Why we invested in Yabble

Rob Vickery

Hillfarrance invests in startups that harvest unique value from large, proprietary data sets and sells it to major corporate clients. We look for Founders who are upending existing processes, taking on large, stale blue-chip competitors, and have a vision for their company which some people may regard as being too bold. Since meeting Yabble in January, 2020 – Kathryn, Rachel, Mark, Sebi and the rest of their team has met and exceeded my expectations in all of these regards.

On the subject of Yabble’s bold vision, imagine a time in the near future that brands can collect customer research without ever asking them questions. This is because platforms like Yabble will be able to tell them enough about their customers that they won’t even need to send them a survey.

Yabble’s product roadmap paints a picture of the future where by the integration of foot traffic data, spending patterns, natural language processing, machine learning and computer vision analysis may even provide brands with the holy grail of advertising – the attribution of sales to advertising. It is ideas like this that make an investment into Yabble essential for Hillfarrance. 

From a consumer perspective, the public are realizing the value of their own consumer data to brands and other companies. Social media platforms provide a very one-dimensional view into how people are thinking, however, as the customer interviews we conducted demonstrated, creating actionable insights from this type of data is just not feasible for brands. 

With regards to the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Yabble is well positioned to continue to thrive during this time — according to one of our customer interviews, brands are in some instances quintupling the amount of customer sentiment analysis at this point. 

As you will see in this document (this piece is an exerpt from our IM), Yabble’s secret weapon is their “Yabbler” community, which is an army of over 27,000 consumers who provide insights for Yabble’s customers in exchange for a small fee. As Uber demonstrated in 2009, at the height of the GFC, a tool that can generate additional income, when a significant portion of the population is out of work, presents a massive opportunity for Yabble and for the Yabbler community to support their whānau. 

We are excited to lead this round of investment and to inject Yabble with our team’s experience of investing in companies who are pursuing similar product roadmaps and to begin to open up our network in North America, for new business and hiring opportunities.