Complete The Feedback Loop: Exclusive Interview With Kampyle’s CEO

kampyle.jpgWhy are users leaving your site? Why are they leaving full shopping carts and going else where? Is there something wrong with your fonts and Firefox 3 beta 5? Those are questions that many site owners ask themselves daily. Until recently, there were not too many tools available to extract that kind of insight, but Israel-based Kampyle is changing that. A couple of months ago, Kampyle introduced a free, customizable feedback platform for site owners. VC Cafe tries the product and takes a deeper look in a long distance talk with Ariel Finkelstein, Kampyle’s CEO.

 VC Cafe: Hi Ariel. Before we dive in to the product stuff, tell me a little bit about you and the team.

Ariel Finkelstein: Three of us started Kampyle a bit over a year ago (April 2007): CTO Eylon Steiner (36), VP of Product Eran Savir (33) and myself (33). Eran and I went to law school together and Eylon used to work with Eran at SAP.  Before starting Kampyle, I managed the sales and marketing for Innovative Compliance.

VC Cafe: So what exactly is Kampyle?

kampyle_dash.pngAF: We’re somewhere between web analytics and a CRM system. Users come to us to solve a problem. Site owners want to maximize conversions and engagement. They currently use web analytics software that gives them a summary of the activity on the site, but it doesn’t tell them why people leave their site during the shopping process for example.

We solve that problem through surveys and ESM. Kampyle lets you easily embed code on the site, enabling customizable feedback questioners on each page. We also have a system that manages the back end and aggregates all the feedback in a dashboard. In addition to the feedback that contributed by the user, Kampyle provides contextual data: screen resolution, operating system, browser edition, etc.

VC Cafe: What’s the main difference between Kampyle and web analytics software?

kampyle_cust.pngAF: Kampyle communicates back to the user. We are working closely with Nuconomy, so we can target questioners on a user by user basis. Kampyle aggregates the number of overall feedbacks on the sites and groups together duplicate feedback – if 100 people provided the same information, the site owner gets the aggregation and is able to close the feedback loop. The site owner can reply to all the users that reported the same problem, and they in turn could be invited to come back to provide feedback on the correction.

VC Cafe: That’s interesting, and I’m sure you have the chicken and the egg problem. How many users actually provide feedback?

AF: We’re in closed beta, working with about 400 companie. In e-commerce sites for example, the % of traffic prompted with a feedback form when leaving the cart is 100%. From those prompted, 7-10% answer the feedback forms. Questions range from very specific on the actual purchase to general satisfaction on the site.

VC Cafe: How flexible is the form creation process?

kampylereports.pngAF: The forms are easily customized, a site owner can include his own logo, and change the colors to match your site. We’re adding support for 60 languages including Hebrew in the very near future. We also offer different ranking systems: numbers, smileys, pie charts, etc.

VC Cafe: I’m sure some readers are waiting for the dreaded web 2.0 questions – What’s you business model?

AF: Currently we’re offering the service for free but in the future, we are going to charge the site owners for premium features. We will also have interesting tools in the future, but I can’t go into it in detail. (Note: think about the value of the data…)

VC Cafe: Fighting for publisher’s attention is a tough job these days. What’s your penetration strategy?

AF: We don’t really go site by site. Our model is getting to the junctions/hubs – yellow pages, ISPs, web creators, web design shops (100-1000 sites) and ecommerce sites. This allows us to active a large number of sites rapidly. Interestingly, a lot of the early sign ups for the beta are sites with lower traffic numbers, yet their feedback ratio (in our case, the conversion) is high.

VC Cafe: What is your main competition?

AF: Kampyle opened a new world. There’s only Opinionlab a private company founded in 1999. They offer a product that is feedback as software for approximately $200K a year – they are integrated in paypal. Opinionlab works on enterprise sales – only big companies and only high prices. The main difference is our product– Kampyle is SaaS for feedback and doesn’t require heavy installs. Also, Opinonlab’s backend system only takes information from the users, and doesn’t report back to close the feedback loop.

VC Cafe: What kind of companies are you looking to partner with?

AF: Web analytics software, and website sellers. It would be cool to have the ability to show everything we gather in google analytics one day.

VC Cafe: Are you funded? Looking to raise money?

AF: We raised a seed round led by Yossi Vardi, he is our primary investor. We are now looking to raise our A round from VCs. Currently, 400 companies are using our product and feedback has been great.

VC Cafe: What lessons learned can you share with fellow early stage entrepreneurs?

AF: You need a lot of trial and error to succeed. Always change and always improve. For example, we started with a system of buttons that users didn’t know how to integrate to their sites and conversions were low. We decided to develop a new series of buttons/banners and feedback became ten times higher.

Thanks Ariel.

Kampyle is currently in closed beta, but VC Cafe readers can sign up for a test account here. While you’re at it, please provide feedback on VC Cafe by clicking on the link at the bottom right of this screen.

For more on Kampyle check out:

* The Marker (Hebrew)
* TechCrunch
* Wikipedia

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Eze Vidra

General Partner, Google Ventures at Google
Eze is a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before joining GV, Eze started Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and led Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
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