Interview With Gonçalo Martins Ribeiro
Describe your product or service:
“YData provides the first data-development platform that makes it easy to understand the quality of existing data and improve it before training an ML model, leveraging state-of-the-art tools such as data quality profiling and synthetic data generation.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“YData exists to help data scientists create value for their companies by improving their datasets in an easier, faster, and more accurate manner.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“Angel investors and VC funds.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“CEO Gonçalo is a product builder and passionate about startups and technology. He has a computer science background but later on, developed himself in the management field. [He has] built products in startups and enterprise, led development teams, and now is creating new standards for data science by helping companies become data-centric and adopt AI that works.
CDO Fabiana Clemente is a data scientist with a background that ranges from business intelligence to big data development and IoT architecture. Throughout her professional career, she has been leading state-of-the-art projects not only in global companies but also in startups. She has an academic background in applied maths and [an] MSc in data management combined with nano degrees in deep learning and secure and private AI. As YData’s co-founder, she combines data privacy with deep learning as her main fields of work and research, with the mission to unlock data with privacy by design.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Both founders are product builders — we live to create things and both of us were looking for a problem big enough and worthy to be solved.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“Both founders, Gonçalo and Fabiana, were working in the data space — Gonçalo was managing data science teams while Fabiana was a lead data scientist. They faced the problem YData is solving in the first person, from the management and technical perspective. Nevertheless, before starting YData, in order to validate assumptions, they interviewed more than a hundred data scientists, and the answers were unanimous — having high-quality data to work with is the main obstacle for data scientists all over the world.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“This was a hard one! Coming up with names is easy; finding an internet domain name not taken is super difficult. When brainstorming about it — more specifically when we asked why (Y) — the answer was there: data.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“Every quarter there's a new greatest challenge, from building the first MVP, signing the first customer, fundraising, and hiring ... These days, growing the team fully and onboarding new employees at a very fast pace is the biggest challenge.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“YData provides the first data development platform for data scientists from data scientists.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“We're deeply involved in the creation of the most popular online communities of data scientists and we're behind some of the most popular open source projects in the data quality and data synthesization field.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Network of contacts, warm intros, community, and direct sales.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Mostly ARR and community members.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
“‘Hard Thing About Hard Things.’”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“‘The Tim Ferriss Show.’”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“It's all about the founders.”
How do you stay motivated?
“I'm building something I truly believe is needed, so I wake up every day fully energized to work on this.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Resilience, empathy, and patience — all of them are crucial to create something that lasts, build a team, and get customers.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Attracting top talent that believes in my vision.”
More on YData
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Gonçalo Martins Ribeiro of YData that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.