Google recently launched an offering called GoogleBase. In April 2006, SEO consultant Shimon Sandler reported that Google has launched what he termed as Google Real Estate in secret beta on top of this platform. Indeed, as Shimon pointed out, a search for the term ‘homes for sale’ in Google fetched the top result that offered options to further drill down search by location, property type, distance, price, and even bedrooms and bathrooms.
The revelation created a stir among online real estate watchers, with apprehension that publicly traded real estate companies including ZipRealty may become a victim of Google’s move. David Jackson of Seeking Alpha voiced his concerns on the issue.
Later Danny Sullivan who was then with SearchEngineWatch clarified in his comments to David’s post that Google’s supposedly real estate secret beta is in fact search results from Google Base’s housing category.
As the brouhaha dies down, it is time to take a closer look. It becomes clear that Google Base may not affect ZipRealty that much, simply because while Google’s service ends with providing just the search results, ZipRealty’s starts from the search, but ends with actually uniting the real estate buyers and sellers. In other words, ZipRealty helps with the transaction (Commerce), provides relevant Content, and is much closer to a full-fledged Web 3.0 offering. Our recent review of ZipRealty is here. >>>
Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, the founders of Expedia, launched Zillow on February 8, 2005. The Company is based in Seattle, WA. According to Comscore, Zillow had 4.1 million unique visitors in March 2007. Zillow was the only online brand to receive AdAge’s Marketing 50 Award in 2006. The site was also named as one of the top trendsetters of 2006 by the Swanepoel TRENDS report for real estate. Zillow was ranked among TIME Magazine’s “50 Coolest Websites” of 2006. >>>
Sridhar’s experience in bootstrapping is something to learn from, especially for entrepreneurs in India, who keep complaining about the lack of funding availability from venture sources. Along the way, he weathered many storms, as all good entrepreneurs learn to do.
SM: How did you fund your early initiative? SV: It was all bootstrapped. My wife worked, she is also an engineer, so I was able to stay home and work on the venture. Tony had taken a buyout from his job. At the time Lucent bought out a lot of smart people, meaning they gave them money to leave. That is how it all started.
There was no investment money of any kind, only some family and friends. The software started selling well, we stumbled upon an opportunity and sold a lot to companies here in Silicon Valley. We also had a good market in Japan. Japanese companies would buy the software, customize it, and ship it with their equipment. That was our early phase of growth through 2000. We had grown to 115 engineers in India and we were 7 people here. >>>
SM: What was the market landscape like when you founded the company? PF: Online recruitment has been dominated by job boards, particularly Careerbuilder, Monster and Hotjobs and specialized sites like Dice for technology professionals. Indeed.com makes it possible for job seekers to search across these sites to find exactly the right jobs. Job seekers click away from Indeed.com to apply for jobs on these sites. Many job boards are partnering with us to sponsor their jobs and drive additional job seeker traffic to their jobs.
SM: Describe the value proposition of Indeed, including differentiation versus the rest of the market. PF: Indeed.com is by far the most comprehensive search engine for jobs, aggregating jobs from well over 6,000 unique sources. When you search jobs on Indeed.com you get the freshest and most relevant jobs matching your query. Our tools for job seekers are second to none – including Job Trends, Salary Search, and Forums. We have three to four times more traffic than any direct competitor, which is testament to the power of our job search engine and tools. >>>
In this post, we will be analyzing Broadcom as part of the series on the major players in the iPhone’s component ecosystem. A related, speculative post about Broadcom written prior to the iPhone’s release may also be worth reading.
Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) is a leading fabless semiconductor company with revenues of $3.67 billion in 2006. The company owns over 2,000 U.S. and 800 foreign patents on wired as well as wireless transmission of voice, video and data.
In Apple’s iPhone, Broadcom provides the I/O controller (BCM5973) used for the video interface to the touch screen. Though as per an analysis by iSuppli, this chip fetches Broadcom about $1.15 per unit sold, the fact that Broadcom was selected ahead of major competition augurs well for the company. In fact, following the launch of iPhone and reports of its teardown analysis, Broadcom’s stock price has risen by $1.38, or 4.75 percent, to $30.63. >>>
ZipRealty, founded on January 25, 1999, operates as a full-service real estate brokerage firm. The company offers its services across 27 major markets in 16 states in the US and the District of Columbia. The site won the Inman Innovator Award in 2004. ZipRealty was ranked ninth in the Hitwise survey of top Real Estate sites in the US in February 2007.
Deloitte Technology Fast 500 also ranked ZipRealty among the highest-ranked real estate brokerage companies in 2006 for the second consecutive year. With a five-year growth performance of 2,257 percent, the site was also ranked among the top 100 nationally as well as fifth regionally in the Internet, Media & Entertainment and Communication category of the Technology Fast 50 for Silicon Valley.
ZipRealty with its ease of use, easy inter-category navigation, animated demo, FAQ and neat design makes an impression. >>>
[Also check out my Entrepreneur Journeys book, Seed India – How To Navigate The Seed Capital Gap in India]
Sridhar Vembu is the CEO of AdventNet, which owns Zoho, a new on-demand office suite we’ve been hearing about a lot lately. I spoke with Sridhar about his rather unorthodox but quite successful entrepreneurial journey.
SM: I would like to start this interview by tracing your background. SV: I was born in India, I went to Madras IIT for my undergraduate and came to Princeton to do my PhD in 1989. In 1994 I joined Qualcomm in San Diego. My PhD is in electrical engineering, so I really do not have a software background. I worked on wireless communication which was my area of interest at the time. I worked with Qualcomm for two years. I worked on CDMA, power control and some very detailed issues on wireless communications. That is how I got started in the tech industry.
My brother, who was also there at Qualcomm as a software engineer, wanted to return home to India. Software is a great business to start in India, so he moved back to India and I moved to Silicon Valley to drum up interest in our fledgling venture, which later became AdventNet. >>>
SM: Please describe your personal background. PF: My professional background is in finance. I was an investment manager with the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, and wanted to start a business around the time I was very involved in recruiting finance professionals.
Using the internet for recruitment made a lot of sense and some successful job boards were already emerging, but there wasn’t a good finance-dedicated job board. So, in 1998, I founded Jobsinthemoney together with Rony Kahan who I had known since we did MBAs together at INSEAD business school in 1994. We grew this business to profitability before it was acquired in late 2003. Rony and I subsequently founded Indeed in 2004. >>>