The United States Supreme Court has upheld that corporations are people, but that does't mean that Facebook and LinkedIn have created the right homes for them, If you're trying to find a specific product, competitors to your company, or find companies to work with, what do you do? You can google ambiguous search terms, try to dig through LinkedIn, or you can search through business directories with limited success. Oslo-based Comanybook is trying to bring companies together by intelligently gathering information and putting them all under their own social network of sorts.
This summer, Companybook soft launched in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and their native Norway. The advisory and venture company, Ignitas, has taken a stake in the company as a management-for-hire arrangement over at least the next two years. Ignitas' Gard Jenssen has taken a role as CPO/CMO.
Companybook grabs most of its data to build company profiles from Dun & Bradstreet, but enriches it by crawling websites to get more information. This builds a profile for your company and puts it out there, although each company can also add more information to their page.
Gard Jenssen explains, "For our search we’re partly based on our company data and partly on crawling and indexing all the world’s companies’ websites. This is how we e.g. make it possible for you to find a BMW dealer in Oslo even if that dealer has no mention of “BMW” in its company name or category. As you can imagine, crawling a huge number of web sites requires its share of machines and talent, but that goes for any serious search operation."
The search allows you to find companies and products, and then nail them down by country, region, or by zooming in on a map. Once you've selected a company, you can then find out key public information about their revenue, employees, key people, and contact information, as well as a lot more features.
To get some sort of idea about the company, Companybook also provides a media reputation chart that determines positive and negative news articles based on the the company's name is used in the sentence.
You log into Companybook as an individual, and the service offers social features including groups, events, and basic networking. But Companybook isn't trying to reinvent LinkedIn, or any sort of personal network.
"We want to treat companies in a network, the same way people are treated in a social network like LinkedIn or Facebook. Companies express themselves, have an identity, a network etc, just like humans have," says Jenssen. "We believe this is a position which is not yet occupied in people’s minds, and in order to clarify this position to the max we intend to downplay the role of human profiles and networking on the site and underline the role of the company as networking entity."
The free version gives users and companies access to the basic features, while a premium account runs $19/mo. The premium account offers 1TB of document sharing for companies, as well as unlimited searches, news monitoring, social media monitoring, and "media sentiment" analytics.
For an example company, check out Telenor ASA's page, for example.