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|Articles - October 2012|
|Monday, September 24, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
A graduate of Willamette University’s joint MBA/law program, Peter Ozolin was always more interested in entrepreneurialism than the practice of law. So in 2010, he co-founded Manzama, a startup that searches the Internet for data relevant to the company’s legal clients. The so-called “listening platform” monitors Facebook, blogs, Twitter, legal journals and other sites for information about specific cases, clients or law firms, then filters and analyzes it depending on the user’s needs. For example, a law firm might choose to track Oracle’s merger and acquisition activity, Walmart’s class action suits, or references to judges and expert witnesses. The software also lets users identify emerging trends and shows spikes in online activity on a given topic. So far, Manzama has landed 50 of the country’s top 250 law firms as clients; smaller law firms are also onboard. The company recently licensed its platform to a health care organization interested in tracking the pharmaceutical industry. Investment and accounting firms are also a natural fit for the platform, Ozolin says. Search engines and news aggregators have limited value for companies interested in business intelligence, he adds. “We didn’t set out to compete with Google alerts. But the firms that have adopted us don’t use it anymore.”
PRODUCT: Web-monitoring software
CEO: Peter Ozolin
AT A GLANCE
Raised several million from angel investors and venture capital firms. Doubled revenue from last year; current monthly revenues are between $150,000 and $175,000. Employs 15 full-time workers and several contractors.
“The name Manzama has two stories to it. The first is that it’s Swahili for ‘From many there is one.’ The other is: It doesn’t have a meaning. We did submit the first for an official definition in Webster’s dictionary.”
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