We spoke to Yusuf Motiwala from TringMe.com recently. The conversation covered various aspects including the technology involved, the revenue model, funding and staffing.
iLeher: How did TringMe come about?
Yusuf: We were looking to build a Voice 2.0 platform. This was the TringSwitch that we were planning to push to enterprises so that they could support all types of voice terminations - SIP, Mobiles, VoIP, IM (Jabber), etc. When we built this, we came up with TringMe as a way to demonstrate this platform that we had built and thats how TringMe came about. Then we got covered by TechCrunch and the site took off
iLeher: So how many users do you have now?
Yusuf: 60,000+ plus.
Yusuf: Yes, we are already generating revenues as well. A lot of these users pay to use the site.
iLeher: That brings us to our next question. Whats the revenue model that you are envisioning? Mostly the Skype-like Call In/Out kind of model?
Yusuf: Not at all. Like I already mentioned, we built a platform that we could sell to enterprises. That remains a revenue model we are going after.
iLeher: So you basically install the boxes in enterprise networks?
Yusuf: Not necessarily. We are also looking at Hosted Services where the enterprise need not spend extra on installing the box. We can take care of the back-end for them. In addition to this, we are looking at licensing our technology to different websites where a real-time interaction between different parties makes sense.
iLeher: Such as?
Yusuf: Dating, travel, reservations (for hotels, travel, etc). There are lots of areas one can think of.
iLeher: Alright. Any other revenue model?
Yusuf: Yes, we are also looking at partnering with developers who have ideas and are looking to build on top of this platform. We will provide them with SDKs which they can use to build their apps.
iLeher: So do you charge them for it?
Yusuf: Depends on the company. We could do a cash deal or take equity. Depends. We absolutely reserve the right to partner in these cases. We will evaluate the company and only then partner with them. Having said that, if we believe in the company, we will see how we can work with them.
iLeher: So what is next on the horizon as far as TringMe is concerned?
Yusuf: We have just announced a mobile solution for low cost handsets. You can check out the announcement on the blog. Our blog has a lot of information about our various offerings- what all we support, etc.
iLeher: Yes, coming to that. You support a lot of terminations. What is your team size and how long did you take?
Yusuf: We are about 9 people
iLeher: Thats all?
Yusuf: Yes, we started around May-June last year. I started the company and then slowly the team grew to its current size
iLeher: Thats a lot of work for this short a time and this small a team!
Yusuf: Well, we have a lot of experience in this field and we were able to apply it to get things working.
iLeher: How about money?
Yusuf: We are self-financed at the moment. Friends and family besides our own money.
iLeher: So are you planning to bootstrap your way to an IPO?
Yusuf: We will go in for a round of VC funding at some stage. We will let you know as and when that happens.
iLeher: Thanks a lot for talking to us
Yusuf: My pleasure!
We spoke to a Yusuf about a few other things which are already covered on the TringMe blog. Please hop over after leaving your comments here.
We wish TringMe all the very best for the future.