[Part 4] TheFind launched relatively recently, and has gained very good traction already. They are also generating some ad revenues at a $5-$10 CPM range via a partnership with Glam Media. Let’s hear more details from Siva.
SM: What stage are you at now?
SK: Our site has been open to consumers for the last five months and seeing very good user adoption. We have begun to generate revenues from CPC and will generating revenue from banner advertisements in a few weeks. We have also made significant progress on attracting key blog and content web sites as distribution partners.
With these market proof points under the belt, we are in the midst of raising a new outside round of financing which will take us to cash positive operations with the next twelve months, following which all options are open. Our company’s assets include the unique and patent pending technology we have developed and the broad market appeal we are seeing for our site among on our target audience.
SM: What kind of traction do you have?
SK: We have experienced very rapid growth since our launch late October 2006. In the five months of operation to date, we have grown to a run rate of more than one million visits generating over five million page views a month. Since December, month over month growth rates have been accelerating as are repeat users and people directly seeking out TheFind.
Consumer activity on our site is very intense with average sessions lasting 6.5 to 7 minutes and involving 3-4 searches and 5+ page views. This shows us that many of our design assumptions are proving correct and we are tapping into the unmet need of consumers for the shopping search of lifestyle products.
SM: Is your team complete? Does it have depth?
SK: With our ambitious goal of delivering truly compelling shopping search, we needed a talented team to execute and we have managed to hire the very best in the various areas. We have a consumer experience oriented marketing and product management group that works closely with our experienced and smart technology team. Senior executives in engineering, marketing and business development are all in place and are industry veterans in the Consumer Internet space. Our team is not complete and over the next year, we will be bringing on seasoned executives to head up our Ad sales efforts as well as our finance group.
SM: What is the business model of your company? Ad Revenue only? Or are you also going to private label on behalf of other media / internet companies? What do you charge to do so?
SK: We believe in offering the best, shopping search results that are unbiased and based on true market relevance, and building advertising opportunities around those results. At present the model that is most appealing to the retailers and brands is a combination of banner advertisements (CPM) and CPC based product listings shown clearly marked as sponsored results (above the organic search results).
We are partnering with sites that have content related to lifestyle goods and this includes blogs and publishing sites. These partnerships help us brand ourselves to consumers by associating ourselves with known and trusted entities. They definitely help drive more search volumes and page views on our site. The partnerships are co-branded with a “powered by TheFind” icon and our own user experience framed by the partners’ identity. The business model is typically a revenue share with the partner.
SM: What is the revenue & profitability status of the company?
SK: We are generating revenue at present and expect to hit profitability early in 2008.
SM: Are you looking to raise another round of funding? Timeframe?
SK: We are in the midst of raising a new and what should be our last round of financing.
SM: Again, here’s a company that should breeze through the financing round. It is also a company that could power a number of high-traffic content / community oriented destinations, and help them make the leap into Web 3.0. We will review TheFind from a product perspective in the future.