Leonardo Valente, Founder & CTO of Livepanel tells us how they leverage mobile technology and IA to provide real-time market research.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Leonardo Valente: Great! We found ourselves quarantined, like everyone else, but fortunately, everyone could continue their lives in a similar fashion to before, thanks to remote tech.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Livepanel.
Leonardo Valente: I’m an economist and MBA, running startups since I was 16, the one that said “Economists are intended to do surveys, I will never do surveys”… doing surveys. I started Livepanel back in 2013 thinking of an innovative method to gather people’s opinions, using only mobile technology. We did an MVP, tried with some people in my city, and in the middle of the trial, I got to Singularity University for GSP program. After this experience, I came back just to find that Livepanel was working exactly as predicted, with lots of engagement from people. But I’m a technical person, and sales didn’t start until I joined Agustin, my commercial partner. After some adjustments, in late 2014 and especially 2015, we began to grow. Nowadays, we cover all Latin American countries, and we are willing to jump to worldwide coverage.
How does Livepanel innovate?
Leonardo Valente: Mainly finding features to leverage mobile technology and IA to understand people better than ever, we combine new developments with strong methodological foundations to give the customer access to new audiences and insights.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Leonardo Valente: Actually, it did better because our main competitors (street pollsters) cannot do their work anymore, so customers are increasingly running mobile; 2020 was a great year for LivePanel!
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Leonardo Valente: Not at all; we were already working on a highly flexible schedule, and doing home office was quite natural for us. We learned to synchronize efforts, respect everyone’s home situation, and be more communicative.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Leonardo Valente: We have to focus more on the methods and tools: Lead generation and following, CRM, quoting; we use Hubspot CRM as our main customer relationship tool but open to new resources as we discover them
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Leonardo Valente: No, we didn’t require them. In Argentina, companies that asked for grants were later punished with less degrees of freedom on their commercial activity, so it was a great choice not to get them. Fortunately, we could accomplish all payroll in time during 2020.
Your final thoughts?
Leonardo Valente: Pandemics set a new, game-changing status for everyone, but the ones who dare to take with new, positive hopes are deserved to grow and win. Technologies are ready for a new kind of life when a better work-life balance is possible if you aren’t afraid of that change.