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Building Platforms Based on Data, With Philip Bahoshy

Updated: Apr 1

Episode 25: Building platforms based on data

Hi everyone,

In today's episode, we have the second episode our 7-part series/ collaboration with 500 Startups. Today I'll be chatting with Philip who is the CEO and Founder of MAGNiTT — they publish one of my fav MENA-centric newsletters.

In our latest episode, we sit down with Philip Bahoshy whose the founder and CEO of MAGNiTT, the first venture data platform serving founders and investors across emerging markets. Philip worked at Oliver Wyman in the Financial Services practice for three years, followed by nearly three years at Barclays Wealth working as Chief of Staff to the CEO, advising on strategic initiatives.

Together we discuss:

  1. How to use newsletters to build your business (audience and revenue growth)

  2. The importance of knowing your customer to your product development process

  3. The rising popularity of the MENA opportunity amongst the global startup ecosystem

  4. MAGNiTT's approach to building a data-driven tech company

Business newsletters can help you connect with your audience and even be a source of revenue

A newsletter (whatever the frequency maybe) can act as a mechanism to help build awareness of your business to the people who would like to learn more. As your business grows, you can share your insights and updates with your audience through this medium.

When not serving to reach your customers about your business, newsletters can be built as revenue-generating products. MAGNiTT offers several types of newsletters, and these are all self-sufficient. For example, they have a daily newsletter that highlights 5 or 6 relevant news articles to keep people up to date (good for people who want to hear breaking news), as well as a weekly newsletter that wraps up all the key activities of the week (good for people who don't mind playing catch-up once the week is over).

Know your customer!

Every business should tailor its offering with a specific audience or customer in mind. Usually, if a startup is based in MENA, their audience is in the MENA region — makes sense because of the similarities between the home and target markets. But as these startups grow, their target audience also grows to other regions. Accordingly, businesses should create products or services that complement the interests of their ever-evolving target customers.

This is convenient because it's easiest to physically visit and understand the market, industry, culture, and region.

International investors are becoming MENA-curious

As the MENA ecosystem has been growing, people from other regions have started to notice and have begun investing in the region. And so, data platforms and media companies have gained — they've become the source of the latest information for these international investors to stay up-to-date and informed.

By seeing sharing local success stories, other entrepreneurs and investors are getting more and more bought into the MENA opportunity.

Integrity and transparency are key to data-driven businesses

MAGNiTT has built its research capabilities in-house, which feed off its data platform.

Therefore, it produces all its reports internally and owns its business intelligence (which is a part of its intellectual property).

When producing reports, MAGNiTT has moved away from PowerPoint-based presentations to integrated, analytical dashboards where users can use virtual tools to pull insights straight from the database.

When building a data-driven business, it's essential to build a verification process into your system, in order to preserve the integrity of your information, especially when working with third-party data. MAGNiTT ensures this by making all reported data available to everyone with access to its platform.

Until next time,



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