The BizSpark startup of the day is Mintigo, based in Israel. Below you will find an interview with Tal Segalov, Co-founder of Mintigo. 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:
I’m a co-founder of the company. As VP R&D, I oversee all development activities, and I also manage the exciting research we are conducting in the fields of web data extraction, semantic analysis and machine learning.
What did you do before creating your company?
I have long experience in algorithmic, statistical oriented research and development. I headed an elite research organization in which many of Mintigo’s core team members participated, where I worked both as a manager and a developer. Later I was AVP R&D in modu, the modular mobile phone company, where I managed the development activities of the modu-1 products line.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
I’m very excited about this – I believe we have a great offering for any business out there doing outbound marketing, and I see a huge potential in partnering with Microsoft to reach the large markets out there.
What is your company’s mission?
We are the Customer Acquisition Company. We aim to be the best source of outbound acquisition for any company.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
We find for our customers the best prospects in the market for them, according to their unique Customer Code. Each company has a unique Customer Code, which describes the specific features that define its customers. Mintigo can automatically extract this customer code from the existing customers, and find many more companies matching this code to serve as prospects.
How did you get the idea for your company?
We came to the idea from two directions – from the market experience we have and from people we spoke with we understood there is a very basic need for every business to get fresh, high quality leads. This is like “food for business”. From our technical background we understood the huge opportunity with the vast amounts of web data available today – where the only applicable tool to process them is a strong, algorithmic solution to process and screen potential prospects.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We are funded by Sequoia Capital, Giza Ventures and leading private investors. We recently concluded a $9M round B.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have over 30 employees, 20 of which are developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We’re always looking for talent. We recently opened a US office, where we will be focusing on Sales and Marketing / BizDev activities, and we have our R&D center in Israel.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are using Python as our main programming platform. We like its flexibility, which allows us to run seamlessly across different infrastructures. As we are a massive cloud based company, we are willing to pay the price of using a few more cloud machines for the benefit of greater flexibility and short development cycles.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
I believe there is a huge opportunity in web based analytics. The abundance of information on the internet on almost any subject has become huge, while sifting through this information manually to find the hidden gems in it has become impossible. This calls for smart analytics, semantics and web technology to do this work for us – the next generation of search, tailored to answer specific needs. I believe we will see more and more such “expert” domain specific analytic applications.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
I think it’s a great program. It gives young startups a big boost from the market presence, experience and the tools Microsoft can provide. As one example – the help we are getting from Microsoft on the Azure platform gives us a significant impact on our cloud technology, and on the cost of developing and running our system. This can make all the difference for a startup.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Be bold, and keep questioning your basic assumptions. This is the way to find the best path for your company. Once you found it, it will be apparent that you are doing something right – from the market response, from internal feedback, from investors or from peers.
Who’s your role model?
The physicist and Nobel prize winner Richard Feynman. He was a visionary, a great teacher and had the unique capability to take very complex ideas and turn them into simple representations which made his ideas very accessible and influential.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
The field of analytics is undergoing a major disruption – businesses in the old paradigm had all the data inhouse and needed smart analytics to process them ; now the data is no longer held by the organization – the web data in many ways is more relevant and more up to date, and the game is now about finding your data and only then analyzing it. This calls for new, innovative tools. We at Mintigo have tackled the angle of customer acquisition in this new disruptive way of thinking, there are plenty other opportunities waiting to be tapped out there in the world of analytics.