Startup of the Day: Finnish Exolyt, TikTok analytics platform
Founded in 2020 by serial entrepreneurs Henri Malkki, Jonne Bovellán, and Mauri Karlin, Exolyt is a short video analytics platform for brands, media agencies, record labels, and creators, currently specializing on TikTok. The solution is fully AI-powered and is able to interpret user behavior to advance business strategies.
Exolyt works in over 20 different countries globally. Since launching, it has witnessed almost a million monthly visitors.
In the Startup of the Day column, co-founders of Exolyt Henri Malkki, Jonne Bovellán, and Mauri Karlin share more details about the startup’s idea, its product, and future plans.
“The Startup of the Day column on AIN.Capital is dedicated to tech projects from all sectors that originated from the CEE countries. If you would like to introduce your project, please fill in the questionnaire.”
Tell us about your startup. How does it work?
Exolyt is a short video analytics platform that offers intelligent insights for the fastest-growing social media channels — currently specializing on TikTok. It’s built for consumer brands, marketing agencies, product developers, and research service providers to get a foresight into a brand’s growth potential.
The platform provides various intelligent features allowing customers to advance business strategies with actionable insights on brand performance, audience behavior, and best practices which help to stay on top of trends and gain faster visibility and market share. Its AI-powered solution gives a transparent and holistic understanding of the voice of the customer and industry trends.
How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?
The startup idea was the brainchild of one of the co-founders, who felt the pain of not having the right tools to improve engagement on TikTok (especially for his TikTok memes account). Once we realized there needed to be a more holistic TikTok analytics and insights-friendly tool that could solve the visibility problem on engagement changes for your content and account, we validated the need by creating a landing page inviting early adopters to join Exolyt.
Soon we received thousands of emails from people who wanted access to the platform. So, we started building it as a hobby project to help TikTok creators succeed in their content marketing journey.
How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?
After the development had started, the first version created for the TikTok influencers was out in about one month. While developing the MVP, we recognized the short video social media as totally different from more traditional social media platforms. It is more dynamic; therefore, the tools needed to improve engagement should also be more varied and advanced.
Within six months of starting the project, we also figured that it was tough to do a viable business out of creating tools for influencers and TikTok creators. Therefore, we decided to shift the focus toward brands and agencies.
When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?
The first version of Exolyt was launched in the spring of 2020. The first B2B version targeted at social media and digital marketing agencies was publicly launched in December 2021. Before the launch of the agency package, we had done a development project and closed pilots that lasted for about 7 to 8 months.
Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?
Exolyt operates with a B2B SaaS business model, and we aspire to pursue product-led growth. So, we offer differently priced packages for our solution, segmented by various feature offerings. The packages are classified as Grow, Accelerate, and Thrive; and we also provide customizable solutions for Enterprises.
What are your target markets and consumers?
Exolyt has a broad customer in over 20 different countries globally. Since our initial idea was to serve TikTok creators in general, we don’t want to restrict our solutions to specific markets, so we cater to potential customer requests worldwide. However, we have witnessed considerable interest from South-East Asian and East Asian countries over the last couple of months, so we want to focus on that market along with US and Europe.
If the startup has already launched the product, what are the results: metrics, income, or any clear indicators that can be evaluated.
Since its launch, Exolyt has witnessed a considerable amount of traffic (almost a million monthly visitors) and has garnered interest from visitors worldwide.
“Generating revenue from early on and witnessing consistent growth is the only relevant metric for every startup. The only generalized advice I can give to make some revenue is to listen to your customers and be active in communication to understand how they get value through the product you are developing. Suppose your product is such that you need to do extensive development before you can generate any revenue. In that case, you need to be even more convincing to potential partners about how your team can differentiate from the competition and create something unique,”Henri Malkki, CEO and co-Founder of Exolyt adds.
What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly.
The team is currently closing to 10 people and growing fast. We wanted to be product-led from early on, so we focused on product development and building our customer relationships. Hence, our team roles primarily consisted of these two levels of operations.
Not long ago, we started to concentrate on marketing to promote reach and awareness of our product among the B2B sector in different markets. We are consistently looking for new talents, as we expect people with different fields of expertise to join our small but ambitious team. Currently, we are seeking a Senior Developer role.
Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, and the purpose of the investment.
Exolyt raised €450,000 in pre-seed from Trado Capital and Founder’s Edge from Finland. The freshly raised funding will be used to scale the development of higher-value TikTok analytics features for business end-users and expand sales and marketing.
What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.
Exolyt currently provides analytics, reporting, and discovery features for TikTok videos. We aim to expand the latter segment further for trend forecasting and semantic content analysis. With these features in place, Exolyt is paving its way toward becoming the go-to-market solution for all-in-one multi-platform short video analytics and insights solutions.