Making it Work

Research firm Bounce Insights looking to home-grown AI to fuel booming bottom line

The Dublin company says it is “technology-driven” but powered by people

Liz Corcoran, research and partnerships director of Bounce. Picture: Bryan Meade

Dublin-based Bounce Insights is looking to expand tenfold over the coming years, built off further development of its tech platform and continuous growth in its main product – an AI-powered market research platform.

“We are technology driven but powered by people,” said Liz Corcoran, Bounce research and partnerships director.

“We use our generative AI technology to speed up the research process, both from design to data analysis through to delivery using our in-house research engine that our development team has built,” Corcoran said.

“Because we’re able to speed up the process so considerably, we can cut down on the amount of money it takes to run a research project because we cut down on the amount of time it takes humans to design the research, script it, and analyse it at the end of the process,” she added.

Fact File

Firm: Bounce Insights

Founded by: Josh Stafford, Brandon Dooley, Rónán Dowling-Cullen, Brian O'Mahony and Charlie Butler in 2019

Staff: 20

Turnover in 2023: €1 million

That process can save marketing and research teams hours, days, or even weeks when performing research, according to Corcoran.

Bounce sees itself as a blend between self-service market research tools and the traditional agency approach, a sort of best-of-both-worlds approach to market insights, driven by their technology stack, which is built upon OpenAI’s ChatGPT 4.

Self-service market research tools enable anyone to perform DIY consumer research, but depending on the user’s knowledge, it might not produce the most useful results, said Corcoran.

On the other hand, traditional agencies like Kantar and Ipsos produce high-quality results, but are slower and can be expensive, she explained.

And the blended approach appears to be working for Bounce, with global clients like Tesco, Kraft, Glanbia, Mondelez and many more under their belt, the company has surged to annual revenues of €1 million, and isn’t stopping there.

“We're aiming to the €10 million annual revenue mark as our next milestone in the coming years, and how we’re going to do that is really by developing our tech side of the business,” Corcoran said.

“We have a really ambitious roadmap where we intend to not just become the purveyors and designers of primary research, but to look into the really exciting area of big data.

“That’s ingesting other forms of data and looking for patterns and outcomes and really looking towards predicting outcomes, which is where I would say the business may go in the next five years,” she said.

The company’s ambitious revenue and technological goals are also matched by its hiring targets, with the firm doubling in headcount over the last 12 months to 20 people, and hiring ongoing in its commercial and software teams.

Other markets, especially the US, are also in the firm’s long-term crosshairs, but Corcoran is frank about how saturated it is from a research perspective.

“The US market particularly is a difficult market to crack,” she said. “It’s huge, and they have fantastic research providers over there - they know the market, they know the brands, and obviously every territory works very differently,” she added.

But Enterprise Ireland (EI) had been a great resource to the firm in expanding the business, Corcoran said.

“They have been key in helping us get into other markets and make introductions,” she said, pointing to a recent demonstration in Italy, instigated by EI, where they got the chance to meet with high-profile brands.

“They gave us a platform to communicate what Bounce is and what we do,” she said.

“We got the opportunity to very quickly present our offerings, present our value proposition and really try to engage with brands that otherwise may not have heard of us,” she said.

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland