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Online Audience Sampling Scaling Super Fast: uSamp CEO Matt Dusig (Part 6)

Posted on Tuesday, Jan 17th 2012

Sramana: What kind of audiences can people expect to reach through uSamp? What demographics do you have?

Matt Dusig: We have a very broad offering. We offer services primarily to market research agencies that run a variety of studies for any number of clients. A single client could come to us wanting soccer moms, and another client could come to us wanting gamers. We have handled beverage studies, competitive brand research, finance studies for investing, and we have even done Hispanic-only research. If you watch Telemundo, you will see TV commercials for SúperOpinió, which is a website that targets Hispanic Americans for our surveys.

Businesses come to us for a variety of reasons. There is really no limit to what we can accomplish. We have 7 million people who have registered for our panel databases. We see 200,000 visitors to our survey websites daily. We have done a lot of advertising through our own databases to get people to keep coming back for more surveys. We have about 10,000 people a day registering for our database panels. People around the world are signing up to take surveys. We have 50% in the U.S., and the rest are in Europe, Canada and Australia.

Sramana: What does it cost for a company to run a survey on an audience of 1,000 people?

Matt Dusig: If you use SurveyBuilder to do it yourself and pay with a credit card, or you call us you will pay about the same. It varies based on how hard it is to find someone. If you are looking for someone who wakes up and drinks coffee, we charge around $4 to $5 per survey and most surveys need 200 to 300 respondents. We don’t get a lot of requests for 1,000-people surveys because in most cases the surveys are statistically significant with 200 to 300 respondents.

You could assume an average project to get generic insights from a target audience is about $1,000. As you get more granular, the cost will go up. If you want technology professions in charge of Linux servers at companies that have more than 50 employees then you are probably going to pay $75 per survey. If you want doctors, such as general practitioners or internal medicine specialists, then you are looking at $300 per completed survey.

Sramana: Some segments are going to be harder to reach. How hard is it to reach teachers?

Matt Dusig: If I were to query my database today I could look up job titles and find everyone in education. I bet that we have 30,000 people in our database who work in education, and some percentage of them are going to be teachers. That would not be very difficult to find.

Sramana: How has the ramp been for this company? You had the advantage of domain knowledge this round.

Matt Dusig: It has been ridiculous. In 18 months we have surpassed where we were with the first business at the six-year point. That business got to about 45 employees in six years. Today, in three and a half years, we are at 175. We have gone from 0 to a $40 million revenue run rate.

Sramana: How did you finance this company?

Matt Dusig: In 2008 we did two rounds. In April 2008 we started with a million-dollar Series A round with DFJ Frontier. Business was growing so fast in 2008 we were already in a $4 million run rate at 6 months. We could not support the growth of the business any longer and we could not get loans from banks, so we did a $3 million Series B round in December with Greycroft Partners. December 2008 was the worst time in the world to raise money.

A year and a half passed, and in June of 2010 we did a $10 million round with OpenView Partners. At the same time we bought a company from AOL called DMS Insights. They were one of our partners and competitors. They were one of the first companies in our space that sold survey respondents, which they started doing in 1995. It was a great heritage that we bought into.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Online Audience Sampling Scaling Super Fast: uSamp CEO Matt Dusig
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