Online marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular, but they often fail to deliver when it comes to relevance. However, this is all about to change with the new platform Find.me, which uses artificial intelligence, voice input and semantics to present users with only the most relevant search results. “We want to generate better results for users as well as giving sellers useful leads” explains Stefan Ceulemans, one of the three founders.
Find.me is all set to be the next big online automotive, real estate, travel and jobs marketplace. In its current early phase, the start-up, founded by Stefan Ceulemans, Yannick Vierendeels and Stijn Geuens, is focussing on the automotive sector, in particular second hand vehicles, stock cars and lease cars.
‘Find without searching’ is the brand promise Ceulemans came up with after endless frustrating hours spent lost in a jungle of advertisements. “Think of all the time you waste flicking through endless adverts – or ‘junk-verts’, as I call them – before you find what you’re actually looking for”, he says. “Most online marketplaces are much too supply-driven. In contrast, Find.me is a demand-based platform, which will show you only the most relevant results, and you don’t even have to search for them yourself.”
Currently, online marketplaces offer users a selection of what is available on the market. Find.me is designed to bring all available items for sale together onto one platform, which will only show users the most relevant results. “In essence, we function as a kind of personal assistant, only showing our users items which are of interest to them” adds Ceulemans. “This phenomenon is bound to become more and more crucial in the world of e-commerce.”
Remarkably, Find.me is a completely advertisement-free platform. It is free for private users; businesses can opt to pay to make use of various services.
“Businesses will be able to pay in order to reach the right, ready-to-buy customers” adds Ceulemans. “In other words, as a business, you may be included in the recommendations which we propose to our customers. But don’t worry, when it comes to user preferences we always remain completely objective when we match-make.”
Wholesalers can also benefit greatly from a platform like Find.me. They can subscribe to get access to valuable consumer data. The Find.me algorithm can also integrate with classifieds sites to show users products or services which are relevant to them. “This not only increases their conversion rate, it also gives them more insight into their clients’ ever-changing needs”, adds Ceulemans.
Launch in June
Ceulemans explains that the start-up is currently hard at work making sure the platform is up to scratch. The personal assistant needs to be up and running in June and it’s clear that lack of ambition is not an issue here. “Belgium is an excellent test market, but ultimately we hope to extend beyond its borders”, says Ceulemans. “After Belgium and Luxembourg, we plan to expand to the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Roularta Mediatech accelerator programme will definitely help us to reach our growth targets.”
Text: Magali De Reu