Super Connect for Good 2021 Scaleup Spotlight exclusive: Citibeats

As we celebrate the success of Empact Ventures' 2021 Super Connect for Good competition in partnership with Hays, we catch up with Ivan Caballero, Founder & CEO of Citibeats.

As we celebrate the success of Empact Ventures’ 2021 Super Connect for Good competition in partnership with Hays, we catch up with Ivan Caballero, Founder & CEO of Citibeats.

Hays and Empact Ventures’ 2021 Super Connect for Good competition was a resounding success. The virtual final, which took place in November, saw the regional winners go head-to-head by pitching live for the Super Connect for Good 2021 Overall Champion. Ivan Caballero, Founder & CEO of Citibeats, was crowned the Southern Europe regional winner. Citibeats leverages its real-time feedback to help make informed decisions and anticipate social needs.

Identifying social needs in real-time

Citibeats was established in Barcelona three and a half years ago with some funds from the European Commission with a mandate to develop and research a technology that could leverage real-time feedback to help organizations make informed decisions and anticipate social needs. Caballero explained that “it took around one year to investigate different technologies to find the most efficient way to extract insights from data in real time.”

Through machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), Citibeats managed to process enormous amounts of data based on text, which is a way that people communicate on the internet. As a result, Citibeats gathers actionable insights on the population’s concerns related to critical impact areas, such as sustainable development, financial inclusion, natural disaster response, migration, social policy, gender equality, vaccine demand, and hate speech policy.

Over the last three years, Citibeats has deployed over 35 projects worldwide. These projects are available in multiple languages because the technology is language agnostic and combines various data sources based on texts. This text can be sourced from social media networks, news comments, phone call transcriptions, and general messages. “By extracting these insights, our customers, who are mainly multilateral organizations, can react faster and more efficiently to society needs,” added Caballero.

Key differentiators 

Caballero shared that Citibeats has two main ways to differentiate itself within the market. Firstly, Citibeats differentiates itself in the market through its go-to-market strategy. “Our approach is totally based on impact on society, which is why we choose to go to market-based on working with the organizations that are helping to improve society’s problems, which is why we choose multilateral organizations,” said Caballero. These multilateral organizations are channeling billions of dollars into social development or social risk mitigation and affecting policies that governments use to improve the well-being of their citizens.

The second way Citibeats differentiates itself in the market is its technology. The type of technology that they use has three main differentiators. Caballero explains, “one is that we are language agnostic so we can work in any language. Second is that we can work with any text data source, which is unique.” The third technology differentiator is that they can create customized models. For example, if a business wants to structure Citibeats data around sustainability with totally customized categories for their region, Citibeats can do it in minutes. 

Human data touches on ethically sensitive personal information, privacy, representativity, and bias. Citibeat’s mission is to improve societies based on people’s needs. By working with an ethical framework, Citibeats manages to:

  • Protect the privacy of the citizens by not collecting personal data
  • Reduce bias amongst data 
  • Only work with projects that have a direct and positive impact on society
Thriving through Covid-19 

The last two years have been successful for Citibeats, with Caballero saying their revenue doubled during this period. “We are seeing around 90% of the content on the internet being created during the last two years, and more than 60% of this content is unstructured,” added Caballero. Content has generated a considerable opportunity for a company like Citibeats. In addition, there has been an accelerated adoption of our technology with many of our customers. Over the next few years, there will be a massive wave of data and technology, and multilateral organizations are increasingly moving to digitalize and improve their adoption of digital tools.

The Super Connect for Good 2021 competition

Caballero expressed that their involvement in the Hays and Empact Ventures’ 2021 Super Connect for Good competition was amazing, and they enjoyed the whole experience. “One of the challenges that we have experienced is gaining visibility in the industry, and the competition has helped us with this,” added Caballero.

The panel members have been valuable for the entrants as important questions were asked, and the business was viewed under a critical eye. “The judges provided some friendly fire which helped us identify more opportunities and reasons for development and partnerships,” said Caballero.

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About Ivan Caballero, Founder & CEO of Citibeats

Caballero has focused on purpose-driven entrepreneurship, community-oriented cities, and socially responsible, people-centered technology for social engagement for over two decades. Over his storied career, Caballero was awarded a €1M EU grant for visionary and ethical AI, won the NTT Data global contest for the best startup, and worked with some of the most prominent multilateral organizations in the world, including WHO, UNDP, UNESCO, and IDB. 

An active contributor to the startup ecosystem, Caballero has been a mentor and an advisor for many social impact projects in value proposition testing, organizational development, venture acceleration, grantmaking, fundraising, outreach, networking, and consulting.

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