At exactly 3:00 pm on April 11, 2013, Keshav Malani emailed his sister Shruti Malani Krishnan this subject line: “Idea: Get paid for your data.” Krishnan replied, “Yes, makes sense,” and Powr of You was born.
Powr of You is a personal data analytics platform which connects individual users with companies to produce more comprehensive consumer analytics profiles. In turn, users are paid for sharing their data.
Krishnan had been working with data analytics from the brand perspective to help develop a better understanding of consumers’ contextual backgrounds, and knew this was something many companies were struggling to piece together. She recognized an opportunity for users to benefit from sharing those details by earning money, and getting a better view of their own habits and behaviors.
Krishnan explains, “We started not just with the idea that your data can be useful not just in terms of monetary benefits to you, but insights. So, actually understanding your behavior can help you understand the application of that behavior, can help you understand how you can improve your habits by measuring things.”
Krishnan and Malani took the time early on to confirm there was an interest in from individual users and companies before developing the platform. They surveyed potential users in different age groups, and talked to multiple agencies and brands.
With widespread interest from both groups, Krishnan and Malani began developing the platform in December 2013. Krishnan says one of the biggest challenges has been introducing this concept to organizations who express an eagerness to embrace innovative technologies, but hesitant to be the earliest adopters.
“The personal data space is something we’re actually defining while we’re building. It’s very difficult to actually convince people that just because it’s innovative, doesn’t mean there’s more of a risk.”
Working with personal data reveals the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate things, like the relationship between using your phone before bed and your level of productivity at work the next day. Krishnan explains,
“It’s more complex than you can imagine. If you think about drawing lines from everything you do in a day, it becomes complex very quickly. I think we don’t realize how many things can be connected with each other until you give it a second thought.”
Krishnan says having her brother as her co-founder has been a highlight of working on Powr of You.
“I’m one of those people who needs Plan A, B, C, and D, and this is the first thing I did where I had no Plan B, even. Working with my brother made that such a smooth transition, and my husband is consistently involved in advising us as well. Having that family support, but also, there’s no getting started, getting to know each other’s working style and how we talk. It just took away all of that stress and it was just open exchange and interesting ideas, and I love it.”
Powr of You is currently focused on growing their user base and is raising funds in a seed round.