Sramana Mitra: From 2012 to 2014, what are the highlights of the journey?
Mattias Larson: We doubled the revenues in the first year and a half. We grew the business from 2 to 14 people. We really managed to crack paid search. We managed to get some big brands on board that were difficult to get before.
Sramana Mitra: What is the portfolio of sites that you now manage? Are they all deals kind of site?
Mattias Larson: It’s primarily paid search. We have definitely tried other venues such as SEO. We work with email marketing and social media channels. We also have something we call Eckim Remarketing where we partner with another partner who does remarketing, basically shopping cart abandonment. That’s something that we recently added to the portfolio, but the primary driver of revenue is DefinitiveDeals.
Sramana Mitra: What is the composition of these 14 people?
Mattias Larson: Rob and I are basically the leadership team. We have four people in development. We have another four in content management and three people who handle the paid search area. We have one app developer.
Sramana Mitra: What do you want to do with this business? What is the long-term vision for this?
Mattias Larson: Right now, we see that we have a tremendous growth curve. We want to take this to the next level by expanding both domestically and internationally. That’s our goal for this year – go to the emerging markets.
Sramana Mitra: What does that entail? One of the things in emerging markets is the cost search is lower but at the same time, is the merchandise value lower?
Mattias Larson: Yes. We do a lot of research first to see whether consumers in this country actually use coupons or vouchers and how often do they use them. We’re still doing the research to see where the next big market is. We are already doing paid search in some international markets such as Canada and Australia. We want to launch localized branded sites in new markets but we don’t know yet what countries that will be.
Sramana Mitra: In terms of the market where you have presence, are these markets saturated as far as your growth opportunities are concerned?
Mattias Larson: We still see there is still room to grow. Just using coupons in general has become more and more mainstream. We see that the search for coupons and deals is increasing.
Groupon is not really a competitor of ours. When they came to the marketplace, the awareness of online deals and coupons sites increased.
Sramana Mitra: There’s a lot more opportunity.
Mattias Larson: Right. Even these big retailers who are very afraid of discounting are getting into the coupon game. They are actually giving us coupon because they see that everybody is doing it.
Sramana Mitra: The higher end of the market – higher ticket items.
Mattias Larson: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: That could be a lot more lucrative for you in terms of being able to get higher levels of commissions.
Mattias Larson: Yes, higher commissions but of course, fewer transactions.
Sramana Mitra: Anything else you want to share in the story?
Mattias Larson: I think that summarizes how I started DefinitiveDeals.
Sramana Mitra: It was a pleasure talking to you. Congratulations on your success so far and good luck!