Tech Pitch: Company Check

Startups learns the story behind the start-up helping "level the playing field" for small businesses to gather data on potential customers and suppliers...

Company name: Company Check
Founder: Alastair Campbell (42)
Background: Business data analysis and web development
Based in: Nottingham

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

  • Company Check is a business information website.
  • It lets users carry out due diligence, credit checks and competitor research.
  • It is now the largest single source of data on UK companies.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

The website was launched to make business information affordable and more easily accessible. For any business, gathering financial data on potential suppliers, customers or partners is vital, but for start-ups and small businesses the cost of doing so was previously a big inhibitor.

Before we launched, the marketplace was dominated by just a few big players charging annual fees which only larger companies could afford.We wanted to level the playing field.

Are you funded?

We started with a budget of £2000 and for the first two years the company grew organically, entirely based on reinvestment of profit.

Then in 2013 we sold the website to Creditsafe to sit alongside their premium offering as a value proposition for small and medium enterprises. Company Check is now visited by more than three million unique users every month with 110 million searches performed in 2014. This year we are on track for 250 million searches.

What were you doing before starting?

I’ve spent the last 10 years building and developing websites that specialise in business data, so when technological advances (Amazon Web Services) made the concept of Company Check feasible, I was perfectly placed to make it work.

I’m something of a serial entrepreneur, having previously run ukdata.com and founded (and sold) the e-commerce site Simply Moleskine.

What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

Despite being an online business we still need a physical presence like everyone else, so being based in Nottingham gives the company the best of both worlds in that respect. It lets us avoid expensive London rates and still be based in a city that’s becoming one of the fastest-growing centres for digital start-ups outside of the capital.

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