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Sharat Sharan’s On24: Lead Generation Through WebCasting (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Sep 27th 2007

SM: What stage are you at now? Revenue? Profitability? Traffic? Customers?

SS: We’re at a very good stage. We have more than 600 global organizations in publishing, technology, life sciences, government, and financial services that rely on us. These are large companies that have a need for our solutions, such as Business Objects, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and more. We also work with 85% of the B2B publishing industry – we’re a platform of choice for them. By this, I mean publishers like CNet, Ziff Davis, Tech Target, CMP Media, etc. They each do hundreds of events with us.

Since refocusing the company in 2001-2002, we’ve grown very rapidly. In October 2006, we were ranked #14 in Deloitte’s 2006 Silicon Valley Fast 50, which ranks the 50 fastest growing software companies in Silicon Valley. We were also ranked #252 on Deloitte’s list of fastest growing companies in North America. Since being on the Deloitte & Touche list, we’ve experienced 40% growth year over year.

We have about a 120 people, and we’re slightly profitable with a revenue level of about $30 Million. I am not trying to generate cash, so most of our profits go back into expansion at the moment.

This past year, we launched a new service called Insight24, which is a business-to-business rich media network. Since launching, Insight24 has grown to include over 5,000 rich media content pieces from over 160 companies. And with Insight24’s growing syndication network, Insight24 will reach over 8 million business and IT users on a monthly basis. We are very optimistic about the opportunities that Insight24 will bring, as well as the growth of our core business.

One thing we learned by being in this business is that large webcasters spend 25-30k on developing the content for their webinars. 70% of those who access these, do it live, and 25-30% access these as on-demand, after 1 week. But beyond that, the 25-30k investment is pretty much wasted, and no one uses that content anymore.

So, in our Insight24 marketplace, we are trying to aggregate such content, and make them available for syndication to various publishers who have relevant audience.

The business model is revenue sharing based on transfer of leads.

SM: How did you finance the different phases of the company?

SS: We originally started as an online financial multimedia network, aggregating and syndicating financial multimedia. In the beginning, we had angel investors before receiving $30 million from venture capital firms. Since then, we’ve used an additional $10 million. Our three venture capital investors are USVP, Canaan Partners and Rho Ventures.

SM: What financing stage are you at right now? Will you be raising more money?

SS: At this time, we are not planning to raise additional financing. This might change if we decide to make some acquisitions.

[To be continued]

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]

This segment is part 4 in the series : Sharat Sharan’s On24: Lead Generation Through WebCasting
1 2 3 4 5 6

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