Azouk Network Ltd. (www.azouk.com), a privately held UK company, provides a free online service 100% focused on professional content aggregation, sharing and discovery.
Azouk was founded in 2008 by two seasoned IT and Telecom experts: Kristofer Kimbler, Mac Taylor and a young Web 2.0 and Artificial Intelligence “geek” Krzysztof Kulewski. The company has a team of six professionals that collectively come with over 100 years of industrial and business experience. The company’s HQ is in Malmö, Sweden, sales and marketing office is located in London, and an R&D office in Warsaw, Poland.
Mission and Goal
Azouk’s mission is to organize, rank and rate information from specialized professional domains and industry verticals. Azouk’s goal is to provide a quick and accurate way for industry professionals to find the best content and information and to discover top experts in their fields of technology nad business.
Azouk is a unique Semantic Search Engine based on a proprietary Expert Rating Algorithm designed to rank and rate domain-specific information and content as well as experts. It adds a human expertise and judgment factor to online search in order to provide a quick access to the best and most highly rated papers, market updates, presentations, and other types of content in specific fields of expertise. It also allows professionals to discover the best experts in their domain and follow their choices and recommendations.
This is achieved by creating a global semantic network of experts, information and collaborative content in specific industrial verticals, areas of business and technology. By letting thousands of domain experts store and catalogue their content online free of charge, Azouk enables a new form of professional networking and collaboration ‘wrapped around’ expert content instead of contacts (re. Xing or LinkedIn).
Azouk was founded in 2008 by two seasoned IT and Telecom experts: Kristofer Kimbler, Mac Taylor and a young Web 2.0 and Artificial Intelligence “geek” Krzysztof Kulewski. The company has a team of eight professionals that collectively come with over 100 years of industrial and business experience. The company’s HQ is in Malmö, Sweden, sales and marketing office is located in London, and an R&D office in Warsaw, Poland.
The founders have to date invested €120,000 in seed funding in the company. With the initial funding the company has been able to develop the core version of the service with fully scalable, distributed architecture; launch a public beta version of the service for IT and Telecom verticals, and get the first paying enterprise customer on board. To date the www.azouk.com service has been used by over 120k professionals.
Within all industry verticals: IT, telecom, banking, insurance, pharma, energy, etc. there are hundreds of thousands of documents, white papers, presentations, interviews, market updates, web pages, and other professional content. Industry experts and professionals have constant problems and issues with finding the best, most relevant and highly rated content, and discarding the worthless stuff. They also wish to learn from top experts in their domain.
Today to reach the right information and learn from other experts professionals have to buy market reports, attend conferences or use external consultants, which is expensive, time consuming and not always brings the desired results. That need for premium information created a huge global market for conferences, events and premium expert content that only in US is estimated to over $10 billion per annum. Only, Informa, the leading research house and conference mill makes over $2 billion a year.
Azouk provides an alternative way to reach the best content and information and to ‘meet’ top experts. Once it become a focal point for millions of industry experts and professionals from different market segments, it can easily tap into a multi-billion dollar markets of online advertising, conferencing and market intelligence and research.
Azouk is the only online service 100% focused on expert rating, expert content search, and professional networking wrapped around expert content. Azouk has unique IP in the form of a Semantic Search Engine and Expert Rating Algorithm. By providing a free web-based knowledge management service to millions of industry experts, Azouk aggregates and unleashes a massive amount of expert content and domain specific knowledge not previously available on the public web. This makes it hard for potential competitors to easily replicate Azouk.
Azouk applies a freemium business model where core services are free for individual users. Premium services such as company channel and personalized ads are offered to enterprises and organizations to reach the right target groups of customer, industry experts and decision makers. Azouk also offers the white-labeled version of its Semantic Search Engine to companies and industry organizations that wish to improve expert content search capabilities on their web sites and portals. The Azouk affiliate marketing solution allows companies such as research houses, training providers and conference organizers to make referral sales of their market reports, courses, and delegate passes.
Go to Market Strategy
The Azouk service was launched as a beta version for experts and companies from the IT and Telecom industry in June 2009. In the coming years, it will be gradually launched into other industry verticals such as Media and Entertainment, live science and pharma, logistics and transportation, finance and insurance, etc.
Key Value Considerations
- Unique market position – the only online service fully focused on expert rating, expert content search, and networking wrapped around expert content.
- High market growth potential – Azouk can address dozens of verticals – each with thousands of companies and millions of industry professionals.
- Unique service offering - unique Semantic Search Engine and Expert Rating Algorithm designed to rank and rate domain-specific information and content.
- Scalable business model – Azouk taps into existing multi-billion dollar markets of online advertising, conferencing and market research. Azouk’s revenue will be the function of number of active individual and enterprise users.
- Experienced team – a combination of seasoned management team with long experience at VC-driven high-tech startups and young, talented engineering team.