How OneValley and Seekr’s Custom AI Shopping Analyst Helps Entrepreneurs Move from 0 to 1 Faster

Seekr Team
July 9, 2024
onevalley haystack ai product recommendation tool
CompanyCustomer StoriesProduct

Here’s how OneValley is combining its data with AI to supercharge the startup economy

Global entrepreneur platform OneValley is on a mission to provide entrepreneurs and startup founders with the tools and resources they need to launch and grow their businesses.

Their online hub expands access to the resources and connections found in Silicon Valley to innovators anywhere in the world. But soon after launching, OneValley realized they needed to create a solution for entrepreneurs to find the right products for their unique business needs, at scale.

Helping founders move from 0 to 1 faster

In the first year of business, there are over 20 business services and technology tools that the average entrepreneur needs to get their business up and running.

This includes deciding the financial, marketing, customer support, and collaboration and communication products and systems to build their business on. Founders are faced with the challenge of piecing together the right tools, products, and systems from a massive ecosystem of options.

OneValley set out to help their community accelerate this process and gain market traction in their first years of business.

The problem to solve: speed and scale

Streamlining the research phase for founders would require OneValley to dedicate significant time and resources to providing comprehensive product reviews.

Creating product reviews manually is a losing battle—every week there are changes to vendors, features, and offerings that make static ‘Top 10’ lists and recommendations unhelpful and inaccurate—and a one-size-fits-all approach wouldn’t work.

“The unique needs of each founder are so diverse and nuanced—it seemed like an impossible solution for humans to solve at a cost that early-stage startups could afford.”

Alec Wright, CPO at OneValley

Setting the requirements

Alec started exploring AI solutions to tackle the challenge: a free interactive chat tool that answered founders’ questions on the best products for their specific needs.

OneValley’s team wanted to be certain that it would solve real problems for their customers. They needed a partner who could analyze and vet vast amounts of data and provide tailored recommendations to speed up the consideration phase for entrepreneurs.

Alec’s team reviewed several AI-powered prototypes built with pre-trained LLMs, but these options didn’t offer the accuracy and customization the tool would require. Other customizable solutions demanded a level of existing infrastructure and technical expertise beyond OneValley’s size and budget.

They needed a partner who could guide them through the development and deployment process to bring their product to life.

Finding a trusted partner in Seekr

OneValley chose Seekr because we met their criteria for accuracy, explainability, and technical support.

Accuracy and reliability: The product recommendation tool needed to deliver accurate answers to founders’ questions so they could find the right product. Seekr’s patented web crawling technology provided a rich database of verified information to train AI models with the highest accuracy.

Explainability: Their team needed to have confidence in the reasoning behind the model’s decision-making, so they felt comfortable deploying the solution to customers. Seekr’s explainability tools provided rich explanations into the model’s decision-making at inference so OneValley could understand and optimize responses for their specific use case.

Technical support: OneValley’s engineers are focused on their core enterprise product, so Haystack was truly a no-code team when they started working with Seekr. Seekr helped them organize their data and build a custom model with minimal technical expertise or investments in infrastructure.

“With Seekr, we found a partner who could help us unlock real value from AI while ensuring trust and accuracy.”

Alec Wright, CPO at OneValley

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Kickstarting the development process

OneValley started the development and deployment process by defining their success criteria and identifying key use cases, like vendor comparison and pricing analysis.

Alec and his team decided to train the model on 100 products for the first launch, focusing on financial tools and services. These are often the first and most unfamiliar decisions founders face when starting their business.

OneValley’s non-technical team didn’t have the resources to spend weeks cleaning and organizing data. Through SeekrFlow’s principle alignment feature, they were able to provide raw data in its current formats and let Seekr automate training data for their tightly defined principles and industry regulations.

“The Haystack product team was truly no code. Seekr guided us through the entire development process and met us where we were at from a data perspective.”

Tara Coleman, Strategic Initiative Director at OneValley

Fine-tuning an LLM for trust and accuracy

To streamline the LLM development process, OneValley leveraged SeekrFlow, which enables enterprises to build and run custom applications in one platform.

OneValley provided Seekr with the high-level principles and policy documents they wanted the model to adhere to, including guidelines on providing accurate financial information, maintaining ethical standards in recommendations, and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

seekrflow principle alignment workflow

Using OneValley’s provided principles, SeekrFlow’s AI agent performed an alignment workflow, automatically processing and creating the data needed to fine-tune the model to adhere to OneValley’s specific requirements.

Seekr then used Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) to ensure the model could always access important real-time information provided by OneValley, such as product features or pricing, so that their community would always receive the most accurate and personalized responses.

“The model’s primary function is to provide information and recommendations about a range of products and services businesses are interested in, reducing the cognitive load associated with these products and empowering entrepreneurs to make better-informed decisions.”

Phil Marshall, Principal Product Manager at Seekr

Validating the model

Before deployment, we ensured the model’s reliability through comprehensive testing on various unseen datasets. We evaluated performance using metrics like precision, recall, and F1-score. Moreover, we focused on additional evaluation areas such as answer relevance, document relevance, and hallucination avoidance to ensure high-quality, reliable outputs.

“Throughout the development process, Seekr maintained a client-centric approach. We established feedback loops to incorporate client insights post-deployment, addressed real-world challenges, and refined the model based on actual user experiences. This approach has allowed us to develop robust, scalable solutions capable of growing with user needs without compromising response quality.”

Phil Marshall, Principal Product Manager at Seekr

Launching Haystack, an AI-powered recommendation platform that accelerates product research for entrepreneurs

OneValley launched their custom AI solution as Haystack, a financial product recommendation tool for entrepreneurs.

By combining their data with Seekr’s development platform, OneValley created an engaging research experience for their community, helping them navigate the complex world of financial products and services including credit cards, banking, payment processing, financial management software, and payroll solutions.

The chatbot directs users to specific product pages on OneValley’s site and highlights affiliate links and special discounts to increase conversion rates for financial product sign-ups.

haystack ai product recommendation tool

Exceeding benchmarks at launch

The initial launch of the Haystack platform exceeded OneValley’s set benchmarks, with testing showing strong user engagement and product click-through rates.

  • Users found the chatbot responses to be clear and thorough
  • Approximately 60% of users felt confident enough to make purchase decisions after their first interaction with the chatbot
  • The overall product experience averaged 8/10
  • OneValley’s affiliate partners saw the immediate value and wanted to involve more of their accounts

OneValley plans to expand the Haystack experience with Seekr by introducing additional financial products and services, as well as entirely new categories in the coming months, including marketing tools and tech infrastructure. The Haystack model has given their team new opportunities to advance their mission of empowering the startup community.

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