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Needium
Location: 460 St. Catherine West, Suite 402, Montreal, Canada Canada
Founded in: 2006
Stage: Post-launch
Number of employees: 6-15
Short URL: vator.co/needium
Followers (8)
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Needium

Tap the Need Medium
Startup/business
Montreal, Canada Canada
http://www.needium.com
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Company description

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is now a mass-market. Millions of consumers are now sharing activities and opinions about local businesses. They are also expressing needs such as "I'm hungry", "My car just broke down" and "Does anyone have a dentist to recommend?" We call this the “Needium” (the “need” medium). Local marketers would benefit from hearing the voice of the consumer and engaging with them to fulfill their needs but these activities can be hard to discover. In addition, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are extremely busy.

Introducing Needium (http://needium.com), the social media local lead generation service for SMBs. Needium monitors social media sources and discovers local business opportunities based on consumer needs and life events. It also listens for merchant name mentions in social media. We surface that information in a Web-based dashboard where Needium community managers (yes, humans!) log-in to join conversations on behalf of the merchant (using the merchant's own social media presence). We basically invite consumers to come visit the local advertiser to fulfill their needs.

This is the true evolution of local word-of-mouth marketing and tremendous value will be created by channeling this “local voice of the Internet”. We believe local conversations on the Web are the great local search disruptor. Consumers are realizing that they can get advice, recommendations and suggestions without having to search in search engines or business directories. Revenue-wise, this market is huge. Yearly Yellow Pages ad spending in North America alone is worth $14 billion.

Early Needium buzz has been extremely good (see http://needium.com/press). We were selected to present at LeWeb conference in Paris in December (one of only 16 start-ups in the world) and were recently named one of the most promising start-ups of 2011 in Canada (http://bit.ly/ib1irG) and one of the most promising in Montreal (http://bit.ly/gaJqiE).


Team
Business model

Our current revenue model is monthly paid subscriptions through direct sales and white-label reseller agreements to leverage large sales channels like Yellow Pages, ad agencies, search engine marketing firms, newspaper publishers and other local sales channels. We charge $150 per month for a fully-managed solution, where we identify opportunities and converse with potential consumers on behalf of merchants using the merchant's own identity.

Competitive advantage

We are first-movers in this space with paying advertisers and signed reseller channels. We have deep technical and product management knowledge of social media and real-time local search. We have a thorough understanding of small merchants' needs. We have solid connections and are thought leaders in the local online media space.

We've spent Q3 and Q4 2010 to validate the size of the business opportunity, the quality of leads identified, the core product features, found the right pricing, developed efficient sales and operations processes and put in place a scalable technology stack. We're now ready to scale our repeatable business model and business processes.