According to an IBISWorld report, dating sites in the US are expected to earn $1.17 billion in 2015 with dating apps expected to bring in $628.8 million. In 2014, dating sites had generated $1.08 billion in revenues with dating apps accounting for $572 million in revenues. The market has seen significant consolidation in the online dating industry with over 10 dating companies getting acquired last year. Analysts attribute the consolidation to there being “too many players and not a lot generating sufficient revenue for these sites”. Among the leading players in the segment is Billion Dollar Unicorn player Match.com, which recently filed to go public.
How often do you hear of a successful entrepreneurship story out of Oklahoma? Well, meet Robin Smith.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances?
Robin Smith: I was born in Oklahoma. I was raised, primarily, on a farm. There were about 12 kids in my class. I didn’t know much about the outside world other than what was there in town. I started my entrepreneurial journey in the second grade making yarn belts on the playground. I was able to talk a few of my friends into making them with me. We had quite the distributorship going with yarn belts until the Principal shut us down. When he asked us to stop making yarn belts, I started making Christmas tree ornaments to sell. He shut that down too.
Sramana Mitra: Why were they shutting these things down? What was wrong with that? >>>
This discussion delves into the applications of Artificial Intelligence in the advertising and publishing industry.
Sramana Mitra: If one of you could get started and introduce the company as well as yourselves, that would be great.
Patrick Shea: I’m one of the co-founders of AdDaptive Intelligence. Kevin is my co-founder here. We started the company as Data Point Media back in 2010 with the goal to bring some of the tools, which were coming into the marketplace primarily aimed at advertisers and agencies, to the publisher side of the business. Our universe is really the advertising technology ecosystem.
Kevin and I both have backgrounds coming from the publisher side. That’s why we set to solve some of those initial challenges. Over the past five years, our company has evolved a great deal. We’ve placed huge focus on our technology. What initially started as creating systems to automate a lot of repetitive tasks became more and more sophisticated. They started to grow into real decision makers in their own right. That’s how we got into the artificial intelligence space. >>>
Sramana Mitra: That actually brings me to the open opportunity question. This is more about going up to the 30,000 foot level of what’s happening in the industry. Do vendors who sell to multiple international authorities have the technology available to them if you were to share data with them to be able to trace it back to the actual criminals and take action?
Neal Creighton: Our technology is very automated in how we design it. We don’t like to have a lot of people doing manual inputs into it. However, the kind of work that you’re talking about really does require some forensics investigation over time. Many nation states have people working in this area to figure out attribution. A lot of times, we can figure those things out. The difficulty is however lies in how we respond. I think we’re all struggling with it.
Sramana Mitra: But it’s not up to you to respond. This gets into criminal law and order territory. It’s not up to private companies or citizens to respond to criminal behaviors. That is for governments and law authorities to act on it. >>>
According to a Gartner report, the Application Development market is projected to be worth $8.7 billion this year. An IDC report estimates the Collaborative Applications market to be worth $13.5 billion and the Project and Portfolio Management market to be worth $3.8 billion in 2015. Australian entry to the Billion Dollar Unicorn club Atlassian has established a strong presence in these markets and is now looking to list on the US Stock exchange.
Jerry discusses high availability infrastructures in cloud computing.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to you as well as to the company.
Jerry Melnick: I’m the CEO and President of SIOS. I joined here about two and a half years ago. My background is in the areas of photonic computing and database systems. I came out of a Massachusetts-based startup known as Marathon Technologies. I came to SIOS because of the background that I saw here and the opportunity that was quite unusual and exceptional in terms of the fact that I could see that the product set here had an opportunity to meet a significant number of demands I had heard when I was in the space of photonic computing .
The real value proposition for the high availability offering that SIOS Technology provides is around the ability to be very flexible in terms of the types of high availability app configurations that can be constructed and the relevance in today’s infrastructure. Just to back up a little bit more about SIOS itself, SIOS was originally known as a SteelEye Technology focused on high availability clustering to deliver high level SLAs. The company cut its teeth in its first real enterprise high availability capability for Linux. The company provided solutions for database systems and later Windows and SQL server. >>>
Sramana Mitra: What, specifically, in terms of levers were you able to push by investing more aggressively? What could money buy you?
Venky Balasubramanian: This was around technology at that point because we were in a market where we had to move fast in terms of what we were going to be releasing. Things were changing fast in the market. We had to move our way into this market. Money helped us hire faster and build our team faster. If we didn’t have the money, we would have waited out a bit. We did have the money, so we invested.
Sramana Mitra: In 2013, mostly the financial lever was in broadening the technology footprint. What about 2014? Was it still technology or was there something on the customer acquisition side that you were able to also do by using a financial lever?
Venky Balasubramanian: 2014 was an interesting year. One of the key highlights of 2014 was being profitable during the July timeframe. In late 2014, we put a lot of push in the marketing side of things. There was minimal focus on marketing from our side till that point. It was >>>
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 285th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST/9:30 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.