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Your Virtual Travel Concierge Has Arrived : Mobissimo CEO Beatrice Tarka (Part 5)

Posted on Saturday, Apr 19th 2008

SM: Where are you at now in terms of revenue, profitability, and traffic?

BT: The site has been operating for three years. We’ve been open to the public since November 2004, and we’ve generating revenue and been profitable since June 2005. Our revenue comes from CPA transactions and advertising revenue such as banner ads, CPM, and sponsored links (CPC). In addition to our search engine, we have developed a Mobissimo home-grown ad platform that allows our partners to target specific geographical audiences and dates. We plan to expand this highly targeted ad platform to other travel related sites. Our traffic comes from the U.S. site as well as from six foreign language sites.

SM: What types of metrics do you use to track progress? How are your customer numbers progressing?

BT: To give you more numbers, Mobissimo has relationships with more than 180 travel partners around the world and there are over 200 advertisers with whom we’re working on a regular basis. Among the largest advertisers are Travelocity, Starwood Hotels, American Airlines, Virgin America, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and the Bahamas Tourism Office.

We track the number of visitors, number of searches made by visitors, clicks, page views generated and the amount of time spent on the site, as well as repeat user rate.

SM: How did you finance the different phases of the company? Did you bootstrap, take Angel funds, raise rounds through VC’s, or a combination of those things?

BT: We self-funded Mobissimo while we developed the technology and early business model. In April 2004 we received a little over $1M in venture capital from Index Ventures, Cambrian Ventures, and Benhamou Global Ventures.

SM: You have been profitable very fast, very early. Will you be raising more money? If so, what type of investor is your ideal investor?

BT: Since our venture raise in 2004 the company has been profitable and cash flow positive and has been growing self-sustained between 100 and 150% annually.

This year we see a tremendous opportunity to accelerate our growth in revenue through our international strategy, and we are considering expansion capital to help us grow at a much higher multiple. Given our financial track record, results and profitability we have several possibilities open to us including venture funding, private equity, debt equity and even a private placement on European Stock Markets.

We value a partner who shares our vision of the huge opportunity in international markets that I spoke about earlier. That is a $600B TAM compared to a $200B U.S. domestic TAM. Our ideal investor is also someone who understands that with the weak dollar and incoming recession, growth is in those markets will be challenged and Mobissimo is the only player to be well positioned to take advantage of it through its existing network of six foreign websites, our upcoming foreign websites, our marketing and business development expertise in these markets, and finally our strong international user base. Naturally, our ideal partner would also be financially solid, have international expertise, and maintain strategic relationships in the travel sector that complement our own.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Your Virtual Travel Concierge Has Arrived : Mobissimo CEO Beatrice Tarka
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