Last year, Orenda Software Solutions changed incubators, moving from the IBM Watson Innovation Space to the Fintech Sandbox. The move brought new perspectives, advisors, and opportunities. The move had put us in front of new audiences, specifically those in the financial management industry. They recognized the value in leveraging social data for decision-making and developing long-term strategies. After some consideration, we realized that the financial technology sector is a better market for us, so we are pivoting.
We believe that a pivot is a natural step in any start-up’s journey, there is hardly ever a perfect product-market fit in the early days of a business. The process is about recognizing the need to make a change and adapting to feedback, something we had always expected but were unsure just how it would eventually unfold. We will continue to use the same technology and resources, but our new focus will be on providing alternative data for the financial sector rather than to brand managers.
Founded in 2015, Orenda was developed as a social media analytics tool. Tanya had recognized the need for a tool that interpreted extensive qualitative data quickly, and the assumption was that others in similar positions would find the solutions as intuitive as Tanya had.
Initially, our target users were brand managers, who are about creating messages and relaying information to those that need it in a clear way. Though our users recognized the value in our data, they are not typically trained to work with large data sets and statistical equations, they wanted to see the text and interact with the people on social media directly rather than compare coefficients and intercepts.
After making presentations in Boston and New York as part of the Fintech Sandbox, interest in our product has come from an emerging trend for people wanting ethical returns on their investments. There is an emphasis on investing in companies or technology that seek to improve Environmental, Social, or Government related issues.
Our goal is to use our methodology to align with ESG investing, and to connect organizational behaviour to public perception. The hope is that the outcomes revealing an organization’s reputation and value are consistent with all other measures of a company’s value. With improvements to our technology, we are becoming a firm that measures the social perception of organizations, and how that perception impacts their reputation, credibility, and value.