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Retrevo’s Vipin Jain on Vertical Search (3)

Posted on Sunday, Jun 3rd 2007

SM: Who financed the company at the very beginning?
VJ: Ammar Hanafi @ Alloy Ventures seed funded in Feb 2006.

SM: Did you raise Angel money? How much? From whom?
VJ: Three founders bootstrapped the company with $150K cash.

SM: Did you raise Venture money? How much? From whom?
VJ: Total $3.9M venture money raised from Norwest Venture Partners and Alloy Ventures.

SM: What stage are you at now?VJ: Series B.

SM: What kind of traction do you have?
VJ: We have a few hundred thousand visitors a month. Traffic has been growing week over week and we are only scratching the surface right now.

SM: Is your team complete? Does it have depth?
VJ: We are always looking for good talent across biz dev, products mgmt and R&D. Send any referrals :-).

SM: What is the business model of your company? Ad Revenue only? Or are you also going to private label on behalf of other media / internet companies? What do you charge to do so?
VJ: Product, service and content referral. We don’t do private label but we do cobranded sites. Click-through referrals are monetized via a merchant network. CPC is in the 20c to $1 range, and it varies by network and by category. The top merchant networks that work with this business model are, Yahoo Shopping, Shopzilla, Pricegrabber, etc. With big sites, like the AOL-Google deal, AOL gets to keep 90% of the revenues. Smaller players like us get to keep ~50%. [You can read some discussion on CPC vs. CPA here.]

SM: What is the revenue & profitability status of the company?
VJ: Just started monetizing. Our objective is to reach profitability next year. We need a couple of million unique visitors a month to get there.

SM: Are you looking to raise another round of funding? Timeframe?
VJ: It is reasonable to assume we will. This year we are focusing on building out the product completely and getting user traction. Giving our users a wholesome experience. Next year, we will determine if and when to raise money depending on our business conditions and market conditions.

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]
[Product Review]

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