Building a Startup Within a Startup: The Birth of SimilarTech

We have officially launched SimilarTech, a new way for tech companies to discover relevant leads, get insights on the usage of web-based technologies across the internet, and get a complete understanding of the technologies that every successful site uses to run their business.

The story of how we came to be is an unusual, one which I wanted to share with other entrepreneurs who will be able to relate to how the inception of a new business often combines friendship, a shared hunger to turn market opportunities into technology to solve business problems, and of course, some luck.

I’ve known Or Offer and Nir Cohen, the founders of SimilarWeb, since the company was just the two of them working from home. When Nir moved to Tel Aviv, we shared a flat together and when Or heard that I had stopped working on a previous venture, we decided to meet and discuss potential opportunities to work together. I was certain that I wanted to run my own startup so we had a productive brainstorm session on how we could build something new by leveraging SimilarWeb’s existing infrastructure, technology, and data which can be used in innumerable ways to help the growing need for reliable insights in the digital world.

Two months later, I met Eyal Weiss who started working at SimilarWeb after he finished working on his previous startup. Since he was also hungry to build something new and start his next big adventure, Or suggested I meet with Eyal to explore the idea of him joining the new company.

Both Eyal and I initially worked part-time at SimilarWeb while simultaneously building SimiarTech. Once SimilarWeb’s platform was launched, we were able to focus our full attention into building, launching, and managing SimilarTech.

The tech community has received SimilarTech with open arms, we are now certain of the demand for our unique technology to identify business leads and our data is already being used as a benchmark for insights on technology usage across the web. However, the journey to create and launch our platform was unconventional to say the least, that’s why I’ve gathered 5 crucial learning from our journey so far:


  1. Opportunities can come from anywhere

I came to SimilarWeb with an open mind, without really knowing what type of business I wanted to create, but with the certainty that I wanted to lead and start a new project. The growth and traction of SimilarWeb has been (and still is!) outstanding, but knowing Or and Nir since the early days was a wonderful way to work with a team I already trusted and admired.


  1. Celebrating entrepreneurship

SimilarWeb’s entrepreneurial DNA is a hotbed for fresh ideas and it’s this very culture that values and fosters entrepreneurial thinking. This was essential for us to be able to build SimilarTech while still working part-time for SimilarWeb. Our company wasn’t considered a ‘side project’ but a real company from the get-go with SimilarWeb identifying its future potential to stand on its own as a successful and independent business.


  1. Emancipating at the right time

Transitioning from working part-time on SimilarWeb while still developing SimilarTech was challenging. By the time SimilarTech was ready, SimilarWeb had grown to 80 employees which meant that there were more developers to keep working on the product, and I had completed my tasks and was ready to emancipate! The experience gained during my time at SimilarWeb was also invaluable to develop SimilarTech with the know-how and experience to avoid past mistakes and using the many lessons gained from such a successful platform.


  1. Embrace uncertainty

When I started SimilarTech, I didn’t fully know which shape or form it would take. While the initial version focused more on measuring usage of technologies across the web, we soon discovered that the real value came from going a step further and providing customers with bespoke targeted leads of potential clients based on when, where, and how they use certain competing or complimentary technologies. Few industries change at the pace that high tech does and it is essential to be open to rethink and re-formulate your product and value proposition that evolve with the market.


  1. Cultivating relationships

Working at SimilarWeb meant we were exposed to some of the best talent in the industry; from marketing to product to sales. This allowed us to receive invaluable advice from colleagues who kindly helped us along the way with various aspects of our business. Some of these same colleagues are even working at SimilarTech now! The value of good relationships can never be emphasized strongly enough, nobody knows where any of us will be tomorrow and building a solid network of friends and colleagues is what enabled us to create, launch, and grow SimilarTech.


I hope this post helps other entrepreneurs pursue their dream, with hard work and perseverance, your side project could one day become your day job. When you feel that growth isn’t as fast or as soon as you hoped for it to be, just remember that all great things have small beginnings.

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About the Author -

Yaniv is the CEO of SimilarTech. He co-founded SimilarTech, a lead-generation and qualification solution for web companies.

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