Besedo CEO Frisk on plans for an IPO

28 Oct 2016

Swedish content moderator Besedo added Schibsted general classifieds site Corotos to its growing list of clients last week. Besedo moderates text and photos for marketplaces, the sharing economy and dating sites. It has several, big global classified players as clients, including OLX, EBay and Schibsted.

Corotos.com.do, the leading stuff site in the Dominican Republic, is Besedo’s first new client since merging with Paris-based, real-time content analyst ioSquare in September. Besedo CEO Patrik Frisk answered our questions on the deal and future plans.

Besedo CEO Patrik Frisk (from his LinkedIn profile with thanks)

Besedo CEO Patrik Frisk (from his LinkedIn profile with thanks)

The start-up ioSquare specializes in automatic content moderation. Its main client is Match Group (with dating sites such as Match.com). Besedo acquired ioSquare for €4.5 million, paid partly in cash and partly with Besedo shares. Frisk didn’t want to get more specific.

The decision whether the merged entity should be called Besedo or ioSquare hasn’t been taken yet. The two teams have merged and are now working together towards the common vision, Frisk said. Maxence Bernard, CEO of ioSquare, stayed on board with the title chief product officer (CPO) in the merged team.

A big reason for buying ioSquare was to get access to ioSquare’s automatic moderation know-how and solutions. Besedo launched its own automatic-manual hybrid moderation tool (called Implio) in April this year.

“The ioSquare technology will be used to further improve the functionality of Implio and to enhance its capabilities with deep-learning and artificial intelligence,” said Frisk.

On the Facebook page of Implio we learn that…“together we (Besedo and ioSquare) are building a holistic solution capable of handling all content types”. That might be a reference to video and virtual reality (VR). In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Frisk said the merged entity “might add video and

VR moderation to text and photo moderation in future”. implio_logo_transpHe told Bloomberg the company might also branch out into social media and ecommerce moderation, but “the main focus will remain on online marketplaces, the sharing economy and dating”.

“With the emergence of the sharing economy, growth in this market is huge,” he added.

He told Bloomberg the merged entity will generate an estimated €17 million in revenue in 2016 – a number which is expected to double in three years. The company has offices in Sweden, Colombia, Malaysia, Malta, Romania and France and plans new offices in Asia and the U.S..

The planned growth is no end in itself, but a means to another end, namely an IPO. Frisk said an IPO in Stockholm has been pencilled in for two to five years from now.

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Christo Volschenk

Christo Volschenk is managing editor of the news on Aimgroup.com and our senior analyst covering Naspers. He brings more than 31 years of experience in business journalism to the team - the last 18 years focused on classifieds and e-commerce. Apart from working closely with the AIM Group, Christo is a freelance journalist, content manager, and copy editor. Before branching out on his own, he spent 15 years with Naspers in South Africa as journalist, economics editor and online project manager. He now spends most his day editing the news reported by 23 colleagues in 23 countries from his base in Stuttgart, Germany.