African startup aims to disrupt $45b market research industry

Joburg has a new online presence following the recent launch of Visit.Joburg by Joburg Tourism.
Visit.Joburg: A new tourism resource for Johannesburg to represent South Africa at upcoming Endeavour Global program. to represent South Africa at upcoming Endeavour Global program.

Johannesburg based technology startup,, has announced a first round of investment led by global business executive and investor, Kevin Gaskell. The former Managing Director of both BMW and Porsche GB has led an investment round of R2 million to accelerate the development of the marketing research newcomer.

“ is addressing a market which is ripe for disruption not only in terms of pace and cost, but also in terms of quality local insights,” said Gaskell. “By leveraging the power of the crowd to access expertise from across the continent, is giving brand managers a way to properly localise campaigns in a way that won’t break the bank. I see this as a major opportunity and I’m excited to be getting in on the ground floor with these guys.”

Following a fivemonth review process, the company has been selected from among hundreds of local startups to represent South Africa at the upcoming Endeavour Global program. The event will be hosted in Spain this month where will present to a panel of global experts, including senior executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google. FNB has also announced the team as a finalist in its 2016 Innovation Awards.

A $45 billion opportunity

The global market research industry, valued at $45 billion, is dominated by a handful of incumbents who have not kept pace with changes in demographic shifts, media consumption habits and online technologies. Traditionally, the process to test an advertisement takes 60 days and can cost upwards of R250k ZAR. is revolutionising that process by giving brands and agencies acess to thousands of top creative talent from across Africa to test campaigns for local relevancy, mitigate against cultural risk and optimize their creative to local markets.

“ The old saying that half of all advertising is wasted has a lot to do with poor targeting. The truth is that that most campaigns are neither tested nor adapted to suit the needs of the local market particularly here in Africa,” said Trevor Wolfe, cofounder of “This is not because brand managers and agencies don’t know better they do but the existing tools make it harder, not easier to tailor to different demographics and markets. We’re working to change that.”’s flagship product, Sense Check, allows clients to get feedback on their concepts and campaigns from online panels of creative professionals across any market in Africa. A client simply uploads their creative (website, video ad, animatic, mobile app, etc) and the platform will identify the 30 most relevant creative professionals to provide 12 hours of analysis and actionable feedback.

“We believe the technology we are building, as well as the access to thousands of inmarket professionals, will save our clients’ millions of dollars in wasted media budget on ineffective advertising campaigns” says cofounder Remon Geyser.

Ready for growth

Cofounders Trevor Wolfe and Remon Geyser have positioned the company to service clients anywhere in the world and has already received interest from Europe and Asia.

Trevor Wolfe, originally from New York, has led international product and marketing roles at global media and research houses like TNS, WPP, Gerson Lehrman Group and technology startup Moveline. Remon brings his background in brand science and creative analysis at the world’s largest supplier of brand equity trackers, Millward Brown.

The company has also appointed Ricardo Lopes as Head of Growth, Sbu Situma as Key Account Manager, Zanele Maisela as Brand Researcher and Anja Laubscher as Design and Strategy.

Staff writer