By harnessing the power of crowd sourcing, startup business information provider InfoArmy wants to bring competitive intelligence about companies to iPad users.  Jim Fowler, previously of Jigsaw startup fame, aims to solve the problem of securing competitive business information with InfoArmy.

Fowler is using a crowdsourcing model similar to the one he developed and used with Jigsaw, which let users exchange data about business contacts.  InfoArmy will dig a little deeper than just providing contact data.  Each $99 report that the San Mateo-based company produces will offer an analysis of companies in their market context, including products, structure, profitability, and competitors over a period of time. The company will offer a year-long subscription, which includes an initial report, as well as quarterly updates.

InfoArmy will split sales revenue 50/50 with the researchers who help create the reports. The company has already signed up more than 100 researchers, including MBA students, business analysts, professors, and management consultants, according to VentureBeat.  When InfoArmy hits 100,000 reports, or critical mass, the company will enter a revenue phase.

Founded last year, InfoArmy has 24 employees, and has raised $2 million in venture funding, including $1 million from Fowler.

Fowler may hit another viable niche.  Notwithstanding the availability of low cost ‘synthetically generate credit reports’ there is still a need for ‘freshly investigated’ credit reports, which for instance the NACM offers.  With the crowdsourced method and additional research Fowler may only be a stone-throw away from offering credit reports.

So who else will volunteer to join InfoArmy?  Perhaps this will be an opportunity for all the retired or unemployed credit reporters and researchers to beef-up their income.

Source: Press reports