Sramana Mitra: Talk a little bit about what was in the product that drove that much increase. What did you do in the product that allowed you to go to that level of scaling?
Kean Graham: Because the product is intrinsically scalable and because we were leveraging Google’s technology, we were able to take all these publishers that were only running Google AdSense and we were able to give them access to Google AdExchange, implement it for them, and then it would run on its own.
Sramana Mitra: You kind of became a value-added reseller of Google AdExchange.
Kean Graham: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: It actually systematizes your process greatly because instead of doing everything ad hoc, you had a lot of it productized. You just had to implement it. You were still operating in the business model of taking a percentage of the increase? >>>
Sramana Mitra: Given that was your observation and that was you interest, how did that manifest in the next startup?
Yaron Galai: In 2000, I started a company called Quigo. It was a mix of similar ideas that my co-founder and I had started working on independently. We merged it as one company. The idea was to look at the data of what people are consuming and based on that, provide links to what’s next. What it quickly became is what’s called now as contextual advertising. We started doing that around 2000.
It turned out that there was one other company doing something similar. It was called Applied Semantics. They had a little product called AdSense. Pretty quickly, Google acquired them and made it Google AdSense. We stayed independent for about eight years until we sold the company to AOL.
Sramana Mitra: The AOL acquisition happened in the 2008 timeframe?
Yaron Galai: 2007. >>>
Sramana Mitra: You don’t sell directly. You sell through other domain name sellers like GoDaddy?
Colin Campbell: That is correct. We’ve gone to all the GoDaddy’s around the world. The largest company in China is Alibaba. They’re the ones with the largest distribution for domain names and websites. We sell through Alibaba in China as well. We find the largest distributors and work directly with them, and they promote the names through their clients. Since we’re .club, we did a launch party. We did it with 50 Cent. Are you familiar with 50 Cent and his In Da Club song?
Sramana Mitra: No, I’m not. >>>
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 311th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, June 30, 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.
According to eMarketer, worldwide ad spending is expected to reach $674.24 billion by the end of 2020. Mobile ad spending in the US in 2017 is expected to grow to $77.37 billion or 38.4% of total ad spending. >>>
In case you missed it, you can listen to this roundtable here:
During this week’s roundtable, our guest was T.M. Ravi, Managing Director and Co-founder, The Hive, a venture studio. The discussion touched upon a couple of key issues: the prevalent incubator/accelerator model of 3-month classes, we agreed, is bogus; and the Future of Work: Utopia or Dystopia?
As for the pitches, first up, Prajit Arakkal from Dubai pitched CloudKnots, which is a concept arbitrage on Task Rabbit and UpWork. I shared my skepticism of why a new platform is necessary. How would it compete with the incumbents?
Sramana Mitra: It makes a big difference. At this point, were you still a solopreneur or were other people in the picture?
Kean Graham: There were other people in the picture. I hired my parents part-time. I outsourced certain operations to other people. We were looking into certain partnerships at that time. I was getting a little bit of help. It was in the early stages of that growth.
Sramana Mitra: How long did you continue with these two clients now?
Kean Graham: After two and a half years, that’s when things started to happen. Right before I was planning a trip to Easter Europe, we were able to sign a website called The Sims Resource, which is the largest website in the world released to The Sims video game. That was a really big client for us. There was a lot of opportunity to increase their revenue. By the time I was working on them, I was already in Russia. I was there for a month. >>>