Sramana: What year did you sell Dyadem?
Kevin North: I sold the company in 2011.
Sramana: Did you have to stay or were you free to move on?
Kevin North: I had to stay for 10 months. I had to do the integration and I had revenue obligations to meet. I had to fulfill their revenue plan through November 30th, 2011 because that was the close of their fiscal year.
I had to do all of the classic stuff such as team integration. I had to build the strategy for integrating their technologies with ours. It was a busy time.
Sramana: When did you launch Terapeak?
Kevin North: I came into Terapeak about a month and a half after I left IHS. Terapeak was founded by two brothers in 2004. I was a new CEO to the company and the relationship there was that the investors who put in the first round in December of 2010 were people I knew. They had expressed interest in my previous organization and I had grown to know and respect them. When I sold Dyadem, they approached me about the Terapeak opportunity.
Sramana: What was the genesis of Terapeak? What was the value proposition?
Kevin North: The two brothers who founded Terapeak in 2004 were Andrew and Anthony Sukow. They were university students who were selling on eBay to make ends meet during school. They were very successful sellers but they found that they needed a way to get some understanding as to what was happening on eBay.
They did not feel that there was anything on the market to help sellers understand what was happening on the eBay marketplace. They built something to help their own selling efforts. They built an analytics platform and took it to San Jose to show eBay what they had done.
They had a very large audience of eBay management present to look at what they had developed. They were very impressed and long story short, several months later, they entered into a licensing agreement whereby Terapeak would receive a daily data feed of every eBay transaction from around the globe. That has been happening now for almost 10 years.
eBay assisted Terapeak because they believed it would help the merchant community and thus grow eBay. They felt the knowledge that merchants would get through Terapeak would make merchants more successful sellers, and as a result of that, they would bring on more merchandise resulting in more sells. When I was looking at joining Terapeak, I thought that the value proposition for folks like eBay was very interesting.
In 2004, Andrew and Anthony were pioneers of Big Data. They had to figure out how to take all of the data in from every single site, do analytics on it, and serve it up on a daily basis to all of the merchants. To me, this was a true entrepreneurship story.