Sramana: Was Terapeak based in Toronto as well?
Kevin North: No, it was based in Victoria, BC. It was on Vancouver Island.
Sramana: What was the financing strategy of the company before and after?
Kevin North: Terapeak has done only one round of financing. My connection to the company was through the VCs that invested in Terapeak. The company invested $4 million dollars in December of 2010. I was trying to salvage what I could of that money.
We got into a spot where that money was being burnt very quickly. We reversed course and we are now in a position where our balance sheet is very healthy. We are at a point now where we have some breathing room and we are growing our database.
We can now look at the next level of growth as a natural progression of the company. We are considering doing a pretty big round later this year. For us that would be Q1 or Q2 of 2015. We have a lot of interest from investors so we are having that dialogue now. We are planning out the initiatives that we would do with that money.
Sramana: I think it is very interesting that Terapeak found its niche by productizing a Big Data analytics process.
Kevin North: The thing that still impresses me to this day is how well Terapeak understands Big Data. Terapeak has had to deal with Big Data and some of the complex problems around Big Data analytics. In its early days, Terapeak had to make money by performing analysis on Big Data. It had to provide amazing analytics on massive amounts of data.
Today that is even more compounded because we have multiple datasets. We have Amazon data, Yahoo Japan data, and other data sources. Terapeak has its roots as a quiet, humble company but I think this company needs to be heard. We are doing revolutionary, innovative things. We were doing that before Big Data was a buzz word. We are successful because we have a huge head start and proficiency working with multiple datasets and making sense of massive amounts of data that come into this company daily.
Sramana: It also sounds like you have a really good understanding of how to handle and process marketplace data, right? That is a very specific niche within Big Data.
Kevin North: Absolutely. It is data that is transactional by nature. There are a lot of forms of Big Data. The value proposition around our data is how fast we can work with it. If you are serving up analytics that are old and out of date, then you are useless to the merchant. Trends are about here and now.
Sramana: You are addressing a very real-time problem.
Kevin North: That is very well said. We really don’t have any competitors in this space. There are companies that struggle to do what we do in this world of marketplace merchants. Other companies are trying to pull their own numbers and are trying to rely on Google. We are really the only analytics platform for marketplace data.
Sramana: I really enjoyed your story. I love what you are doing. It is really awesome. Best of luck as you press forward.