The BizSpark startup of the day is Retrevo, based in the US. Below you will find an interview with Manish Rathi, Co-Founder & VP-Marketing of Retrevo. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
Co-Founder & VP-Marketing.
What did you do before creating your company?
Before Retrevo, I was a founding member of Extreme Networks Wi-Fi business, and before that, Extreme’s Network Mgmt team.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are thrilled, and see it as a validation of our growth potential. The BizSpark program has provided us with tools and relationships at Microsoft, helping us accelerate our product development.
What is your company’s mission?
Retrevo (http://www.retrevo.com) is one of the top consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the US, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 50 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information for everything from TVs to GPS to Wireless Routers to even Cell Phone Accessories.
How did you get the idea for your company?
Consumer Electronics has become mass-market, but the process of choosing the right gadgets for one’s usage/needs is harder than ever. We wanted to make the process of buying and using electronics simple and enjoyable.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We’ve raised three rounds of funding, totaling approx $12M, and are not in need of raising any more funding at this time.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We are about 20 team members, more than half are developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Yes, Absolutely. We are hiring. Great front-end and back-end engineers, with expertise in Java, JSP/Velocity, etc.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We run Java on a Windows based platform. Java/JSP/Velocity based front end software means it is easier to hire good talent, and a Microsoft/Windows infrastructure means that managing and scaling it has been easy. The software tools support provided by Bizspark has been a definite benefit.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
There are many tectonic shifts from our vantage point, and innovating at the intersections of such shifts allows startups to create immense value for their customers
– The ability to make meaning from the mountains of unstructured data on the web
– The ability to provide enriching experiences for end users and their social circles.
– Innovation in retail that provides superior value to consumers.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
BizSpark has been great in helping us get strategic mindshare with Microsoft and its partners, and the tactical tools, software and technical expertise to get off the ground faster.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
There are many opportunities in software, some small and some large. But if you are going to start something, do something big, that significantly enriches the lives of many people. Also, the startup experience is a journey, so learn something new every day to innovate and improve your product the next day.
Who’s your role model?
At a professional level – Steve Jobs & Reid Hoffman.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
The startup journey will make you question your basic assumptions around the business, but learn something new every day, and keep your dreams big.