Sramana Mitra: Where are you today from the revenue range point of view?
John Underkoffler: Our revenues are now well into the respectable double digits – that’s with two commas. We’re vectoring towards an intermediate goal of a hundred million dollar run rate. The proposition that we’re working on is broad enough for it to be a very brief and temporary waypoint. What we’re after is a new kind of computation – a new ubiquity for collaboration that’s supported by, rather than impeded by, these digital machines.
What we ended up with is almost infrastructural. We get a situation where the world is always on collaboration and, at every minute, you could be deeply engaged with a number of different people working on the same process and documents. Literally at an operating system level, the machine will expect that >>>
Taylor Tyng: Our choice was to focus on the organization’s problem so that intellectual knowledge was captured and shared. What we saw in our competing niches were people who were trying to solve more individualized and lighter weight problems. The other thing that was an inflection point for us is how cloud has been developing in a way where the economies of scale are also matching some of the needs for security. Security has always been a huge thing for us because our customers are movie studios, television networks, and brands like Beats by Dre, Nike, and Red Bull.
96% of Super Bowl commercials go through our system. Virtually, every major motion picture and advertising promotion goes through Wiredrive. You, pretty much, can’t turn on the television without actually seeing something that’s has not been collaborated in our system. Because of that, security has been a high profile thing for us and the one thing that is now changing. >>>
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 322nd FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, September 22, 2016, 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 Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.
Sramana Mitra: What else happened? It sounds like it’s a fairly straightforward enterprise software go-to market strategy. The beauty of that strategy is that you get these large deals and good cash flow. I think we understand that model. Is there anything else you did strategically that was particularly interesting?
John Underkoffler: We’ve made it sound linear and streamlined. The truth is, as with any young company, it’s a roller coaster ride and, for us as with many companies, there were near-extinction moments.
Sramana Mitra: What were some of these near-extinction moments? What were some of the challenging moments? >>>
According to an IDC report published last year, the global marketing technology (MarTech) industry is estimated to grow 12% annually to $32.4 billion by 2018. More recent trends also suggest a growing interest in MarTech industry, away from the AdTech industry, due to its more sustainable business model. A few years ago, I spoke with serial entrepreneur David Steinberg whose latest initiative Zeta Interactive is now a Billion Dollar Unicorn in the MarTech space.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:
Sramana Mitra: When did you launch Wiredrive?
Taylor Tyng: Wiredrive was officially founded as a sole business in 2008, but its story probably started around 2003.
Sramana Mitra: What happens next in the story?
Taylor Tyng: We got to a point where we had a lot of legacy issues – trying to move from an agency-based world into a product-based world. There were a few things that became points of entropy within our organization. Number one was, we were early in the game, so there was not any commercially sound or viable frameworks for building the technology. We were building all our platforms ourselves. We had some of that quintessential migration issues. >>>
During this week’s roundtable, our guest was Jon Ellis, Founder of Investorist, who has raised ALL his equity financing from customers. This interview is very much worth listening to for those looking for alternative financing strategies besides Venture Capital.
As for the pitches, first up pitching, Joseph George from Mumbai, India, pitched Tiger Digitech, which is an ERP for micro businesses. The company has some paying customers, and has bootstrapped thus far using services.
Then Tarun Sukhani from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pitched Frexi, a currency exchange mobile platform a la Uber where travelers can have local currency brought to them at good exchange rates. The business has risks and complexities that I tried to point out to Tarun.