Market-Research Crowdfunding Startup “Blasts Out of Beta”
By Jimmy Zollo
Collaborata, a new B-to-B online marketplace that brings buyers and sellers together to crowdfund research projects, is moving out of beta next week as it aims to change how market research is transacted.
Collaborata is the first-ever platform that connects market researchers to share project results and costs. As of this week, research sellers from more than 150 companies worldwide have registered on the platform, including some of the largest multinationals such as Euromonitor, GFK, Ipsos, Nielsen, and TNS. Research buyers from hundreds of client companies are also on the site, including the likes of Clorox, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, ESPN, and Johnson & Johnson. Sharing research costs through Collaborata’s crowdfunding platform saves buyers up to 90 percent on each project, allowing even the world’s biggest research spenders to significantly stretch their budgets.
“A big challenge for many organizations is that too often research projects that could prove transformative to a brand go unfunded. At the same time, we see companies replicating each other’s research,” said Jimmy Zollo, co-founder of Collaborata. “Collaborata brings the sharing economy to the market-research industry by connecting clients with similar research needs to reduce redundancy and cost. We like to think of Collaborata as a Kickstarter for the market-research industry.”
Jimmy Zollo was most recently at Grubhub, one of most successful tech startups in the past 10 years. His Collaborata co-founder is his father Peter Zollo, founder and former CEO of TRU, a leader in youth research. TRU was acquired by WPP and Kantar in 2008. Zollo exited the business in 2012, after expanding it into 40 global markets. Rounding out the all-Chicago management team is Ben Diedrich, recently of Mesirow Financial, who heads up global sales for Collaborata.
Clients can browse Collaborata to discover new research projects to co-fund or buy for immediate delivery. Coming out of beta, the platform will feature more than 20 projects at a total value in excess of
$3 million, ranging from “The List,” a youth brand-tracking study; to “Understanding YouTube” the first co-sponsored research that reveals who’s viewing YouTube, what they’re watching, and on what devices; to “The Global Legal Marijuana Market,” from Euromonitor, the research firm famous for sizing pioneering industries.
“As we blast out of beta, we’re unveiling a host of timely projects designed and executed by the smartest experts in the industry, all at a significant savings,” said Jimmy Zollo. In this post-beta phase, in addition to offering a growing catalog of projects, Collaborata introduces a subscription model, to help clients better plan for annual spending on the platform.
“While the market-research industry continues to evolve in how it collects and analyzes data, the basic business of how research is transacted has lacked innovation and collaboration,” said Jimmy Zollo. “That’s what Collaborata is all about. Our mission: To grow the market-research and insights industry for everybody by funding more projects that grow brands.”
Peter Zollo, the author of three books on young consumers, has spent his career studying each new youth generation and helping clients tailor their offerings to the current cohort.
“Millennials are now becoming today’s research clients, and they want to buy research in an active, open marketplace, just like they buy travel, entertainment, and other goods and services,” said Peter Zollo. “Collaborata is geared to today’s research client.”
Collaborata is a Chicago, Ill.-based startup, founded in 2016, connecting market-research buyers and sellers to share research results and costs. The company was a recent finalist in the global IIeX Insight Innovation Competition for new disrupters in the market-research industry.