After posting about Statista.com charts of the day I decided to reach out and ask for an interview with their founder.
I managed to get one with Dr. Friedrich Schwandt (the founder and CEO) and you can read it below…
Q: Please explain what Statista is about?
Statista is a leading international online statistics portal – it’s one central page that is a direct access point to statistical data and market studies. The site is really one of a kind, there is no other single platform on the internet that aggregates statistics, no to mention on 60,000 different topics and from over 10,000 sources. Statista is about simplicity in understanding and a streamlined representation of data that’s easy to use and easy to implement. Whether on websites, in reports, term papers or Powerpoint presentations – you can integrate it anywhere. As a result, Statista saves significant amounts of both time and money. You don’t spend hours going through search results on the web to find what you’re looking for. It’s all on one website, and the data is compiled in accordance with scientific criteria.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of Statista?
The founders of Statista had extensive experience of working as business consultants. They regularly searched for statistical data to verify or contradict. Something like Statista or a similar website didn’t exist anywhere. Hence, the idea was born.
Q: How did you fund it? VC, Angel investing or self funding?
The founders first pooled their savings together, then the funding proceeded through an investment of two million dollars. Currently the growth of the site comes out of the cash flow generated on our own, by the company.
Q: How does your business model actually make money?
Our business model is based on a fee. Money is made through business customers, academics and annual subscribers who pay a fee for getting an account to access data on Statista.
Q: I notice you have offices in New York and your company originated in Germany so how have you structured it?
We started with an office in Germany, as a German company. Which means that Statista began as a site in German, geared towards the German-speaking market and audience. After we had proven ourselves, in 2011 we opened an office in New York City. Why? Because for most developed countries the US is a benchmark market.
Q: How many people do you employ and what’s the main focus?
We currently employ 65 people. The main focus of the work at Statista is divided among such areas as researching data, sales and tech-related activity on the site. Statista is a modern classical mixture of a publishing and technology company.
Q: How did you get the company to grow, what were your key focus points?
Our growth can be depicted by a so-called growth circle. We generate high-quality content, then we generate customers who want that content, through that money is generated, which we invest into new content, which in turn generates new customers. This was successfully applied in Germany. So we decided to apply the same approach when we opened in the US. A positive side effect is that we offer statistical data internationally for new customers and for existing customers as well. Most importantly, this makes the whole model more compelling.
Q: What’s the plan for the future with Statista?
We would like to expand to more countries with in-depth statistics and in-depth coverage of market data from all possible areas. Right now we are focusing mainly on the Chinese market.
Q: What advice can you give to start ups and entrepreneurs out there from your experiences with your business?
Think from day one about how you will generate profit. Basically you should be in a state resembling permanent panic that you can’t finance your business. Keep your product portfolio as simple as possible to ensure it remains understandable for your target client base. Because remember, just adding new products doesn’t mean that the ones you already have become better.
Be passionate about your start up!
Statista, the leading statistics portal on the web.
I would like to thank the team at Statista for arranging this interview and making it happen.