I stumbled upon an article over at CNET about a new competitor to Dun & Bradstreet's traditional credit rating company. The new company, Cortera, at first glance, has an innovative approach on collecting data through a crowdsourcing model. Cortera is in its early stages, so it has yet to have been proven as a viable alternative to D&B. However, they claim to have a particularly strong user base in the construction market and have recently received $19 million in venture capital.
I ventured over to their site to see what it is all about. My initial impression is that they did a good job of making the site very user friendly, the home page offers a search engine style interface so you can get right to work. Digging around a bit, I found that Cortera does provide some basic information at no cost, such as high-level profile data (key facts) and a payment rating. I found that the key facts seemed to be fairly accurate after a few tests (I would say more accurate than D&B for small business searches). However, I would need a lot more information on the "Cortera Payment Rating" as it does not seem to match with my personal experience on some of the suppliers and companies that I am very familiar with (on how quickly they make payments).
Paid members get a lot more information than key company stats. They are provided with:
- Key Facts
- Spending Behavior
- Shipping Spend
- Spending Level
- Payment Rating
- Current Score
- Score History
- Industry Benchmark
- "Yelp" style reviews (community generated reviews)
I might have to purchase a few reports to see how accurate their spending level and spending behavior reports are, as this could become a great prospecting tool and market research tool for Procurement Service Providers. However, I would guess that they probably simply estimate those expenses based off the estimated revenue for that given company.
For now, Cortera is focusing its efforts on attracting small businesses who cannot afford D&B's traditional pricing model. At $3.00 per report, I think it is a bargain, provided the data is accurate. Cortera thinks they have a shot because they can attract business that normally cannot afford D&B reports. However, the costs for running a site like this can be extreme, especially when it comes to policing the data and reviews that users are submitting. So we will have to see if they are able to pull this off.
Has anyone out there used Cortera yet? Any Feedback?