Interleado.com was incorporated in January 2007 and initially setup base in the comfortable surroundings of NovaUCD. Peter Cullen the founder and CEO had just started on the year long M50 Enterprise Programme, run at the time by the dynamic Patricia O’Sullivan.
Interleado’s goal was to develop a Software As A Service (SaaS) product that made it easier for website owners and web professionals to run and manage their search engine optimisation campaigns (SEO).
Developing leads through your website using SEO, was at that time, being considered by the early adopters in the SME marketplace and even less so in corporate Ireland.
Broadening The Focus
The early prototype developed in 2007 was targeted at the website owner; it soon became obvious however that the website owner was not ready to embrace SEO, at least not in numbers that made commercial sense to go after in Ireland. During 2008 the focus was changed to target the web professional and our geographical focus was to broaden to the UK and US.
On the funding side, Interleado was kicked started by private investors, from the friends and family background – the usual way these things get off the ground!
During 2008 our fund raising activities began in earnest. The Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Enterprise Board (DLRCEB) were approached and after analysing our business plan and speaking to some of the early users decided to invest in the company. During 2009 Interleado approached Enterprise Ireland (EI) to with a view to be recognised as a (High Potential Start UP) HPSU and to see if EI would invest.
Knocking on Doors
At the same time we’re knocking on the doors of VC’s in Ireland and the UK and were even approaching some VC’s in the US. The process of engaging with a VC can be very time consuming and draw a lot of focus and energy away from a fledging business. In Interleado’s case all our activity ultimately proved in vain, with a combination of the global recession and lack of confidence in early stage start-ups was to ensure that the VC’s were not biting.
EI did decide to come on board though and invested in Interleado during 2009. We continue to seek investors and are currently looking to complete the matching funding investment from EI.
Interleado have recently moved into new offices in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. The strategy for the company going forward is to focus on three main areas:
- Continue to sell the SEO Workbench to web professionals and website owners. Key to targeting these end users is to develop partners who already have a credible relationship with our target audience.
- One such reseller partnership that was setup in late 2009 is with an Australian company, Triple Cloud. Triple Cloud was setup by a couple of very experienced IT professionals who wanted to bring SaaS solutions to the Australian market place.
- Develop relationships with companies who see value in integrating Interleado’s reports into their CMS. An example of a recently signed agreement is with an English company called Orchestra who are targeting the European motor dealership market. Orchestra have developed a custom built CMS and are integrating Interleado’s reports. The first target country under this relationship is Denmark.
- Bundling services around the reports is seen as key as the majority of website owners do not have the time or motivation to implement the recommendations that the SEO Workbench gives. These services are delivered exclusively through phone consultation, going to a clients office is not required as Interleado use webinars to talk clients through the SEO process.
As well as developing the SEO side of the product, we also have plans to introduce online reputation monitoring functionality during the early stages of 2010.
Geographically, the three primary target markets are Ireland, UK and US. Interleado have used social media very successfully in building the brand in the US and the UK. The primary social media community used is LinkedIn and specifically the Groups within LinkedIn.
From the start of 2010 Twitter and Facebook were integrated into the SEO Workbench, this gives clients and trial users the ability to interact directly with the company. It also allows Interleado to quickly send out products and support updates.
The targets for 2010 are to break even and continue to develop international partnerships that increase the company’s brand and reputation as one of the best global Search technology companies.