Technology and the media are interwoven, and neither can be separated from contemporary society in most core and semi-peripheral nations. Voiro Technologies is a SaaS-based media technology company and Kavita Shenoy is the Co-founder and CEO at Voiro. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with Kavita Shenoy.
1. Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the products/services/solutions that you provide to your customers, and how they get value from it?
Voiro is a SaaS-based media technology company co-founded in 2014 by me and Anand Gopal. Voiro’s SaaS-based revenue analytics platform for content-led companies is trusted by global media powerhouses. Being one of the early players in this market, Voiro was able to get a front-row view of how the publisher ecosystem was turning a corner on technology. Our company unlocks a data-driven approach to accelerating revenue. Our customers are some of the largest owners of online ad inventory in India and abroad, across the OTT and e-commerce verticals. We have become the revenue management platform of choice earning our place in the core technology stack that has driven large live events year after years such as the IPL, the Oscars, Bigg Boss, and the Big Billion Day.
2. With what mission and objectives, the company was set up? In short, Tell us about your journey since the inception of the company?
When I started this company, we began with producing content to understand the pain points of content producers and get a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. Anand Gopal, the Co-Founder of Voiro, is an expert data scientist and he came along for the ride into the Ad Tech world and we still talk to each other at least 10 times a day – there is so much to earn, do and build.
My love for media and the need for technology to enable publishers and content creators motivated this venture. Honestly, it all started with a team of people who just wanted to help, make a difference, and it took us through a long journey of learning to come to this place of expertise coupled with experience.
Our mission: To help the world’s largest media publishers monetize their content more effectively and efficiently.
Building a better monetization engine with Voiro
Voiro works with 4 types of teams at large publishers: media sales teams, ad operations teams, finance teams, and strategy teams or CXOs. Across these teams, we help our users:
- Sell better
- Price better
- Focus on what matters
- Bill faster
3. Could you please throw light on the major challenges the company has faced till now?
Donning the cap of being an entrepreneur, looking out for ourselves, and for the pain points with our customers was our initial challenge. We took time to find the balance between leaning into our understanding of the problem statement and finding scalable solutions that had a razor-sharp focus and drove an uptick in revenue.
The second biggest challenge was finding product-market fit as the market is highly volatile and changes at light speed. We had to pace ourselves to be ahead of the market and develop solutions that truly make a difference to a media workflow. We relied on a bunch of advisers from the industry, family, and friends. We had to look at the big picture and figure out goals that lay ahead. It was difficult to understand how to build scale, especially when we were serving the largest OTT player in India. We had to consciously look into how the market worked and the extent to which we had to widen our horizons.
Another major challenge was raising investment for the company and going through that process. I think there are pros and cons to being bootstrapped, being funded, or having external investments. We had two options before us – One was living on the edge and being bootstrapped for revenue and being constantly under pressure. The other was making a case with the investors in an environment which was not entirely friendly to the Ad Tech organizations. Raising funds is also a seal of approval for a start-up as they are perceived to be on a growth trajectory once they have gone through the fire of a fundraiser.
All in all, we got over our challenges by taking advice, we were always open to taking good quality advice from our friends, family, colleagues, ex-colleagues, and prospective investors.
As with all companies during the pandemic, the acquisition of new customers has been a challenge. However, as the OTT industry and content space have begun to recover, we are poised to make some very exciting announcements.
The one challenge that every company faces is to hire and retain good teams. The pandemic was a tough phase – even though we grew our team, we really missed the feeling of working in the same space and solving problems together.
4. What’s your growth plan for the next 12 months?
We are keen on building on the success of our first international customer in South Africa by exploring deals in South East Asia, the Middle East, and the US. We are on the cusp of solving challenges that are key to the ad monetization space that enables dynamic pricing for advertisers and the ability to grow yield for our customers. Most importantly, we have redefined our user interface to give our customers a truly intuitive experience.
5. How is your company helping customers deliver relevant business outcomes through the adoption of the company’s technology innovations?
Monetizing content is key to revenue growth in digital advertising, OTT, and E-commerce. Our customers, broadly speaking, have the 3 main challenges – market challenges, technology challenges, and data challenges. Market challenges include a lack of historical and real-time analytics on ad revenue and content ROI. Since every marketer looks for a slice of the same pie, audience intelligence becomes paramount. Technology challenges involve the complexity of ad-tech, fragmented tech stacks, disparate workflows, and the lack of expertise to drive revenue on advertising during live events such as cricket, sales, and reality shows.
We build monetization technology for advertising and subscription-based businesses and solve these problems by being the source of truth for teams across the business.
6. What is your leadership mantra?
“Never give up” is my motto. And my mantra is to build teams that succeed so that everyone wins.
7. How is your company utilizing advanced analytics and big data?
The media world faces data challenges which include a lack of business intelligence from terabytes of data across multiple teams and no ready reckoners specific to media such as optimizers, predictive analytics, and revenue reconciliation.
The Voiro mission is to harness the power of data to track, optimize and monetize ad inventory for OTT players and publishers. Voiro’s platform is a key driver for multiple teams in workflow automation and provides unparalleled intelligence across stakeholders in sales, ops, planning, C- suite, and finance teams.
We work with customers who have immense volumes of raw log data and catalyzed business intelligence in two ways: finding their niche and voicing their reach.
8. How can C-suite executives leverage data to deliver business value to their organizations?
Voiro creates value for CXOs and strategy teams in two ways. First, we offer a single window of all things’ revenue, giving CXOs a transparent and accurate view of the entire business. Second, by enabling your teams to focus on growth and shift gears instantly, we give your organization the freedom to experiment with strategies and be nimble.
9. What are the business benefits of handling data analytics and implementing them on a real-time decisioning platform?
Elaborating on what we provide to our customers, we provide them with user autonomy and scalability and provide them with automated actionable intelligence features. We also provide flexibility to support different workflows for media which helps them broaden the revenue landscape from only ads to all revenue streams and helps them in bridging the linear-digital divide with analytics that give our customers a single view of their revenue horizon. And lastly, we provide true to ‘Instant Access’ web and app, along with a rich, scalable user experience with a variety of out-of-the-box features available.