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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Samir Addamine, Founder and Chairman of FollowAnalytics (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th 2018

Have you started thinking about explainable AI yet? Well, you should. Read on for more.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as FollowAnalytics.

Samir Addamine: I have an engineering degree. I studied in France where I was born and raised. I started my first company in 2005, which was a mobile boutique in Paris. I was trying to develop new services on mobile and games on mobile. In 2008, this company started to really take off, thanks to the app stores and the fact that brands were starting to get interested in having a presence in the app stores.

Today, we don’t talk about the mobile internet because the mobile is the internet. From 2008 to 2012, my company was probably the first mobile agency in France designing and developing mobile applications for enterprise companies. Big retailers and banks were coming to us for UX/UI and app development.

In 2012, I realized that these companies were investing a lot in the mobile channel. We were solving only part of the problem. There was nothing after the app was published on the app store that could help them get an idea of who is using the app and how to connect and interact with the end user. I sold my company and started a software company. Moving from consulting to software was interesting. I could help solve problems using a long-term approach. I could accelerate the transition to ROI for these customers on mobile.

I started to get some first customers using our mobile analytics dashboard and mobile marketing automation product to start to interact with their consumers. Back in 2013, I wanted to raise money to accelerate the business. At the end of 2013, I struggled to find any money in France. Venture capital there is quite complicated. I came to the US. Back then, it was like testing my product in front of a jury. I applied for a startup competition called Demo. I came for three days.

We were one of the finalists at this competition. We had press. We were the first mobile analytics and mobile marketing that showed complete integration with the CRM system. We showed that to the jury. They liked it. The journalists liked it. Marc Benioff reached out to me. He wanted to meet and see a demo. He then invested in the company. He introduced me to some of the investors here.

I was about to raise a seed round, but it’s what we call an A round in France. I raised a seed round and got back to France. I started a team there. After two to three years, the idea was to come to the US and accelerate. We have offices in San Francisco, which is the headquarters, New York, Montreal, and in Paris.

Sramana Mitra: What format has the product taken? What is the current product?

Samir Addamine: The current product is a mobile marketing engagement platform. It is the only player in this category. It’s a category that has a lot of competition. I saw you interviewed some of my competitors. We have an enterprise approach. We think that mobile cannot be in a silo. It has to be integrated with the CRM system, backend, and marketing automation.

We built connectivity to Salesforce and also to Adobe, Oracle, and Microsoft. We are targeting Fortune 2000 companies only. We are focusing on the enterprise market whereas our competitors in the US have been working mostly with a freemium business model. They have thousands of customers. Now, they are all moving to enterprise because this is where the money is.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Samir Addamine, Founder and Chairman of FollowAnalytics
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