run our business better.”

Scott Woodhead 
Proud Founder & Factotum at www.LovingOutdoors.co.uk

20. How are you going to scale?

Following the private BETA with a select few customers, we intend to feedback all the learning into making rinku even better.

Following that we’ll be opening the BETA up to all people who have registered their interest.

So if you want to be one of the first to get acces to rinku, make sure you sign up at http://www.rinku.co

21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?

Typically we get asked about connecting to specific systems/services that we don’t already support.

We’re working really hard to support a broad a range of systems/services and continue to add new ones so keep checking back.

We’re also creating an API to allow developers to build connections of their own.

22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?

Currently rinku is only available to a select few companies in the UK in a private BETA.

However many of the people who have registered their interest for rinku are from outside the UK.

When we decide to move into a public BETA, the service will be available internationally and we’ll scale our support accordingly.

23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?

We believe many businesses are experiencing the challenge of managing their business analytics so we think there is excellent growth potential for rinku.

We believe delivering a fantastic experience to all our customers is the most important thing we can do and want to ensure that stays consistent as we grow.

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?

We’re not currently looking to expand the team as we’re still in the early stages of development however this may change in the future.

When opportunities become available we’ll post them on our website and Twitter feed so keep checking back for the latest information:
http://www.rinku.co
@rinku_co

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’re not currently looking for funding and our business is self sustainable however we’re always excited to explore new opportunities so feel free to get in touch or drop by the office.

We make a fantastic cup of coffee:
enquiries@rinku.co
+44 161 973 3138
Arden Hall,
66 Brooklands Road,
Sale,
Greater Manchester,
UK,
M33 3SJ

26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?

Test and measure. Any idea you have, test it as quickly and cheaply as you can.

You’ll fail a LOT but learn even more and probably save yourself lot of time, effort and money in the process.

Check out the book The Lean Startup for some fantastic knowledge on this subject.

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