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Finding a Viable Monetization Model: wefi CEO Zur Feldman (Part 5)

Posted on Sunday, Apr 6th 2014

Zur Feldman: We are working with big cable companies to understand how they can influence the experience of the customer. When they see the map of connectivity, they want to improve the connectivity experience in between the different technology that they’re dealing with. It’s not only sensitive to WiFi but also to different technologies from different carriers. The central point is it’s from the point of view of the device or the customer, not necessarily from the network of providers.

Sramana Mitra: How do you go to market? Were you selling to companies who have WiFi networks?

Zur Feldman: In the beginning, we thought that we will be able to attract the end user because the proposition is compelling. What we found though was that people like to enjoy but they don’t really value this in money because they don’t want to pay more for connectivity and for better experience. We switched and we had a lot of thought around it. In the end, we helped cable companies and carrier companies to improve their user experience by creating visibility from the end-user perspective. At the carrier side, we provide visibility and understanding of the opportunities to improve and where the weak areas are – not necessarily on their network. It could be on somebody else’s network on WiFi.

Sramana Mitra: What ended up being your experience of bringing this to market? You did not get traction with consumers because consumers tend not to pay for any of these.

Zur Feldman: Actually, we did get traction. We got over 8 million. The issue was monetizing it. It was very difficult to monetize something like that because as you can see, people can download and they don’t really give a lot of financial value to any social application. The business model was not really to sell it to the consumer, but rather as a tool to get a lot of users. We realized that it would be easier for us to monetize it if we go to where we believe the pain is which is the operator or the cable companies and help them to create a better experience for the end user. Also, we helped them save money on bandwidth wherever possible and to have a better sense of where investment should go. That’s what we’re doing today. That’s how we monetize it.

Sramana Mitra: Tell me a bit more about how you price this for carriers?

Zur Feldman: The business model is relatively simple. It’s licensing and peer activation. When a carrier deploys this solution, it goes by how many users are actually on this specific application and how many of them are active. That’s one business model. The other business model is your ability to show the effectiveness of intelligent offloading – meaning that people are actually getting off the existing network to some better alternative, like WiFi. Those are the two business models for cable and carrier companies.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Finding a Viable Monetization Model: wefi CEO Zur Feldman
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