Within businesses, employees can share information over email, and through collaboration platforms like Yammer, Salesforce’s Chatter and others. But Q&A platforms like Quora have recently taken off as a centralized knowledge repository for a vast number of topics that is easily searchable. Today at TechCrunch Disrupt, Opzi is launching a Q&A platform designed specially for businesses.
Opzi, which was incubated at Y Combinator, is essentially a white-label Q&A site that any organization can use internally to store questions and answers about their business processes. The site was founded by 25-year old Euwyn Poon, who graduated from Cornell University at the age of 18 and then received a J.D. from Cornell Law School in 2007. Poon worked as an associate in a law firm after school and found that it was difficult to sort through knowledge and instructions from his fellow associates online. Poon says that a Q&A-like site for business information within a company could help fill this gap and increase efficiency within an organization.
Similar to Yammer, users sign in with their corporate email address and can then search for information by keyword. You can also ask questions, and answer directly from the platform. There are a variety of uses cases for the platform. For example, an engineering firm could use the platform as a way to sort through commands. And because most companies are tied to email as a main communication platforms, questions and answers can be distributed and answered by email as well.
You can also post questions anonymously, and follow questions to receive updates to certain queries. Unlike a wiki, all the content on the platform is organized around the questions. Opzi is also working on ways to route questions to certain users if they could be experts in answering the question.
Opzi charges for the platform via a per seat licensing model. Even in stealth, Poon has already raised $1 million in funding from an impressive roster of angels, including SV Angel, First Round Capital, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC, Hadi Partovi, Ali Partovi, Paul Buchheit, Fritz Lanman and Raymond Tonsing.
Q&A: Chi-Hua Chien, Keith Rabois, Sandya Venkatachalam and Lior Zorea weigh in on Opzi:
KR: WHat’s the value proposition for the first user at the company?
EP: It can work for only two users as a communication platform or a reference point. We want to build something that feels like a consumer software but is for the enterprise.
CC: One of the things that impresses me about Quora is the density of the network. Here it will be smaller groups-need a lot of participation?
EP: We’re not trying to compete with Quora; were just trying to add a centralized knowledge base within businesses. We are looking at organic growth but open to whatever makes sense.
SV: Our approach is to build a layer on top of a company. This a light and easy way to add that layer. And it can integrate with other silos of information.
KR: What about Yammer?
EP: Yammer seems to be trying to build a social network for the enterprise. This is more of a knowledge base.
SV: This would compete for time spent on email, Yammer and other communication platforms.
LZ: How do you get the word out?
EP: Here, today.
CC: I think the biggest issue is that some companies want to have their classified information on servers.