DeveloperWeek learnings: growing up and away from free tools

In many ways, technology is a great equalizer. Take a great idea, pair it with coding expertise, and you could be the next Facebook or Uber or Airbnb. Or…that great idea (with poor execution) could end up like countless startups that don’t make it to the funding—much less the name recognition—phase.
Last month at DeveloperWeek, our team talked to developers with fantastic solutions to everyday problems and the drive to make their app or platform widely adopted. What many of them shared, however, was a reliance on free tools to empower their growth. While free tools (such as Google Maps API) can provide lift and momentum to a growing startup, at some point—for the sake of long-term growth and profitability—startups will have to graduate to paid solutions. Why? Because as your company grows in complexity, so do your challenges–and you need increasingly sophisticated solutions to meet them head-on.
Marketplace companies (ex: Zillow, Postmates, or Lyft—and almost all of the dev projects we heard about from attendees at DeveloperWeek) go through a maturity curve where their initial goal is adoption. They want to onboard as many users (ex: buyers and sellers; clients and freelancers; riders and drivers) as possible to reach critical mass. However, in order to stay profitable and successful, a marketplace must reach a point where they need to start prioritizing qualities that will lead to longevity of users: building trust, fostering safety, and inciting loyalty.
At this point, quality data during the onboarding process can fight against promotion abuse, fake account creation, transaction risk, and even offline risk. Knowing more about the identities of users—without burdening them with a high-friction onboarding flow—lays a strong foundation for trust, safety, and loyalty on the platform.
In a past blog post, Jeremy Gottschalk, founder of the Marketplace Risk Management Conference, addressed the need of identity verification in marketplaces:
“While platforms have no legal obligation or duty to identify participants on either side of their marketplace, digital identification is the foundation for trust & safety as well as screening, all of which are essential for customer acquisition.”
Ekata offers APIs for validating data, appending information, and verifying identities. We apply pattern recognition, predictive analytics, and machine learning to the five core consumer attributes of email, phone, name , physical address, and IP to deliver unparalleled coverage and accuracy.

Start a Free Trial

See how Ekata can reduce fraud risk for your business, contact us for a Demo.