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Leveraging Domain Knowledge and Network: Ari Paparo, CEO of Beeswax (Part 4)

Posted on Saturday, Feb 3rd 2018

Sramana Mitra: What does an average deal like Foursquare amount to? Are we talking enterprise deals in the millions?

Ari Paparo: I don’t want to speak about Foursquare in particular. Our minimum deal size is $100,000 year and it goes up from there. We have customers in the high six figures.

Sramana Mitra: As you have penetrated the market, where have you seen the maximum traction in the last two years?

Ari Paparo: Our sweet spot is with customers who buy a lot of advertising. Second of all, they have some product and technical capabilities. That tends to be strong with some of the mobile companies like mobile gaming. As I mentioned earlier, media companies are very strong. So is direct response advertising.

Sramana Mitra: Would that mean that a company like New York Times is a customer of yours?

Ari Paparo: They could be potentially. On the media side, people are using their data in interesting ways. Some of the companies have physical hardware and want to use that for advertising purposes.

Sramana Mitra: What financing strategy have you followed after that $1 million you raised?

Ari Paparo: We raised an $11 million A round in September of 2015. It was co-led by Foundry Group and RRE. Both are well-respected venture firms.

Sramana Mitra: What has been the growth rate in adoption in the industry that you are catering to?

Ari Paparo: I can’t speak for the entire industry. As a company, we are growing 100% year over year consistently. We expect to continue in 2018 at that rate.

Sramana Mitra: Are you at about $10 million run rate now?

Ari Paparo: That’s a good estimate.

Sramana Mitra: What else is interesting in your journey that could be something that people could learn from? I completely understand that you and your two co-founders have deep domain knowledge and deep relationships in the ad tech space which has helped you get things off the ground very efficiently. In a way, it’s a very smooth journey. In this journey, what parts of it can you offer as learning items?

Ari Paparo: One is that we were very focused on being different from other companies in ad tech. Ad tech is a very crowded space. There’re plenty of vendors and public companies out there. We knew that we need to be really different. One thing that has helped us is we branded and did marketing for the company in a way that didn’t feel like B2B. It felt more like B2C. We spent money to buy the domain. That was very important to us.

Related to that, there’re a lot of companies you could sell to in ad tech. We knew that in order to be efficient, we couldn’t spray everybody. We needed to focus on the types of customers we knew would be correct for our solution. That made it so much easier. We didn’t go into big pitches where we weren’t the right solution. We didn’t spend a lot of time on marketing and spending money on very broad conferences.

Sramana Mitra: Right. That’s what we focus on in our methodology. Identify in what segment are you going to penetrate the market through and get the target accounts there as opposed to spraying and praying. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Leveraging Domain Knowledge and Network: Ari Paparo, CEO of Beeswax
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Leveraging Domain Knowledge and Network: Ari Paparo, CEO of Beeswax (Part 4) - Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 1:00 AM PT