by Fırat Demirel on April 26, 2012
There are still very few Turkish start-ups that extend to global markets, and especially American market. GROU.PS is one of the first Turkish start-ups that have gone international, and it wants to make an impression with its innovations and new steps.
We had a chance to talk to Balamir Nazlıca, the new director of sales and marketing at GROU.PS, and got updated and received information on GROU.PS’ aims for Turkish market.
Nearly 10 million subscribers
GROU. PS received a new investment of 4.9 million dollars in August 2011. I also have to mention about the number of its subscribers and groups. GROU.PS has reached more than 200 thousand groups and nearly 10 million subscribers. The start-up reached 8 million unique visitors globally while it was free, and today the number of monthly unique visitors is 4.5 million.
Despite the decrease in penetration due to the fact that group building is not free anymore, it has also resulted in more active groups. Ning, one of the major competitors of GROU.PS, had adopted paid system a long while ago.
First aim is to create groups exclusive to companies
GROU.PS has a data flow of more than 1 petabyte each month, and it considers itself a scalable start-up with all these stats, while getting ready to speed up its operations in Turkey. Considering that only 3 percent of GROU.PS groups are from Turkey, it seems reasonable to grow by building groups first for companies.
A 4 b USD market
Forrester Research says Social CRM, which continues to grow its popularity, is a 4 billion market, and it explains why GROU.PS has moved forward this market. Balamir Nazlıca says their improvement on this field is the extension of their experience, and they have built a new customer support line in Turkey. This enables the team provide service in one business day for customers over phone and other channels.
Signed with 10 Turkish companies
GROU.PS services are in Turkish now, and has signed with nearly 10 companies in Turkey. This number is expected to double in one month. Another reason why companies prefer to work with GROU.PS may be the SAML technology. Organization employees or members can log in with their current user ID and passwords without subscribing to GROU.PS, using a system similar to Exchange on premises. This system guarantees a secure and safe login, like oAuth.
New marketing team
Balamir Nazlıca says GROU.PS has a team of nearly 15 and 90 percent of it resides in Turkey. Founder Emre Sokullu is in the United States, and the company made up a new and international marketing and sales team by 2012, becoming active in Turkey, regional and US markets.
GROU.PS is aiming to use an effective marketing strategy to reach corporate, education companies and civil organizations.
We have also learned that GROU.PS is planning to make deals with social media agencies in Turkey to form a sales network. The company, planning to reach new organizations with its customer portfolio and professional services, will be working to be major in a market that is not active in Turkey yet.
GROU.PS has made major and successful changes on its interface and structure, and has 15 different applications from forum to blog, wiki to maps. I believe GROU.PS will reach a new milestone with its recent improvements and new marketing team.
If you are considering to build a vertical social network or get your colleagues together on the same social network, have a look at popular examples from GROU.PS and take the first step to build your own group.
Original Post: GROU.PS yeni ekibiyle Türkiye’de hedef büyütüyor