Startup of the Day: Pluspoint, Ukrainian online reputation management platform

Pluspoint, founded by Ukrainian IT entrepreneur Sergii Shanin, provides an online reputation management platform that allows businesses (from the field of real estate, logistics and passenger transportation, healthcare, retail trade, restaurant, and hotel business) to work with user and customer reviews on Google, Facebook and other online platforms. Currently, Pluspoint is focused on Portuguese and Spanish-speaking markets. In September 2023, the startup received a $400,000 round of investment.

In the Startup of the Day column, the team of Pluspoint shares 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?

The core product of Pluspoint is a platform that enables local businesses (ranging from restaurants to medical clinics) to manage customer reviews on Google, Facebook, and various other online platforms. Additionally, it assists businesses in intercepting and responding to negative reviews while retaining their customers.

After receiving a service or purchasing a product, customers are prompted to review their interaction experience with a company or platform. Positive feedback is automatically published on popular review platforms, while negative reviews or complaints are reported to business representatives or the support team, complete with necessary details to ensure swift response and issue resolution.

Currently, Pluspoint offers integrations with over 8,000 key services, including online review platforms, CRM, ERP, BI, analytics, and email marketing services.

How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?

The funder has been interested in this market and sector for a long time. Firstly, the market size for online reputation management platforms exceeds $1 billion and continues to grow annually. Online reviews are among the most critical factors influencing Local SEO development.

Also, online reviews played a key role in attracting new customers for one of Sergii’s previous companies. In fact, we replicated some of the functionality offered by Pluspoint using various third-party systems.

How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?

It took us just over three months to develop our initial prototype aimed at dental practices. In the course of the first month, we managed to secure a client which was an encouraging milestone.

We quickly encountered a series of challenges that prompted us to reevaluate our initial strategy. One of the major roadblocks we faced was establishing contact with the decision-makers within dental practices, which proved to be more difficult than we had anticipated. This not only slowed down our sales cycle but also restricted our ability to scale and grow our customer base in a substantial manner.

Therefore, we decided to shift our focus and extend our services to encompass a broader spectrum of multi-location service businesses and franchises. This transition was aimed at enhancing our reach and improving the potential LTV of our clients, allowing us to build a more sustainable and prosperous business model.

When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?

The initial commercial version of the product was developed in the summer of 2021.

Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?

Pluspoint operates on a SaaS model and is available for companies worldwide.

What are your target markets and consumers?

Currently, Pluspoint is localized for Portuguese and Spanish-speaking markets. The company boasts a clientele in Europe and South America, collaborating with companies such as Lycamobile, Papel Craft, and German Doner Kebab.

If the startup has already launched the product, what are the results: metrics, income, or any clear indicators that can be evaluated?

From a customer base standpoint, we have successfully expanded our reach and now have over 100 clients spread across Spain, Portugal and Brazil. As for the direct impact of our service, we have noticed a remarkable uptick in customer engagement metrics for our clients. On average, there has been a three-fold increase in the number of reviews our clients receive and a significant positive shift in the rating scores, with an average improvement of +0.8.

What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly.

Pluspoint’s headquarters are situated in the United States, and the team comprises members from Ukraine, Portugal, Spain, and Brazil. All Pluspoint employees have been working remotely since the establishment of the company.

Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, and the purpose of the investment.

In 2023, Pluspoint has secured $400,000 in funding. The investment was led by Pragmatech Ventures, a venture capital firm and startup studio. The team plans to allocate 70% of the funding towards expanding its sales geography, with the remaining 30% earmarked for product development.

What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.

The company’s future plans involve expanding available integrations with popular messaging platforms, introducing the product to new markets, and incorporating AI features based on LLM (Language Model).