CODE_n14 finalist OpenDataSoft: Turnkey solutions made in France

05/14/2014  |  CODE_n Alumni, CODE_n14 Startup CONTEST, Interview

We are happy to introduce you today to one of the French startups who made it amongst our Top 50 CODE_n finalists 2014: OpenDataSoft, located in Paris. Jean-Marc Lazard and David Thoumas founded OpenDataSoft in 2011 and have been on a successful journey since then. We had the chance to talk to Jean-Marc who explained their business model and the benefits in more detail.

Please describe, in three sentences, what OpenDataSoft does.

OpenDataSoft CEO Jean-Marc Lazard

OpenDataSoft CEO Jean-Marc Lazard

OpenDataSoft developed a turnkey SaaS platform designed to easily and intelligently transform all types of data into innovative services (APIs, data representations, real-time monitoring). OpenDataSoft’s mission: to make it easier for business users to publish, share, and reuse data. With OpenDataSoft, any non-tech user can turn any data into interactive data representations and share it anywhere on the Web (social media, website embeds). They can also turn this data into APIs to build innovative business applications.

Tell us a little about your clients. What sectors do they come from? What are their needs?

Our customers are both public administrations who use the platform for their open data portals, and companies who want to share data with their internal and external ecosystems (e.g., news media agencies using the platform for data-driven journalism or utilities and transportation companies using the platform for data management).

Our customers want turnkey solutions that directly address their business needs. These include:

  • comprehensive open data portals
  • data marketplaces for targeted data broadcasting via APIs
  • data-driven journalism tools

The standard OpenDataSoft version can be used for all of these use cases, without complicated deployment or customization.

How do your customers benefit from your solution?

OpenDataSoft is designed for business users, not tech people, making it the perfect tool for data publishing, sharing, and reuse by all.

And our approach is unique:

  • The platform is turnkey and modeled as SaaS, making it very easy to launch comprehensive portals within hours
  • Our pricing model is based on usage (data volume and API queries)
  • Our platform allows simple integration into Web and mobile platforms
  • Our data representations are state of the art (automatic generation of maps and graphs, with an embed feature…)

You were one of the few French startups not only to apply for the CODE_n Contest but also to make it to CeBIT in the end. How established is the startup scene in France? Do you think there is a reason why we didn’t receive more applications from France?

The French startup scene is very dynamic, but the topic of big data is still emerging. Only a few tech startups (that is, not consulting firms) are specialized in this area. Maybe that is why there were not that many applications.

How have you benefited from CODE_n so far?

CODE_n was an amazing experience! During the event, we met important prospective and potential partners. We presented OpenDataSoft to numerous people and we made friends with our talented fellow finalists. The media coverage was also a great opportunity for people to get to know more about us. Since CeBIT is the world’s most important IT trade show, being a CODE_n finalist allowed us to showcase our platform on an international level.