SEATTLE – Discuss.io, an online provider of on-demand consumer interviews and focus groups, announced that it has secured $1.4 million in funding, led by Unilever Ventures. Discuss.io is disrupting the traditional focus group with its cloud-powered qualitative market research service that generates insights for marketers, agencies and brands of all sizes.
The service connects decision-makers with targeted research participants around the globe in real-time webcam video interviews, garnering feedback suitable for a variety of research purposes including advertising feedback, concept testing and usability studies. The funding will enable Discuss.io to improve the product and scale its operations around the globe, furthering its mission to make market research easy and affordable.
Interview research is foundational to consumer understanding, yet traditional focus groups are slow and expensive. Traditional “in-person” market studies take over a month to design, coordinate, recruit and analyze, and often cost over $50,000. Discuss.io provides a more efficient and effective research process at a lower cost, which is what led Unilever to invest.
“A deep and personal understanding of the people it serves is a core component of Unilever’s DNA,” said Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed “Over the last year, Discuss.io has achieved significant impact on Unilever’s consumer closeness in local markets. Global research studies that used to take months now take days.”
“Incumbent online providers have failed to penetrate because Adobe Flash technology fails to replicate the fluid experience of a face-to-face discussion” said Discuss.io CEO, Zach Simmons. “WebRTC video streaming technology is vastly more responsive and actually feels like you are in the room with your customers, even in bandwidth-challenged, emerging-market geographies.”
Brands are under increasing pressure to be agile and innovate faster than ever before.
“The cost efficiency, speed of the recruitment, and user friendly platform make it possible for marketers to conduct twice the research in half the time and at half the cost of traditional methods, allowing for fresh, unbiased insights at scale” said Stan Sthanunathan, Sr. Vice President of Consumer & Market Insights at Unilever.“ The Discuss.io agile research method provides the elusive trifecta: faster, cheaper and better.”
Discuss.io provides effective and affordable on-demand market research services to agile marketers, agencies, and companies of all sizes. Founded in 2012, Discuss.io enables decision-makers to target their desired niche and get fast answers on a variety of market research questions, from product development and optimization, to brand and segment exploration, to testing for advertising, package design, and web concepts. To learn more, visit www.discuss.io
About Unilever Ventures
Unilever Ventures is the venture capital and private equity arm of Unilever. They invest in early young, promising companies, accelerating growth by providing access to Unilever’s global ecosystem, assets and expertise. The fund looks to invest in tomorrow’s world-beaters in Personal Care and Digital. Key focus areas within Digital include digital marketing, content creation, data analytics, eCommerce, digital commerce, internet of things, mobile marketing, social media, and video in both developed and emerging markets.