- The US company for digital publishing, Storied Data, raised a €500K pre-seed investment from the private investment fund Impetus Capital.
- The company, which was established by Bulgarian serial entrepreneur Rado Kotorov, creates and publishes information in an interactive form, to allow large arrays of data to be easily visualized in an accessible format.
- With the investment, Storied Data aims to realize its vision to become a market leader in interactive documents, web and mobile pages, infographic reporting, and data visualization, standing side by side with Adobe and the mighty PDF.
The reality is that people like interactive app experiences but they still get static documents and PDFs which cannot be customized or analyzed. “Around two years ago, we came up with the idea of Storied Data to transform complex data into interactive, analytical, and emailable documents that look like a regular web page. In simpler language – we make data speak,” Rado Kotorov, co-founder of Storied Data, shares for The Recursive.
Kotorov points out that the startup was not actively looking for funding prior to the round. Up to this point, Storied Data has been self-sufficient and Impetus Capital came as the first investor.
“We met with the partners in a sales meeting, as Impetus was a potential client for Storied Data. In the process, it became clear how well they understood that we are a ‘meat and potatoes’ business, concentrating on the development of a basic product that is a proven seller to a wide segment of the market. In addition, the fact that they are an active investor who is looking to expand its influence in the US market was also a positive sign for a fruitful business relationship,” Kotorov shares.
“Rado Kotorov has an experienced international management team with significant Bulgarian participation, positioned in the two largest markets in the world, the United States and the European Union,” Victor Manev, Managing Partner of Impetus Capital, comments on the investor’s perspective.
How do you make data speak
Kotorov is a seasoned professional in the field of business intelligence and data management. He has more than 20 years of experience in data reporting, dashboarding, visualization, and advanced analytics.
For some time, he has been observing that the way people interact with information is changing. Aesthetics now have a major role in the way we perceive information effectively. On top of that, information overload is also increasing, which confirms the need for a more concise way to display information. Storied Data allows every document to combine data, graphics, visuals, and interactivity.
When Kotorov researched the market, he found out that the options for a functional infographic solution are quite limited. “If you do static design, you would use tools such as Adobe, Canva, and if you have to do reporting you would use more robust tools such as Tableau. Respectively, if you design web pages you would use a no-code platform such as WordPress,” he explains.
Rado and his team decided to combine all of these in one platform and preserve the best functionalities of each tool. They realized that despite its obsolescence, the PDF has a very big advantage. It is portable and pixel-perfect, which means it is conveniently distributed and always looks identical. Therefore, they spun the idea around recreating PDF and making it interactive. They used a standard HTML technology that is portable but also analytical and pixel-perfect.
“Annually, around 2 trillion PDFs circulate in the online space. If we add all the WordPress sites and reporting solutions, the market becomes three times larger. In addition, some governments such as that in Britain have begun to issue policies to switch from PDF to HTML,” Kotorov explains the reasoning to tap into the data reporting market.
In essence, Storied Data solves the following problems for its users – it decreases the time they need to create such documents, it eliminates the need for users to have additional licenses to interact with dynamic documents, and it reduces the costs associated with software maintenance.
“We have observed that the process of creating interactive documents takes between 3 and 12 months. We shortened the time to less than a day. On the other hand, if companies want to communicate with their clients through interactive documents, they have to pay for certain licenses in order to do that as the technology is not natively supported on devices,” the Bulgarian co-founder adds.
On a journey to commercialize interactive data
Storied Data launched 4 months ago and has already gained 7 clients. The team, which consists of nearly 20 people, is currently negotiating with seven banks that might fully transfer their data reporting to Storied Data. “We aim to position ourselves as the standard reporting tool for banks around the world. Bank of America alone issues around 560M statements every year, and this is a turnover that we aim to address. Our longer-term vision is to grow into the major competitor of the PDF, and why not Adobe,” concludes Kotorov.