Koble Launches TrueReview – B2B Reviews of Suppliers & Buyers

It’s a while since we gave an update on Koble - essentially, it is a social network for businesses that helps enterprise users connect and collaborate with customers, suppliers, prospects and business partners.

It uses a social media-type approach to help buyers find and work with appropriate suppliers and vice versa.  And because it is enterprise-focused, it is different from any other social media platform we know – for example, buyers register which spend areas they are interested in and can link (in a controlled and anonymous manner if desired) with potential providers in that area.

Anyway, last week the firm announced an interesting new feature. It’s something that we’ve expected to become more prevalent in the B2B world for a while, given it's so ubiquitous these days in B2C. But actually Koble is one of the first platforms to really focus on this. We’re talking about a ratings process, as in Trip Adviser, Amazon and pretty much every B2C interaction we have these days.  (How many “how did we do” emails a week do you get now?)

So Koble has now launched TrueReview for buyers and suppliers.

“With the launch of TrueReview, Koble is now making B2B business reviews possible via a simple user interface. Koble members can now provide trustworthy reviews of suppliers and clients via their authenticated work email. In addition, members now have the option of leaving reviews under varying degrees of anonymity to empower more honest feedback without harming professional networks”.

Fabrice Saporito, the CEO and founder of Koble said this.

“While the recommendation economy has transformed the digital B2C buying process, finding a platform that enables business buyers to help other businesses buy from suppliers and vendors by sharing their experience about a service provider has proven difficult. I believe we’ve uncovered a solution that can vastly improve B2B eCommerce as it grows into a $1.2 trillion market by 2021.”

Koble differentiates itself from networks such as LinkedIn as it is a purely business platform – users work through business emails and the connections “belong” to the enterprise, not the individual, as in the case of LinkedIn. That has an obvious value to businesses, who can find that valuable information about contacts and even commercial details disappear with the person’s LinkedIn account when someone leaves the business!

The Koble announcement also suggests that suppliers and buyers will be rated; that could be really interesting if we start seeing how companies perform and behave not just as suppliers but also as buyers. Back to the announcement;

“The new feature will also strengthen Koble’s network effect, given its platform is built around network reciprocity. Members of the Koble platform can review their suppliers and even their clients using different levels of anonymity:

  • Public review: The name of the author and company is visible
  • Anonymous review: Only the name of the company is shown in the review
  • Private review: Only members of the company reviewing and matching with the client/supplier sees the review and its attachments

“In the age of fake news and bots, businesses of all sizes are finding a home on Koble to engage with other businesses that are who they say they are," added Saporito.

That authenticity, with a high degree of privacy and control – yet also having the ability to find suppliers and buyers, and interact with them – is what makes Koble (still) unique, and has led to its growth and success in terms of metrics such as message response rates. And it will be fascinating to see how TrueReview works in practice; it just might be a game-changer in terms of buyer/seller relationships.

(Note: Peter Smith and Jason Busch both made small investments in Koble when it first launched.)

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