Thor Olof Philogène Looks Back on his Journey So Far

“We believe there is no point in being feature-rich if your user experience is poor.” – Thor Olof Philogène



PUBLISHED BY
Christy Gren



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1 month ago



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Stravito is a Swedish startup working to democratize access to market research and insights. Thor Olof Philogène, CEO and co-founder, reflects on the company’s history, their plans for growth and what makes Stravito the “Netflix” for enterprise market research.

Thor Olof Philogene

Industry Leaders: As the CEO of one of the top 100 SaaS companies in Europe and Israel, what challenges have you come across in the previous years? How did you manage to overcome them?

Thor: Over the past four years, we’ve worked hard to build an AI-powered knowledge management platform that enables employees in Forbes Global 2000 companies to quickly discover insights that drive better business decision making. 

What sets us apart is our platform’s ability to provide employees with a consumer-like experience. We offer a level of simplicity, usability and searchability that’s similar to Spotify, Google, and Netflix. Usually, this doesn’t exist in traditional enterprise software, which means explaining the demand can be a challenge.  Particularly as a great user experience is not a feature that is visible in a feature comparison chart. 

But, we believe there is no point in being feature-rich if your user experience is poor, especially as investing in software for your company is only worth it if employees actually log in and use it frequently.

Our customers agree, and Stravito now powers insights for many of the world’s largest organizations, including: Comcast, Electrolux, Danone, Carlsberg and Edwards Lifesciences. 

Industry Leaders: You have been able to tackle revenues and manage teams through different leadership positions in the past. What was your best skill working out for you to progress?

Thor: Before Stravito, I worked in a range of leadership roles, my most prominent was Chief Revenue Officer and VP of Growth at iZettle, which has since been acquired by PayPal. There, I scaled the growth department from scratch to a team of 200 across 12 markets globally. 

Being part of a high-growth scale-up taught me many skills that I apply to Stravito today – from executing ambitious growth plans, to expanding into new markets, to hiring and fostering a talented team. 

Deliberately choosing to allocate a lot of time to both hiring and culture, has been a priority at Stravito. The calibre of your people determine the company that you can build yet spending a lot of time in finding the right people to bring onboard can be something that’s not prioritized enough. Similarly, clear directions and a great culture make it possible for autonomous teams to thrive. The latter being particularly important as great people expect autonomy.

Industry Leaders: What is the future of Machine Learning in the next decade according to you?

Thor: I believe that Machine Learning in the vast majority of software products will be as standardized as backend components, web and mobile applications. Major advancements of machine learning technology will be made available through the cloud offerings of major technology players. Microsoft, for example, is already working to apply this by making GPT-3 available through Azure. Hence, general purpose Machine Learning will become a commodity.

Applied Machine Learning, however, will become more and more application specific and advancements will be made on applying general models to specific use-cases, similarly to how “web development” is currently applied to solve a specific use-case. Therefore, great products powered by Machine Learning will be just great products, where Machine Learning is a component.

Industry Leaders: How is Stravito planning to advance ML in the consecutive years?

Thor: Machine Learning is a core technology in how we enable the world’s leading brands to categorize and find insights amongst their market knowledge. Stravito continues to apply advancements in state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to power product features such as personalization and content categorization. 

For example, during 2021 we launched our (machine learning-driven) recommendation engine that provides personalized and relevant insights to employees across global organizations. Just like Netflix, the feature works to predict and present insights that the user may be interested in based on their previous activity, geographic location, organizational belonging and more. 

We’ve also released an intuitive search-as-you-type feature to help individuals quickly find specific reports they know are available on the platform. And, we’ve made updates to our custom search algorithms to ensure individuals discover more relevant information that they can use to better understand their consumers.

Looking to the future, we will continue to evolve our application of state-of-the-art technology in information retrieval, recommendations and categorization to power deeply personalized experiences around working with market knowledge for professionals at the world’s leading brands.

Industry Leaders: What’s next for Stravito?

Thor: We just received $14.6million USD in Series A funding taking our total funding to date to $23.7million USD.

We’re now laser focused on building out the team and working together with our investors and customers to execute ambitious product development whilst expanding in our core markets, and in particular the US. We’ve just onboarded a number of new clients in exciting new verticals, and look forward to working with them to simplify knowledge discovery for many more employees in enterprises around the world.

Christy Gren
Christy Gren is an Industry Specialist Reporter at Industry Leaders Magazine she enjoys writing about Unicorns, Silicon Valley, Startups, Business Leaders and Innovators. Her articles provide an insight about the Power Players in the field of Technology, Auto, Manufacturing, and F&B.

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