Despite consumers becoming more comfortable inputting data online over the past decade, 2015 saw mounting pressure on crappy ad formats, data resellers and unsolicited communication.

It's in this context that people.io launches today, a platform that allows consumers to benefit from giving away their personal data.

We caught up with the team...

In one sentence, what is your product/service?

People.io is a secure digital marketplace where people can monetize their data and attention, by licensing it to brands in return for a payment/reward.    

What problem(s) does it solve?

The UK saw an 82% growth in the adoption of ad-blocking technology last year.

This growth is symptomatic of an underlying problem; consumers are fed up with how their data is being misused in order to target them with advertising, and the inability to have any meaningful level of control over resolving that. 

We want people to be able to take control of their data and be able to see when, where and how it is used.

And to realise a fairer value exchange for doing so.  

We fiercely protect the privacy of a consumer and the integrity of their data and follow a privacy by design philosophy.

If they leave the platform, all of their personal data is deleted permanently - no follow up calls/emails six months later with a pleading “We Miss You” message! 

people.io

What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or growing your team?

Speed. We always wanted to launch yesterday but hiring the right team and building a great product takes time.

Still, I’m really proud to say that even with a lean team we’ve all pulled together and have launched on time and on budget. 

How will the company make money?

Revenue is generated from brands buying advertising via our B2B platform (C8 Management) to engage with opted-in consumers on the people.io platform.

Over time, the vision is that we will be able to spin off into specific categories via C8 Management i.e. health and fitness to generate truly meaningful, usuable data for brands, whilst protecting the individual privacy of consumers on the people.io platform. 

people.io

Who is in your team?

Daniel Cooper, Consumer Privacy Advisor (Partner, Covington & Burling LLP). Dan is reconised as one of the best privacy lawyers in Europe and also sits on the board of Privacy International.

I approached him for advice on data privacy when I first conceived the idea of people.io. We’ve worked closely with him to build a privacy policy that puts consumers first. 

Oliver Woodley, Commercial Strategy Advisor (VICE Media). Oli was a key member of the Audience team and is now at Vice Media.

He has been instrumental in helping us secure the right mix of investors to help us build and grow the platform.

Fiona Chow, Consumer Engagement Advisor - a communications expert I’ve worked with for many years. She has helped craft the people.io narrative and engage with media and other stakeholders.

She works closely with our Growth Manager, Alessia Camera on user acquisition, engagement and communication. 

And a fantastic global product, growth and community engagement team who we love! You'll hear more about them soon.

Ben Davis

Published 26 January, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (1)

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Jamie Fay, Marketing Strategy & Analytics Specialist at Unknown

This could be a game changer, if done right... It's a good time to hit the market too, with the news of the new EU GDPR.

It certainly feels like such a platform is long overdue, but disruptive startups are often targeted by the incumbents reluctant to relinquish their reign; just look at the lawsuits and complaints that Tesla was hit with by the motor industry, or SpaceX vs. Boeing/Lockheed-Martin.

How will the big data players (pardon the pun!) respond? I will watch with interest. Good luck guys!

about 2 years ago

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