SM: What is your personal background?
JS: I have an undergraduate degree in computer science with a specialization in artificial intelligence and natural language processing. I also have a graduate degree in business (an MBA). Both degrees are from Columbia University.
Prior to joining Inform, I was the CEO and President of C.E. Unterberg, Towbin, an investment bank that supplies capital and advice to companies in the technology, global security, and healthcare industries. I was previously the executive managing director of investment services for Standard & Poor’s, from 1996 to 2004. I was responsible for approximately $200 million in annual revenue, including Standard & Poor’s broker/dealer, and Standard & Poor’s Securities, Inc. I managed approximately 750 employees globally. In addition, I led the team that evaluated and purchased Capital IQ for Standard & Poor’s in 2004, which is when I met Neal Goldman, the Founder of Inform.
SM: I see, you bought his first company, and then decided to join his next company!
JS: Yes. Inform Chairman Neal Goldman built the financial data company Capital IQ from scratch, unseating several established competitors in the process. He built the company to over 1,000 employees with significant market penetration, and sold it to Standard & Poor’s in the fall of 2004 for $225 million. I was on the other side of that transaction. Before the ink was dry on the contract, Neal had already started to build Inform in partnership with Joseph Einhorn, Chief Software Architect from Capital IQ.
SM: What kind of traction do you have?
JS: Sramana, nine months ago, we had no clients, and no revenue, having just rolled out our commercial B-to-B product. Now, we have over 40 clients, and multi-millions of dollars in annualized contract value.
In some implementations, our technology has driven increases of over 20% in incremental page views on our clients’ web properties, as well as users’ time spent on the site. In addition, Inform’s technology has grown the number of pages on client sites by as much as 50%, significantly and legitimately contributing to the sites’ page rank. Indeed by producing pages of content that are so high in value, the sites’ organic page ranks justifiably rise.
SM: Is your team complete? Does it have depth?
JS: With approximately 70 employees in New York and India, Inform’s team has great depth and continues to grow.