Interview With Berlin Startup VERSUS IO, Compare Anything

startupLast month we brought you a story about Berlin comparison platform startup VERSUS IO. They recently added 240 cities to their comparison platform which takes comparing two things and brings it down to it’s simplest form.

The internet is great for comparison shopping. Every major online retailer like Amazon, Best Buy, Carphone Warehouse and everyone in between, offers some kind of side by side comparison of products. Just about every time I go to make a major electronics purchase, I comparison shop something online.

Sure you may want to compare the iPhone 5 vs the Samsung Galaxy S 3, or the Galaxy Nexus vs the iPad Mini. But what if you wanted to compare other things? What if you wanted to take a European vacation and wanted to weigh France vs Italy. Well Versus IO allows you to do that comparison too.
With their recent addition of 240 cities to compare it makes deciding your next vacation a breeze. The team at VERSUS IO is in the process of creating the go-to site for comparing anything and they are well on their way. In fact they plan on providing comparisons on 640 different verticals.
We got a chance to talk with VERSUS IO, founder and CEO Ramin Far who previously headed MTV Networks’ North European online departments.  Check out our interview below.

What is VERSUS IO?

VERSUS IO is a comparison engine for any kind of consumer product which can generate most popular content formats such as comparisons, top lists and infographics. All formats feature natural language.

In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother)

The system turns data into stories—it’s taking product’s specifications, compares them like a human and expresses the differences in natural language. Before the system has to be trained with some rules depending on the category.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

The founder and CEO is Ramin G. Far—he headed MTV Networks’ North European online departments managing over 20 products and nine regions for brands such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Southpark and many more. Before he held executive positions for DaimlerChrysler, Pixelpark and KPN.

Where are you based?

Berlin, in The Factory.

What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?

Berlin is going to be Europe’s new tech hub. We are located right in the center of Berlin-Mitte, one of the coolest neighborhoods and startup communities. We are the first startup which moved on The Factory’s campus providing a vibrant ecosystem of smart people and many career opportunities.

How did you come up with the idea for VERSUS IO?

Comparisons are the key of any decision. By comparing we can reduce complexity and make decisions quicker. Instead of finding, reading and analysing tons of specifications we usually try to understand just the differences to a product we already know. VERSUS IO fulfils this special requirement: providing just the differences to another product in a clear and understandable way.

What’s your secret sauce?

We have world’s first and only multi-language all-algorithm and big data driven content provider generating natural text fully automated

Are you bootstrapped or funded?

Both, first bootstrapped and then raised €700K in April 2012

What is your goto market strategy?

Making a perfect product people talk about.

What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?

Hiring the best talent on offer to help you grow

Who are some of your mentors and business role models?

The usual suspects: Jobs, Zuckerberg, Systrom and Dorsey.

What’s next for VERSUS IO?

Top secret :-)


Go start comparing at VERSUS IO

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