The company of the day is ShowNearby.com, based in Singapore. The company’s mission is simple: to show you what’s nearby. You will find below an interview with Douglas Gan, Founder of ShowNearby.com. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Douglas Gan, Founder of ShowNearby.com
Who are you?
I am Douglas Gan, Founder of ShowNearby.com
What did you do before creating your company?
Back in 1999, I was dealing with web hosting in a big scale. We had over 7 subsidiaries, including globalwiz.com.sg, purehostings.net, sunnypost.org, livednrs.com, withinbudget.net and 52 resellers spanning over 30 countries. In 2005, we sold the well established web hosting company to Skydio.com.
While dealing with web hosting, I started dabbling with ohgenki.com in 2002. Its an online forum that grew to a massive 55,000 daily unique visitors in 2003 and developed into an infotainment portal in 2005. It was later sold to Robert J Steiner in 2006.
I followed up my M&As by being a web consultant for major established web portals / startups in 2006-2007 before starting shownearby.com.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
When I first started chatting on I.R.C. in 1997, my phone bills racked up to nearly $200 monthly! And it was only 38.8kbps! It was an insane amount compared to a $20 broadband plan now.
As my pockets grew lighter, I realized the potential of the internet and quickly researched on the energy evolving around the mammoth.
So I started with the foundation of the internet by dwelling in the internet’s infrastructure, then i proceeded to forming online communities. Both of which was wildly successful.
So comes the genesis, why ShowNearby? After being in the industry for nearly a decade, I realized the need to find things nearby, find places nearby, find friends nearby, plan my journey, be lazy and yada yada…
With whatever knowledge I have gained over the decade, I decided to step into uncharted territories and ventured into ShowNearby.com. It was both passion and the belief in LBS that made this company the next big thing to watch out for.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
We sell the idea of knowing what’s near you. Our company’s mission is simple: To show you what’s nearby.
What is your market?
Everyone and anyone who wants to find everything and anything near them.
Any clients? References? Partners?
We have a pretty long list, but let’s start with crediting Microsoft Bizspark, then Google Singapore and the other corporate partners that made ShowNearby.com possible.
Funding history? VCs? BA?
We had an infrastructure injection in December ’07 and another seed injection in March ’08.
We are currently looking for funds to grow in key markets then worldwide. By key markets, we are referring to growing in USA, China, Europe, India, Japan and Korea.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have an established team of 7 people. It consists of 3 highly talented developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Yeap! We are looking for highly motivated individuals who shares our passion and vision to work with us from our HQ in Singapore.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are primarily on PHP / Open Source / Linus environments as it provides momentum for start ups like us to grow. We have plans to incorporate .net, Windows Mobile and other Microsoft technology into our applications as we move along with BizSpark.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
We own all the IP that we have developed. Though we are not the only one in the market doing LBS, we believe we are the only bunch of folks immensely focused on showing you what’s nearby!
Who’s your role model?
Apple’s Steve Jobs and Ford Motor’s Henry Ford.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
Since we are downright faithful to LBS, we are looking at LBS services becoming the next big thing on the internet.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
Yes! We are looking at around US$1 Million to fund us for about 2 years to build our foundation.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
BizSpark’s the first time Microsoft is trying to embrace start ups in a very big scale. It seems that Microsoft have came to realize that the people who are going to use and preach its mantra are those who are still starting out, still struggling and probably still in school. Microsoft has done a great job with schools. Now BizSpark will support these students with the necessary tools to develop Microsoft based applications to ensure continuity and growth for Microsoft.
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.
Anything else you’d like to say?
We are launching ShowNearby Version 3 on the 31st of March 2009. If you want to catch a decent preview, check out: