Latest Watchful News
Jun 4, 2020
Watchful, an intelligence solution that is focused on revealing your competitors’ product strategy, announced it has raised $3 million Watchful, an intelligence solution that is focused on revealing your competitors’ product strategy, announced it has raised $3 million in seed funding for the “world’s first product strategy intelligence solution.” This seed round of funding was led by Vertex Ventures Israel and it included prominent Israeli angel investors. And Watchful’s platform is already being used by some of the world’s largest consumer mobile apps to give them an information edge. “Existing competitive intelligence solutions mostly track external metrics like website traffic, downloads or active users,” said Yanai Oron, General Partner at Vertex Ventures Israel. “Watchful’s approach is unique, delivering in-app insights that enable companies to really understand what their competitors are building, testing and planning.” Mobile apps are essential for entire industries like social media, e-commerce, food delivery, and streaming. And companies are constantly innovating to deliver the best user experience, simplest flow, and most useful set of features. Plus development is a race as new features, UX design changes, and even pricing models are built, A/B tested and eventually rolled out in the hope of winning more users. As Product and strategy teams struggle to keep up with what’s in their own app, tracking what competitors are doing is not feasible. And in some companies, product managers spend hours each day just downloading and using competitor apps or simply using guesswork and instinct rather than real data for research. Watchful is the first product strategy intelligence solution, which gives leading companies detailed internal information about their competitors’ applications to enable them to make informed product decisions. And using a combination of techniques borrowed from cybersecurity — including differential analysis and AI-powered recognition tools — Watchful uncovers hidden features buried inside the app’s code, A/B tests, upcoming changes to the app’s design, internal user flows and even performance information such as startup times and battery usage. Plus the platform also provides this same information about a company’s own app, giving large enterprises visibility into what other teams are developing and allowing benchmarking with competitors. Watchful was founded by Itay Kahana — who had faced these challenges himself at his previous startup Any.do. And at the popular to-do list app, Kahana had to devote expensive R&D resources to developing new features but without a full picture of what else was happening in the market. “I didn’t know what my competitors were doing, and if it was working for them or not,” explained Itay Kahana. “We were forced to make business decisions in the dark. I realized there had to be a better way, and that’s how Watchful was born. Competitive intelligence is stuck in the 1990s; we’re enabling companies to know about major changes their competitors are planning, months ahead of when these innovations would become public.” Watchful currently has a team of 25 people and several Fortune 100 clients. And in January, Watchful’s discovery that the social video app TikTok was about to launch a sophisticated deepfake generator received wide coverage — which had forced Tiktok to remove the code from their English language app. And Watchful is using its newly-announced funding to improve the AI-powered automated discovery tools as well as expanding its coverage into more additional app verticals and markets.