iPhone 5 Adds to VERSUS IO’s Impressive Growth

By David Knight |

The launch of the iPhone 5 has been greeted enthusiastically around the world – and nowhere more so than in the Berlin offices of VERSUS IO, a startup offering a unique kind of product comparison. Its website has been flooded with people wanting to compare Apple’s latest offering with the competitors, notably the Samsung S3.

But there’s more to why VERSUS IO can lay claim to being one of the city’s fastest growing startups – traffic has tripled in just 120 days, and Wednesday will see the launch of four new comparison categories in addition to the current smartphones: Tablets, cameras, apps and camcorders.

It means that users now have access to 3 million different comparisons in a total of 18 languages.

VERSUS IO was founded by Ramin G. Far in July 2011, and received €700,000 in funding from JMES Investments and HTGF a year later. The algorithms his company have developed allows people to compare different products in an easy-to-understand format which appeals to our ‘logic psyche’. Ultimately, Ramin told Silicon Allee, the platform will allow for people comparisons as well as products and services.

In the meantime, he has seen unique visits leap from 520,000 in June to 1.5 million so far this month, with 100,000 each day since the launch of the iPhone 5 on September 12.

Cross-Comparing Products

The new app comparison is targeted at developers who want to compare the performance of their apps against competitors in the App Store and Google Play based on factors including rankings and performance data in different regions, genres and application type.

But, according to Ramin, one of the main reasons behind the success of VERSUS IO is the fact that users can cross-compare products, such as a smartphone and a tablet. And while the iPhone 5 launch provided a massive bump, he is convinced that will lead to sustained traffic growth.

He said: “From the moment the iPhone 5 was presented, people started searching for it to quickly get a clue of what it was.”

The new categories are an important step – although ultimately, there will be 640 altogether. But the choice of these first few is very deliberate. Ramin added: “Cameras is a really important category because in the consumer electronics market, it has a major market share. And what’s more, we can compare a camera to a phone. This makes sense, because the new phones like the iPhone are so good at taking photos, so you can compare them to compact cameras. It makes sense to think, well should I buy a really expensive DSLR which I can use maybe once a month because I have to carry it around, or is the iPhone 5 enough?”

The End Goal

The people comparison functionality will hopefully installed by the end of the year – and will start with small groups, such as entrepreneurs or football players. “Because the data is so massive, we cannot do this with content managers – we will do this with crawlers and bots. They will crawl for specific data which is important to human comparisons. This is the first step into making this company really into a technology company. This is our aim; this is the end goal.”

Ramin promised another category launch next month – but in the meantime, he offered an intriguing insight into a possible new trend. With Nokia struggling to claw back lost momentum in the smartphone market, VERSUS IO might have some good news. Following the Samsung 3S, the most popular comparison choice for the iPhone 5 is the Lumia 920