Sramana Mitra: So the company was registered in London but you were still operating out of Greece?
Demitri Memos: Right. Ironically, the decision at that point was to register a company in London for stability and better access to the markets. Next year, my partner will be moving to the UK. He’s leading the sales team in the UK where we have an office. This was a very abrupt and interesting change in my life as you can imagine. Marine Traffic had immense potential for growth. It had already gained traction as a free service. The challenge was to convert that traffic to monetized services. We worked pretty hard on that. At the same time, I was learning and trying to build the company. Building the product and the company at the same time with no prior experience in either SaaS or this sized endeavours was a real challenge and still is. We’re still learning everyday.
Sramana Mitra: Now, customers are paying as a SaaS model?
Demitri Memos: Yes. Let me tell you a bit about Marine Traffic. Right now, Marine Traffic is the world’s most popular ship tracking service and also the world’s most popular maritime-related online service in general. People use our service to track any commercial vessel, anywhere in the world. Our customers could be anyone from large ship owners, ports, insurances, all the way to a captain’s wife checking on her husband!
Sramana Mitra: Who pays?
Demitri Memos: First of all, it’s a freemium service. Most of the service is free. If you want, for example, to track a vessel in the middle of the ocean, then you need to pay for satellite add-in. If you want historical data on the vessels or any particular details about the vessels, you pay. There are plenty of add-ons. We have subscription-based products ranging from a couple of dollars per month up to $600 a month. It’s a very wide range. As you can imagine, this is also a headache because we’ve got support for a consumer product as well as enterprise-level software.
Sramana Mitra: Talk to me about your largest customers. Who are your largest customers and how much are they paying?
Demitri Memos: The largest customers are large ship owners, multinational logistics companies, or manufacturers that track parts. They are paying us anywhere between $50,000 to $150,000 per year. The average for large customers is around $100,000 ARR.
Sramana Mitra: How many of these customers do you have that are paying $100,000 ARR?
Demitri Memos: Not a lot. I would say less than a dozen. Most of our customers are in the SMB tier.
Sramana Mitra: What is the average deal size in that segment of your customer base?
Demitri Memos: The average MRR, if you prefer, is just over $6,000 a year.