Luca Scagliarini: With the growth of Internet and the subsequent expansion and explosion of social media, it became more and more important to have understanding, not only of what’s inside your company, but also of what’s happening outside. We expanded to industries like publishing. A few years later, we opened our first office in the US, initially focusing on certain verticals like oil and gas and pharma.
Everybody thought that the Google approach, which was pure statistics and keywords, was enough. We realized that it was not enough. The market has become much more mature. Companies today in many industries require something more than a keyword search engine to analyze their content. We kept our focus on this vertical because when you work on language, there’s not only the actual language in terms of English, German, or Italian, but there is also the language of the industry and the language of the company. You need to understand all these facets to be able to have a deep understanding. We kept focusing on these verticals. We have expanded in the last few years. We also acquire resources to speed up our growth. We think that there is a great opportunity in this industry.
Sramana Mitra: Tell me a bit more with some use cases. You said your verticals are oil and gas, publishing, and what else?
Luca Scagliarini: Finance and Homeland Security are probably our core.
Sramana Mitra: Are the use cases different from vertical to vertical?
Luca Scagliarini: The use case itself is always the same. It’s like being able to “read” hundreds of thousands of pages per day with a level of understanding that is similar to that of people reading it. We like to say that we are at the crossroads of language and technology. We understand language at the speed of current technology.
At the core, what we do is actually the same, but the use cases change from industry to industry based on which kind of value the content provides. Let’s take for example the case of publishing. The main asset of a publishing company is content. Once you invest to create content, you need to make sure that you generate as much revenue as possible out of that content because that’s your main asset. What happens is that in order to extract much value from this content, especially in the case of digital websites, you want the person to stick to the website and read as many pages as possible.
Think about the possibility of what’s happening more commonly right now like linking content. Suppose that you’re reading an article about Tom Brady who has been acquitted. The article mentions his wife. Maybe you can link an article that talks about his wife. You can have the best possible advertising on that page. It can be done manually but it’s not cost effective or efficient, automatically, or a mix of manual and automatice. Being able to make sure that your content has a longer shelf life is an important driver.