The BizSpark startup of the day is SundaySky, based in Israel/US. Below you will find an interview with Yaniv Axen, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of SundaySky. 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 and Chief Technology Officer.
What did you do before creating your company?
Yaniv has served as the CTO of SundaySky since co-founding the company, and is tasked with advancing new technologies and innovative ideas to ensure that SundaySky remains at the forefront of the market for online video. Prior to co-founding SundaySky, Yaniv directed the R&D team at Israeli start-up Veon. Following Veon’s acquisition by Philips’ MP4Net Group in 2000, Yaniv served as the vice president of product marketing and guided the company’s interaction with commercial partners. Yaniv later joined Philips’ mergers and acquisitions group where he led activities in identifying, researching and collaborating with academic, military and commercial partners to support Philips’ efforts in the fields of consumer electronics and semiconductors.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
I feel honored to be selected by Microsoft.
What is your company’s mission?
SundaySky provides automated online video production that is scalable, personalized and effective, to maximize user engagement, and by that increase online sales.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
SundaySky online video helps brands to maximize customer engagement and by that drive more website traffic, increase conversion rates and dramatically lift bottom-line revenue. The videos are generated from existing feeds in real time, to assure the right message is conveyed to the right user at the right time.
SundaySky studio-quality videos are tailor-made to perfectly reflect the brand behind them and are designed to meet the goals of the organization. Whether it’s driving traffic, increasing conversion rates, increase retention or reducing call center costs, SundaySky videos engage millions of viewers daily and call them to action.
SundaySky transparent analytics measure the success of the solution against control groups to demonstrate clear ROI in real-time, and to feedback SundaySky Automated Video Platform with field data that supports constant optimization of the video creative.
How did you get the idea for your company?
We have deep experience in developing video technologies and were looking for ways to bring video to a new level. We wanted to revolutionize video production in the same way that dynamically generated pages revolutionized the web. With the SundaySky Automated Video Platform videos can now be scalable, always up-to-date, actionable and personalized.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
– Seed – Angel investors – Sep. 2006 – $1M
– Round A – Seed investors + Carmel Ventures & Globespan Capital – Dec. 2008 – $8M
– Round B – Round A investors + Norwest Venture Partners – Oct. 2010 – $9M
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have 45 employees (13 developers).
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We are hiring for multiple positions, visit www.sundaysky.com to learn more.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Our platform runs on the Windows server OS. This is mainly because of multimedia optimization reasons.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
Anything that combines technology with creative in a smart way is going to be a big winner in my mind.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
We think it’s a great program that helped us hit the ground running in the early days of our company. BizSpark helped us focus on our core development by allowing us to leverage Microsoft’s array of infrastructure solutions.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Stay focused. Believe in yourself, and allow time to make mistakes and correct them.
Who’s your role model?
Mark Zuckerberg – he had a vision and he knew how to translate it into reality overcoming plenty of hurdles along the way.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Starting a new venture is tough, and it only gets tougher so you better come prepared.