DefinedCrowd closes $1.1M seed investment

As the CEO and founder of DefinedCrowd, I couldn’t be happier with this achievement. We closed our seed round exactly one year after Amy Du and I started this company, in August 2015. It has been an incredible rollercoaster since then, with major highlights such as getting our first customers, opening the Portuguese subsidiary in Startup Lisboa, being accepted into the Microsoft Seattle Accelerator, where we learned so much (thanks to Hanan Levy, Prashant Sharma, Aya Zook and Tim Enger) and meeting our incredible investors, who believe in us and who share our ambitious vision of being the number one data science platform for artificial intelligence worldwide. I’m immensely proud to be working with Amazon and Sony now; these strategic partnerships can help us fine tune our product vision. Being Portuguese myself and knowing the quality and stability of the talent in Portugal, setting up an R&D center in Lisbon was a no-brainer for me. I was pleased to convince Joao Freitas, our CTO and one of the best tech professionals in Portugal, to join DefinedCrowd and to run the operation in Lisbon. In this round, we will continue the investment in Portugal. Looking for Portuguese investment in this context was natural and strategic for us, and we’re thrilled to have Portugal Ventures, the most prestigious VC in Portugal, backing us in this round, as well as BusyAngels, who brings us valuable business experience and insights to the European market. Last but not the least, I am very happy to have SWAN, a Seattle Angel group, as part of our group of investors in this round. SWAN brings diverse business experience and continuous mentorship.

This seed round is a historical milestone for our company and the round of funding allows us to boost our SaaS platform development. We’re growing our team in Lisbon from 5 to 12 people in the next 3 months and looking for a bigger office in Seattle as well.

I would also like to thank all our customers that have believed in us and allowed us to prove our product. At DefinedCrowd, our customers come first. We are here to continue serving them and all new coming customers. And we are already global, with signed customers in the US, Europe and Asia.

We have very ambitious goals for the next milestone and we’re all focused on them. Exciting times are ahead of us!

Lisbon team

DefinedCrowd in CSW London 2016

DefinedCrowd presented at Crowdsourcing Week Global in London, last April 14th, 2016, on the session about Crowdsourcing and Crowd Innovation. Our Director of Engineering, Joao Freitas, represented DefinedCrowd on stage, among a super high profile set of other speakers. Great job, Joao! The video can be seen here and the slides for our presentation can be found here. Great event, thanks to Epi Ludvik Nekaj, always a great host and organizer.

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Rethinking UX: The customer in the center of the product experience

Last week, MS Ventures brought us a company to help us rethinking our UX experience. The company who came to give us the workshop is called Frog Design and they absolutely blew us away. Because startups have to move so fast, user experience is often neglected. This is not the case at DefinedCrowd. Since we started this company, we know that a premium and delightful experience for the customer and for our crowd members is key to the success of our business. And this is why our UX Designer, Sara Oliveira, was the first employee we brought on board. We’re extremely demanding when it comes to the design and the interaction our customers have. We’ll soon be adding gamification features in our crowd UI to make their experience easy and even more engaging.

A couple of things I liked about the workshop: #1 Laptops were not allowed. We spent all day working with pen and paper and brainstorming inside and outside our company. #2 They made us understand the archetype or persona of our customers and what motivates them. This was actually revealing and made us realize that our customers have more in common than we thought, despite being so different. #3 Breaking down our journey, clarifying our end goals and aligning our user experience with accordingly. #4 The concept of lateral thinking as a powerful tool to make us think out of the box and to generate creative solutions by relating properties of random objects to what we do. #5 It reminded us how important it is to take our ideas outside and get external opinions about what we are doing. We all loved the workshop, thank you MS Ventures for bringing it to us!

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