It's never been easier to surf the web

Eyal Cohen, WalkMe

Eyal Cohen, WalkMe

Israeli start-up WalkMe’s aim is simple: make anyone’s web experience as easy as possible.
With people becoming increasingly dependent on the internet and spending a significant proportion of their time online — in the UK, 50 per cent more that they were five years ago according to Ofcom — the need for clear and effective websites is greater than ever. Enter WalkMe, which was established for exactly this reason: to make websites easier for their users to navigate and understand.
Business owners and service providers are able to overlay on-screen “walk-thrus” that assist end-users to quickly and easily complete any online process, turning complex tasks into intuitive and user-friendly experiences.

WalkMe has created the platform, which guides the website hosts through the processes needed to improve its site. It provides tutorials that take users through webpages, providing pop-up balloons triggered by a user’s actions that tell them how to proceed. The technology works on top of a the existing websites so it doesn’t have to be built in, and can be tailored for the complexity or variations of individual sites.
It creates small interactive pop-up bubbles that appear over various points on a site to lead — or “walk” — users through a typical interaction, be it a bank website, insurance company or e-commerce site. The pop-up bubbles (aka, tip balloons) highlight the next steps of a process, and can be placed on the site where the user might want to add some extra information and/or tips to increase conversion rates and form submissions.
The company also has a video demonstrating how the application works. No technical experience is necessary, as WalkMe uses an easy drag and drop interface to create the menus and prompts.
Launched in April, WalkMe already has hundreds of high-profile clients including Expedia, Jewish agency, Wix, Deloitte, Cisco and Adobe.

It has secured $5.5 million in series B funding from Gemini Israel Ventures, Mangrove Capital Partners (which has invested twice putting in $1 million earlier this year) and Giza Venture Capital, and is credited as being the best tool for guiding users through websites.
Co-founder Eyal Cohen, who worked as a product manager at Intel, says: “My girlfriend (now wife’s) mother was asking for her help on a website and she didn’t understand why there weren’t any tools available to help her do things on the internet. Then it just hit me one day that I should do something and so I came up with a prototype.”

It took a few years in development but he teamed up with serial entrepreneur and former HP software designer, Dan Adika, and the now WalkMe president Rafi Sweary, and WalkMe has become the “go-to” interactive online guidance system. It is also believed to be the world’s first such system.

There are some 20 staff split between the company’s branches in Tel Aviv and San Francisco.
“Many people get scared by websites,” says Mr Cohen. “Even the best products can have complicated websites. And even I don’t understand some websites and need help — and looking for help isn’t easy to do.
“We are getting some really good feedback. People are spending longer on sites and end users are contacting our customers asking for more ‘walk-thrus’. One customer support team told us they that have thrown away their support videos and chat and now only use WalkMe.”

The WalkMe package starts at $97 a month, depending on the features.
The company is now targeting expansion and seeking to broaden its marketing activities. Mr Cohen is confident that the company will break even quicker than most start-ups.
Prior to WalkMe, Mr Cohen, 34, was a product manager and systems analyst at Leumi Card. Before that, he was at Intel.
www.walkme.com

    Last updated: 9:43am, December 13 2012