Sramana: How did you finance the company? Did you get the VCs to finance the concept?
Eran Yaniv: That is an interesting question. The concept we had in place that we were going to use to target mobile developers needed some engineering development. It did not need too much, but to prove the concept we needed some funds. We had worked with a VC in Israel called Carmel Ventures. They gave us a pre-seed funding to prove the concept out and take them, with that concept, to a few potential customers. They wanted to verify, with the market, that this was a good concept to go forward with. They gave us $250,000. We started out, literally, in a garage. We had five people there managing a simple budget. We proved the concept with Vodafone and a carrier in France and got good feedback. We did that tour with the VCs, and that led to our first round. >>>
Sramana Mitra: I think most of the big data solutions nowadays are being delivered in either public or private clouds.
Sandy Steier: But in that case, the purpose of the cloud is merely an outsourcing mechanism, so you don’t have to have your own computers and your own data center. It is not open to other people. If I put my database on Amazon EC2, that doesn’t mean you can get to it. >>>
Sramana Mitra: That is interesting. That brings me to the question about startups. Of the one million companies transacting on your system, what is the distribution? How many are large companies, how many are mid-sized companies, and how many are small companies?
Tim Minahan: Demographics would certainly tell you that the large majority of them are small, by nature. Certainly the Ariba network has been a massive channel for many small startups. I will give you an example around working capital and financial management, but also being exposed to new sales with global 2000 buyers. >>>
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 168th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, April 4, 2013, at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea to Ms. Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain constructive feedback and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch and learn. You can learn more here and register here. Join us!
According to an IDC report released earlier this year, the worldwide big data technology and services market is projected to grow annually at 31.7% in 2012 to $23.8 billion in 2016. The biggest increase should be seen by the storage market, which is projected to report annual rates of over 53%. Services for big data technology will grow annually at 21.1% during the period.
Sramana: What was the premise on which you founded Perfecto Mobile?
Eran Yaniv: I have two small stories from my past that I can tell to answer that question. When I worked for Converse, we would develop instant mobile applications for mobile operators in the U.S. We developed them in Israel and then came here to deploy them. When we did that we realized that in the US the entire environment, from the firmware to the handsets, was different. We had to redevelop aspects of the application. That is when we thought of the idea of remotely accessing handsets in the target markets. >>>
As you might know, India is a country firmly positioned on the global IT map, but as a service destination. For years, outsourcing has been the nation’s primary IT activity. I deliberately provoked a debate on the subject in 2008 with Death of Indian Outsourcing. India, however, hasn’t built many IT products.
A brief primer would perhaps help put things in perspective. “Product” companies build once and then market and sell the same thing multiple times to multiple customers. “Services” companies that do custom software development have to use “bodies” to do customer-specific development over and over again, with limited leverage. Theirs is a head count-based business model. Recently, popular software-as-a-service companies have come up with the model of “renting” software over the Web, thereby offering “products” as “services” while maintaining the scalability advantage of products.
Today’s roundtable had some very interesting businesses, each of which has a high potential for success.
First up, Ranjit Nambiar, from Bangalore, India, pitched Sapience (a 1M/1M premium company). We worked on Sapience’s positioning and go-to-market strategy, primarily. Sapience has 50+ customers, mostly in the Indian outsourcing industry, helping them monitor the productive working hours of the workforce. The solution is a self-monitoring solution that employees use themselves, and managers get to see opportunities for productivity optimization. Sapience is delivering 20-30% increase in productivity in large organizations.
Obviously, in certain segments (IT/ITES, in particular, but KPO, BPO, captive off-shore units of MNCs), the solution has clear appeal and proven success. In my view, one of the mistakes Sapience is making is to not fully leverage this position of success in its core segment, and trying to go to segments and markets where the value proposition and positioning doesn’t have any proven adoption yet.