Zirra Wisdom
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Fornova has created several solutions that help both the retail industry and the hospitality industry understand their market and their position within it better. The Goldenfeeds solution gathers market intelligence for the retail industry and helps companies better allocate their marketing spending, lowers the cost of customer acquisition and improves conversion. Supernova, their hospitality solution, enables travel and tourism companies to find and compare how much their goods are being sold for online by OTHs as well as in which countries they are being sold, thereby helping hotels to create more direct bookings with comparable or lower prices that increase revenue.

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Zirra Rated Fornova
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Commentary

Business & Marketing Strategy: Fornova initially followed a business model that targeted the retail industry, offering a product (Goldenfeeds) that helps retailers understand their market and position within it market their product better. This business model saw them forge partnerships with strong players in the retail industry such as Nike, IKEA, Gucci and Nordstrom. While the company still offers this product, in 2015 they pivoted to expand their business and primarily focus on the hospitality industry, providing hotels with more transparency into what is happening with their product in regards to sale price by online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Kayak, Skyscanner and more, as well as in what countries. They have managed to secure large customers within this industry as well, signing on Hilton, NH Hotel, and Premier Inn. This new product enables hotels to make more direct bookings, increasing their revenue as well as their position within the market, and giving hotels more control over their product.

Competitive Position: As Fornova is currently focusing on the hospitality market, most of their current competition will come from that industry. Competitors who offer a similar product or a product aimed at the same market include TripTease, which helps hotels increase direct booking and improve marketing. TripTease also offers a PriceCheck widget for hotels in order for them to compare their rate to those of OTAs. To date, since 2012, they have raised $9.5 million. ClickTripz is a travel technology company with a software product that drives revenue and direct bookings for the travel industry. Founded in 2010, they have had no funding and have made one acquisition. Voyat helps hotels increase direct bookings through the use of tailored promotions, offers and loyalty rewards. Founded in 2012, Voyat was acquired by Intent Media in June of 2016. Commeasure helps independent hotels increase direct booking, allows guests to pay at the hotel itself, and allows hotels to track their competition. Since their founding two years ago, they have raised $1 million. BookingDirection allows hotels to increase direct bookings through price comparison and sense of urgency tools. Similar to Commeasure, they have also raised $1 million since their 2014 founding.

Market Forecast & Exit Indicators: According to Hotel News Now, the hotel industry currently lacks the business intelligence it needs in order to run successfully. The current industry paradigm is focused on price optimization where decisions should be made based on current demand, remaining availability and relative competitor price positioning, but this information can often be extremely difficult for hotels to determine since it is so widely spread, especially through OTAs. Hotel News Resource indicates that the hospitality industry is currently undergoing rapid expansion and needs the tools to accommodate this growth. The International Journal of Innovation states that business intelligence can act as a driver to maintain sustained competitive advantage over competitors in the hospitality industry, and Robert Post, Chairman and CEO of TravelClick states that business intelligence is no longer a "luxury but a strategic necessity in improving probability of survival and prosperity in the hotel industry". According to Markets&Markets, the business intelligence and analytics software market is expected to grow from $17.9 billion in 2015 to $26.78 billion by 2020 and the retail analytics market is predicted to grow to $5.1 billion by 2020. As far as an exit, there has been no public mention made of exit intentions from Fornova, and indeed this is a relatively new market, and a new position for Fornova, after their pivot from retail. However, should they be interested in an exit in the near future, the recent acquisition of Voyat less than half a year ago bodes well for the future of the industry, as does the major partnerships and momentum Fornova has.

HR Situation & Reviews: Fornova currently has 82 employees listed on Linkedin, although some media sources list their employee count at approximately 100. The number of employees has grown by 98% within the last two years. Their employees are spread throughout their offices, with the majority (more than 50%) located in Israel, about 25% in Ukraine and the rest spread between the US and UK. Although the company has an office in Amsterdam, this office is relatively new, and there are no employees listed on Linkedin for the Amsterdam office. Nearly half of Fornova's employees work in the IT/Engineering departments, with only 7% in Marketing & Sales, however, this is a large rise from their position of only two years ago, when only 2% of company employees were dedicated to marketing, showing that Fornova is working on increasing their customer base. The company received 3.5/5 stars on Glassdoor reviews, with only 48% of employees stating that they would recommend Fornova to a friend. Pros listed for the company included great transparency and room to grow, while negatives were lack of proper recognition for employees, no defined vision and a lack of planning. Fornova is currently hiring for 4 new positions, all within the IT sector, including Application Engineer, Back End Developer, Python Developer and Application Engineer.

Inside Scoops: Fornova's revenue is difficult to pin down. The company has not made any mention publicly in regards to their revenue, although Owler lists their potential revenue as $4.4 million. However, this number was not created by, nor approved by, Fornova and is merely an intelligence estimate. The company also does not include pricing options on their site, making it difficult to determine revenue. However, given the number of large name customers they have secured in both the retail and hospitality markets, combined with the public information that they have over 15,000 hotels using their platform, it is likely their product is a success. In addition, considering that Fornova currently supports 82 employees and is looking to hire more positions indicates that they are verging towards profitable, if not already there. This is backed up by the fact that the company operated without funding for 7 years, from their founding in 2015 until their recent undisclosed funding in 2015. The tremendous expansion during that period, opening four global offices outside their headquarters and their declaration that they intend to use their recent funding to further their operations in the US and Europe as well as to open a new office in the Asian Pacific market indicates that their revenue is likely higher than Owler's estimate and that they indeed show all indications of profitability.

Click here to view Fornova's full Spotlight Report.


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