It’s no surprise to any of us that the internet is strongly opinionated. Each product review or casual comment on reddit is a little piece of unstructured data that when aggregated and organized reveals surprising insights about human behavior. One startup, Yogi, saw impactful potential in better understanding those millions and billions of opinions.
Yogi helps companies track and quantify customer feedback. Co-founders Gautam Kanumuru and Chad Becker developed the AI-powered analytics service so customers could understand public opinion data rapidly and collectively. Chad and Gautam met while at the University of Virginia, and after successful careers in big tech chose to pursue their idea for Yogi. Backed by an initial $100k investment from New York’s prestigious ERA program they went on to secure another $2.3 million in seed funding from powerhouse investors including RTP.
With strong backgrounds in natural language processing, they’re developing a system that collects and organizes millions of unstructured consumer opinions from across the web in minutes. An early challenge for Yogi was deciding how customers should see and interact with much data all at once.
“We try to include the customer’s voice in every decision we make,” shared Gautam. With early customers already onboard and ready to help test the app, Gautam and Chad created a cadence of rapid feature development and customer testing cycles to get the front-end and data visualization pieces right. They knew they needed to bring in additional front-end expertise to move as quickly as they wanted.
When the Yogi team approached Turtle with specs and a game plan, we were able to quickly pair them with Roman, a freelance front-end developer based in Russia who keeps a flexible schedule and was interested in the idea of a rapid testing cycle. After an initial onboarding with the team, he now seamlessly joins as they spin up engineering work and helps distill feedback and prioritize feature ideas.
“We needed someone who was able to work with a level of abstraction. Who could pivot on a moment’s notice. Who pushes back when we come up with ideas. Roman fits right in. He’s an integrator. He’s a personality we really enjoy working with,”
Once Yogi hands off the latest release to their customers for testing, they’re able to slow down their pace and budget with Turtle, saving their resources while also giving Roman time to freelance with additional companies through Turtle.
Gautam explained, “As a startup, priorities are always shifting, capabilities are always changing. Our engineering pipeline is more like a bar graph. We’re constantly revving up and down and pushing things out.” And for Roman, “The balance is great-- different projects always keep things interesting.”
For Yogi’s Spring push to get new feature requests into the customer’s hands, Roman and the Yogi team worked together to set key deadlines and create clear time estimates with Turtle’s tools. With each new feature and task prioritized within Turtle’s app, they were able to quickly communicate and meet their goals on time and on budget.
The latest release of Yogi was shipped the first week of May, as promised to the customers, and the team is looking forward to ramping up again soon to hit the next set of milestones.
“With Turtle, we can operate at the speed we need to.”