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Hello World: The World’s First Merchant Data Platform

Will Bewley

We’re excited to announce that Woflow has raised $3.5M and we are simultaneously launching our new product — the world’s first Merchant Data Platform.

Our latest funding round was led by David Sacks at Craft Ventures with participation from Base10 Partners and Flex Capital. Our investors share our vision for the data infrastructure that is required to build and grow merchant-led marketplaces at scale and with efficiency.

The Problem

We created Woflow to structure the world’s unstructured data. In 2017 we found our first niche helping food delivery companies structure menus more efficiently as they quickly onboarded the world’s restaurants onto their platforms.

Traditionally performed by knowledge workers, structuring data, like menus for online use, was seen as a transcription problem. Knowledge workers needed to be trained on the rules of the road (i.e. something succinctly written into a 50-page “style guide”), and learned on the job through a multi-month feedback loop of working-auditing-fixing. This was the roaring ‘20s of the business process outsourcing (BPO) era, who charged based on the number of human labor hours used to do this work.

Through close partnerships with our customers we learned how a number of BPOs operate, and became the industry experts in menu transcription. We built-up a huge dataset of catalog-specific bounding boxes, key-value pairs, and annotations and tags. The goal was to create a system that could take a highly complex unstructured data problem, like structuring catalog data or image mapping, and use our dataset to automate it.

Over half a million menus later, we’ve adapted our approach, and have launched an automated, industry-agnostic, solution for this type of work.

The Solution

We have launched the world’s first Merchant Data Platform  — a platform that gives companies of all sizes access to the world’s most sophisticated task automation system (we call it the 'Woflow Engine'). The Woflow Engine is capable of breaking down these large, complex jobs into smaller, trainable tasks that can be completed asynchronously, quickly and accurately.

The result for our customers is high-quality data, returned in industry-shattering turnaround times, at a great, per-transaction price.

How It Works

  • Job submission: Customer jobs are submitted via the platform or automatically via API such as through our Salesforce integration
  • Queuing and dispatching: The ML-powered task automation system transforms complex jobs into smaller trainable tasks
  • Consensus: Multiple instances of tasks are completed by ML models and workforce users ensuring quality using an automated consensus system
  • Conflict resolution: Any lower confidence conflicts that arise are reviewed and resolved by a higher-level member of the distributed workforce
  • Job completion: Results are compiled into structured data including any customer-specific programmatic output requirements. Results are returned via API

Click here to see a cool visualization of the process:

How We’re Helping

The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation for a number of industries, including restaurants and local businesses. This has led to the fast growth of online ordering solutions and delivery networks, such as food delivery platforms.

We work on behalf of all companies looking to help their merchants get online, and keep their data up to date, whether it’s fitting into their onboarding flow, or taking update requests from customer support.

We love this quote from Kevin Tan, the CEO of one of our customers, Snackpass:

As Snackpass continues through a period of enormous growth across many new markets, Woflow’s Merchant Data Platform solved one of our biggest bottlenecks — onboarding merchant data — and turned it into a delightful step.

We’d love to work with you

We currently work with many of the industry innovators in food delivery, online ordering, POS systems, retail and eCommerce. If you have a complex data problem please reach out, we’d love to help!

You can read more in our latest coverage from VentureBeat here, as well as in our press release here.

About Woflow

Woflow is a leader in catalog digitization and data management providing the world's first Merchant Data Platform. Woflow helps industry-defining platforms and marketplaces create and maintain complex structured data at scale. Woflow was founded in 2017 by Jordan Nemrow (CEO) and Will Bewley (COO) and is based in San Francisco, CA.


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