CrowdIPR has adjusted their pricing model, now allowing their intellectual property rights crowdsourcing platform to take advantage of freemium features. Also In early February, CrowdIPR also received $135 000 of additional funding from Northstar Ventures and IP Group, both UK-based venture capital firms. The company has also moved part of the operations to the TechHub in London, while also keeping a presence in Newcastle and Tallinn. CrowdIPR is still in private beta, but recently they have conducted close to 20 research projects with universities and companies from the UK, Estonia and Russia.
CrowdIPR allows a company to crowdsource research on past innovations when filing for a patent. When submitting a patent application to the government, companies must first determine the novelty of their product. They do this by researching everything that has been previously published which pertains to their technology or “art.” Patent searchers on CrowdIPR post links to relevant patents and pull information from a directory of resources. The most valuable searchers are then rewarded with cash or gift cards.
With the new model CrowdIPR now allows basic research projects to crowdsource up to 30 references for free. It’s curious to explore using a freemium model with crowdsourcing, but the company explains its a chance for researchers to enhance their profiles to show off sector-specific competencies and experiences they have gathered from the studies. This will give researchers more earning opportunities in the paid projects, which will make the biggest difference when CrowdIPR releases confidential projects, where researching clients choose researchers based on their profiles.
Rather than this being some sort of pivot, Taavi Raidma, Founder and CEO of CrowdIPR tells us that this pricing model has always been in their mind, but they needed to grow to a critical mass before offering freemium features. The community has recently passed 500 researchers and the user base is growing by 10-20% per week.
“Part of the reason behind going for this kind of approach is our aim to make the IP system more accessible,” says CEO Raidma. “Even a very basic research can sometimes help tech startups and university research groups a great deal. It should give people and companies a better idea on the value of their creation as well as help spotting new opportunities in the market.”