Swipe, the web-based PowerPoint alternative that brings features such as audience analytics, real-time polls and live syncing to the humble presentation, is flicking the monetization switch today with the roll out of a Pro plan aimed at businesses and marketers.
It adds new features including a tie-in with third-party analytics platforms (namely Google Analytics at launch), the ability to create unlimited ‘secret links’ for your deck so that its performance can be tracked per recipient, and the option to password protect your presentation.
“What we noticed is that the majority of non-edu users use Swipe in a work context. They use it to pitch potential customers, to pitch investors, to run meetings, to run webinars,” says Swipe co-founder and CEO Horia Cernusca.
“The Pro plans are very much aimed at the business user, the salesman, the marketer, who wants to track in more detail how people interacted with their deck, when the prospective customer/investor/etc. sees the deck, and most importantly, how each individual person you show or send your deck to interacts with it in a different way. This kind of data on a person level can be super powerful.”
Although Swipe plans to keep its core product free so that it can continue to be enjoyed by “professors, teachers, designers, churches, non-profits, artists, and students,” the new paid offering puts it squarely up against extremely well-funded ClearSide, with its focus on sales teams, and to a lesser extent Box.
“ClearSlide has been selling to these types of companies and making a lot more money than Slideshare ever did. Their product is purely salesforce focused and they’re growing, which attracted companies like Box to come into that market too,” adds Cernusca.
“The idea is really simple though: if you can make someone’s salesforce smarter with data, it’s worth their money. We have a lot of users that switched from ClearSlide to Swipe already”.
For example, a sales manager could track all pitches being delivered by the sales team in real-time with Google live analytics or a product like GoSquared (for which Swipe is also planning to add support) and see that a particular salesperson spends too much time on slide 4, and another salesperson spends too little time on the “about us” section of the deck. The sales manager could then call them and give instant feedback that they can incorporate when delivering the next pitch.
“For me, I could track live how my emailed pitch is doing with five different investors who got different secret links. I can instantly react and make sure that the “team” section is in the beginning of the deck because the first two investors never got to it and never replied to me because they didn’t see how great our team is,” says Cernusca.
The new Pro plan is also just the start. Having spent the last year rebuilding Swipe from the ground up, including creating what Cernusca claims is the “best media editor on the web” due to its native app feel, the London startup is currently working on its own in-depth analytics engine that will provide “detailed data on interaction on a user-specific level”.
“What we’re building in-house can be compared more to say GoSquared’s people analytics,” explains Cernusca, “asigning a face to the data and making it simple and easy to grok.”
Meanwhile, Swipe has raised further funding from existing investors Passion Capital and Playfair Capital. The company isn’t disclosing the size of this round but Cernusca tells me Swipe has raised around $1 million in total.