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Hubba is about keeping all that product information in one place, where everyone can access it and where the data is fit for use in marketing and commerce.
I asked the team about their future. Here's what they had to say...
In one sentence, what is your product/service?
Hubba is a B2B product information network that help brands and retailers manage and share their product content for omnichannel commerce.
What problem(s) does it solve?
At the moment, over $1tn of commerce is reliant on digital product information, yet only 25% of digital product information is correct.
Brands are faced with an increasing amount of information to manage, an increasing amount of channels in which to distribute the information and an increasing demand from consumers to access this information.
We help solve this game of broken telephone between brands and retailers and make sure everyone has the latest and greatest content, updated in real-time by the brand.
What are your immediate goals?
We want to be the world's largest B2B network for sharing product information. Ultimately, having the most comprehensive and highest quality product data set on the planet.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or your team?
At Hubba, we deal with massive amounts of structured and unstructured data in a wide spectrum of formats.
But storing and managing all of this information isn't our biggest challenge, and neither are the dynamic taxonomies or coming up with unique approaches to semantic search.
The most important challenge that we must overcome is to make all of this complexity completely invisible to the end user. Their goal is to simply tell the stories of their products and share those stories.
How that gets done shouldn't even enter the mind of our users.
How will the company make money?
Our platform is engineered for adoption. As such, all users are able to join the network, create rich products and share those products with as many business contacts as they wish free of charge.
Our goal was to ensure that even our free tier provided significant value our user community without a ticking trial time-bomb or limited features. Individual freemium users get access to an enterprise-grade platform.
That being said, if the user wants to get more advanced, they can subscribe to our pro plan which is a nominal per user per month charge. This allows for multiple users to collaborate on products plus additional features like the capability to export their content into specific retailer product listing forms.
Finally, organizations can select our enterprise tier. This aligns all users within an organization onto a "single source of truth" and delivers enterprise features like audit/rollback capabilities, APIs and the ability to deliver different content to different retailers.
Who is in your team?
Our team is led by serial entrepreneur Ben Zifkin who is our founder and CEO. Our COO, Howard Lis was one of the original partners of Canada's pre-eminent independent investment banks and subsequently the president of a solar energy company.
The rest of Hubba is split between engineering and go-to-market teams. We pride ourselves on finding the very best people, something that we are able to do without reliance on formal training or experience.
At Hubba, we value: Curiosity, the ability to question status quo; creativity, the ability to come up with unique solutions; and capability, the ability to execute.
If a candidate can demonstrate exceptional measurements in these three areas, they are Hubba material. Age, background and degrees don't really factor into the decision.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
Our goal for the present and future is to be an important company.
Our success won't be measured by our size but by the size of our impact. As the world starts to move to a decentralized model of commerce, you will be interacting with and making decisions on products throughout the course of your day through new models like social networks to new mechanisms like wearables and smart appliances.
Hubba will be the underlying data layer powering this new world with comprehensive, current and correct information.
Other than your own, what are your favourite websites/ apps/tools?
There's almost too many to list. We are big fans of Hootsuite, Hipchat, Canva, Jira, Zapier, and Mixpanel.
Websites that we frequently visit are Econsultancy of course, Hackernews, Growthhackers.com, Retailwire.com, Contently, First Round Capital and AdAge.