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Talkwalker recently announced that Merlin Equity Partners has acquired a majority stake in the company. The current goal for the startup, born in 2009, is to continue its international expansion and strengthen its technical teams, sales team and key accounts. The company already employs 180 people, spread between its Luxembourg headquarters and offices in San Francisco, New York and Frankfurt. In 2018, Talkwalker is set to expand its global network to Asia and increase its staff to 250. Lightning round with CEO Robert Glaesener.
(Featured Image: Robert Glaesener is looking for 100 people to join Talkwalker’s team / Image Credit © Olivier Minaire)

Product

Our product is Talkwalker. We do not develop any other products. Talkwalker enables businesses and brands to optimize their communication strategies. First, we give them the possibility to know what is being said positively and negatively about their brand. We then give them the tools they need to improve, showing them the type of content that works, trending topics, influencers, etc. We use the data to protect, measure and improve customer reputation and online communications campaigns. It’s a big market because everyone is on the web today and active in public relations, marketing and communications.

“Today, companies, brands and advertisers no longer want statistics just for the sake of it, but are looking for insight and the capacity to determine what is important and what isn’t.”

Trends

Politics, elections, car scandals, new products… Any topic that companies and institutions want to monitor on social networks. Do the campaigns have a positive or negative impact? How should they communicate with clients and prospects? Too often, businesses think they are in an ivory tower. It is essential that they have better insight and understanding when it comes to their impact on society and the consequences of their actions.

Social Networks

Social networks change from one day to the next. People are constantly active on different platforms. Our ambition and vision is to take this data, see what is happening and then make something intelligible for businesses. This is a new approach.

“We are currently looking for around 100 people to join our team (50 in Luxembourg): one-third developers, one-third sales representatives and one-third customer service, account management and customer success representatives.”

Innovation

We will continue to develop the visual recognition of logos in real-world situations. We are looking more and more at using artificial intelligence to save time and spare manual work, which is now insufficient given the number of posts published online. We have also worked a lot on “sentiment analysis,” which determines the emotional tone behind words. We will enhance it to not only have positive or negative opinions but also more “measured” opinions. Today, companies, brands and advertisers no longer want statistics just for the sake of it, but are looking for insight and the capacity to determine what is important and what isn’t. Machines can now help to do this.

Talent

We are currently looking for around 100 people to join our team (50 in Luxembourg): one-third developers, one-third sales representatives and one-third customer service, account management and customer success representatives. We need people who can take care of follow-up and client satisfaction.

“A Californian private equity company with experience in software and a reputation in this industry is a real asset.”

Ambition

Our ambition is to become number one in the sector. We’ve had this vision from the start. It is a concrete ambition and we now have the means to achieve it. We have excellent technology, an outstanding product and an exceptional team. We were lacking this capitalistic American aspect because we needed more capital, knowledge and contacts to achieve this ambition. A Californian private equity company with experience in software and a reputation in this industry is a real asset. Merlin Equity Partners was the missing link we needed to develop Talkwalker on a worldwide scale.


This article was first published in the 8th issue of SILICON magazine. Be the first to read SILICON articles on paper before they’re posted online, plus read exclusive features and interviews that only appear in the print edition, by subscribing online.

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