Feeling lost on LinkedIn or Quora or can’t qualify to join ResearchGate? ExploreB2B might be the place for you.
ExplorerB2B is a free to join exclusive network of experts who share information that matters to you and make sure you expand your professional network, interact with a relevant audience and present your expertise.
The founders say members network within specific industries and target experts who will advance their business or efficiently expand their professional reach and learn about new solutions through dialogue with potential collaborators or just hang up there and utilize the knowledge of experts, follow news in your industry by reading current articles written and rated by experts and discuss new and relevant trends by participating in the monthly ‘Topic’ forum.
Members can also enhance their expert status by writing informative articles and position themselves as a contact person for other professionals to get information from.
TechZulu met one of the sibling co founder Susanna Gebauer and here is what she told us.
When was it launched and where?
We launched the first publicly available (German) Beta Version of exploreB2B at the end of 2010. The English/International version of the platform was launched in January 2012. Our headquarters are in Berlin, but we have platform users from all corners of the world.
Who are its founders?
I (Susanna Gebauer) founded exploreB2B together with my brother, Jonathan Gebauer.
Right from the beginning, we also partnered with a young web development agency for development and technical consulting – they are now more than business partners, they are friends and part of the team.
What inspired them to find it?
The idea for exploreB2B resulted from my own experience in business development for a young consulting company and my brother’s enthusiasm for tech and social media. The result was a social platform especially built to serve the needs of Business-to-Business interaction and networking.
How does it work? Take us through your features
Networking on exploreB2B is based on publishing and communicating via articles. With content published in articles, you can show expertise and knowledge, build a reputation and trust, and establish contacts in the discussion of articles.
A main goal is to meet other people through the content they publish and find products and services you are looking for. Articles give deeper insight than short descriptions of products/services and allow users the chance to demonstrate their industry knowledge.
The term “Articles” can be misleading, as articles on exploreB2B can take many forms: industry insights, expert experience, customer stories or questions and business needs – even a detailed product description. These articles are sorted into industries and categories. Users can subscribe to industries, authors or keywords. This way everybody gets exactly the information and content he/she is interested in.
As so called “experts” are of great importance in the B2B space (who doesn’t prefer to work with an expert when they have the option?), we have just begun to use badges to show if someone qualifies as an expert in their field. Users can also endorse another platform professional to recommend them as an expert. Confirmed experts are given more options on the site and achieve higher visibility for themselves and their content.
How many users so far?
We are not releasing user numbers right now – but we are growing fast and internationally. Our goal is to provide the only truly international B2B platform.
What is your business model?
Our business model is based on what is called a “Freemium” model:
Standard functionality on exploreB2B can be used for free. This includes publishing articles, communicating in discussions, utilizing the messaging system, connecting to other users and the option to become a confirmed expert.
In addition to basic features, we offer premium functionality packages for a small monthly fee. The first premium package was recently released. This includes statistics on articles and profiles. (Who is reading your article, where readers come from, and whether or not the readers are registered on exploreB2B are among some of the statistic specifics.)
Competition? How unique are you from the competition?
exploreB2B is a social platform for business professionals. As a social platform, exploreB2B is to a small degree, in competition with other social media platforms used for business (Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora). Yet, exploreB2B is an article-based platform for B2B, which is completely unique in the social landscape.
We do not see the other social networks as competition, but as a toolbox where exploreB2B fits in a unique space and special features, including:
- Publication of articles in industries to an interested audience
- Subscription to industries, authors or keywords.
- An expert system with “Expert” status in a chosen category (through published content and recommendations).
Any funding yet?
We received seed funding from Investitionsbank Berlin, a state bank investing in innovation and technological advancements. This special kind of funding is of interest to young startups in Germany, as we did not have to give away shares of our company in the funding process. My brother and I still hold all shares of exploreB2B.
Any strategic partnerships?
We have a strong partnership with our web development agency that has been part of the project from the beginning of 2010. This partnership gives us much more than “just” the technical development of the website, as these guys have become friends and partners. They add brain, ideas, friendship and encouragement to the project!
Growth. This one challenge will probably stay with us for the next year :-)
Keeping ahead with innovation, functionality and meeting the needs of our users with the product we provide will always be the goals of exploreB2B.
2012 has been the year of internationalization. It was great to see exploreB2B leave traces all over the world, with focus on the English-speaking market. Our clients now come from every continent; it is great to see new countries using exploreB2B.
As more people from non-English or German speaking countries use exploreB2B, it’s possible we will expand to include more languages on the platform.
We have many more features on our agenda. We want to expand the expert system, improve company profiles to have more features, and ensure that users have more opportunity for professional collaboration.
2013 will be a year of massive growth.