Barcelona-based dotopen has launched its B2B communication platform in public beta today in another attempt to create a successful matchmaking service for businesses where decision makers could come to collaborate and connect with each other.
We’ve heard that a million times before, but I got an early peak of the platform when I was in Spain for the Mobile 2.0 Europe conference last month and there is one thing that I think differentiates dotopen from the likes of LinkedIn, XING, etc.: it’s not so much focused on connecting people in companies than it is to provide an up-to-date, stream of information on the company itself and start from there.
When I got the demo, I immediately thought of it like some sort of ‘FriendFeed for companies’, and the startup’s founders Rudy De Waele and Carles Ferreiro said there are effectively some comparisons to be made in that regard. The idea is for companies to set up a public profile on the service and dynamically and manually populate it with streams of information, creating a virtual ecosystem of businesses that decision makers could use to find new partners and clients.
I registered a startup I’m involved with myself, Oxynade, to see what kind of data can be added to the public profile (which you can find here). Apart from basic company information, you can add streams and social networking profiles for key management, indicate what you’re looking for as a company (e.g. ‘new partnerships with media publishers’) and insert a stream of feeds from blogs, Twitter accounts, etc. You can also detail your financials and which companies you’ve partnered, affiliated and/or competing with.
You could deem dotopen to be a potential competitor for our own CrunchBase, but the difference is that dotopen focuses more on wrapping an open community feel to the service targeted at company management only, while CrunchBase is a free wiki-based database accessible to everyone.
It’s an interesting concept, but time will tell if it will be able to attract enough companies to register a profile and effectively use the platform to expand their business. As usual, there’s the chicken or egg problem: dotopen can only be really useful when there are lots of companies sharing data, so the goal would be to try and get as much traction from day one (that would be today) and make the experience good enough for them to share and recommend the service to others.
What’s your take?