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When we first told you about likeplum, a knowledge marketplace founded by two Emory students, back in April 2013 it was just getting started in an already competitive market, but that didn’t deter the team.  In just seven months likeplum is carving out a place of its own in the question and answer marketplace.  I recently spoke with co-founder and CEO, Richard Werbe to learn more about the success of the company and where they are heading.

One of the original uses of likeplum when we last covered it was to get help with homework and studying.  According to Mr. Werbe that is still a major use case of the site and being that it has been founded on the campus of a college that would make sense. When asked about cheating, Mr. Werbe acknowledged that cheating is a definite problem on the site but did say that the team is looking at ways to solve it.

But it’s not just school work that’s appearing on likeplum.  According to Werbe, there are questions about things ranging from programming to cars as well.  One feature that likeplum added post-launch was the ability to post tasks.  For example, if you want someone to build you an app or a website you can use likeplum to facilitate that.

Werbe & Co. have designed likeplum in a way to help foster relationships between the people asking questions and the people answering them.  The same way you develop relationships with your contractor or barber, likeplum is attempting to bring that aspect online.  Have a programming or computer question? Boom.  You know someone on likeplum who you can trust.  Need help with your car?  You have your contact on likeplum who can help.

Building trusted relationships is a key part of likeplum and it appears to be working. There have been more than 25,000 questions answered on the site and over $120,000 in transactions.  An interesting statistic Mr. Werbe brought to my attention is that 95 percent of revenue comes from old users — talk about a sticky user base.  Some other neat stats: 216 people having paid for more than 30 questions or tasks and 31 experts have made $1,000 or more.

Right now, likeplum is working on refining its existing features as well as expanding into new areas to round out its product offering.  In fact, I’m told that a “Services” aspect is being worked on right now.  So, for example, if you need a logo designed or an essay/resume edited — you will be able to get that on likeplum too.

Questions, tasks, and services are all interchangeable and there isn’t a site yet that can handle all three while providing a great experience — likeplum hopes to change that. “It’s [likeplum] all about exchanging utility,” Werbe said.


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