Update from Twezr Founder Delip Andra

Nov 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Thank you everyone for the incredible response to Twezr. Despite our best attempts and predictions, the demand far exceeds our initial projections.

Twezr has been received with unbelievable enthusiasm. The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued and millions of contacts and their messages started pouring into our system, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the experience to degrade.

We are working really hard to increase capacity and we’ve put a hold on new users adding their service accounts to Twezr. As we bring our capacity in line with the incredible demand we’ll start slowly opening it up for the new users.

For users who have already set up their service accounts in Twezr, we’ve synchronized about half of the users so far and hopefully within the next few hours we’ll be able to synchronize the data for most of you.

We apologize that we haven’t been able to setup everyone right away and we’ll continue to work hard to enable this. We are humbled by all the good things you’ve been saying about Twezr and we are appreciative of your patience and understanding as we work through this.

Thanks, Delip

Updated: Mobile web usage on iOS devices is 12 times that of Android

Sep 4, 2010 § 4 Comments

It’s been exactly three years since I blogged. I saw a few tweets this morning about Android taking market share away from iOS on mobile web and thought I’ll quickly share my two cents.

There’s been a lot of conversation lately about Android vs. iOS adoption. Lots of numbers floating around too: Eric Schmidt’s 200,000 android activations a day in August, Steve Jobs’ 230,000 iOS activations a day at the recent apple event and monthly reports from various ad networks and analytics companies. This can be heck a lot confusing for mobile app developers and consumers.

Media measurement and Web analytics company Quantcast has put up a teaser blog post yesterday concluding Android is storming ahead, now taking up a 25 percent share of total mobile Web consumption in the US. I tweeted Quantcast this morning to know what their measurement methodology was. According to Net Applications, Apple’s iOS has become the third most popular platform (after Windows and Mac, bigger than Linux) on the Internet with market share that’s nearly six times larger than Android
Android devices are selling hot, I agree, although user satisfaction and loyalty isn’t that great. However, I don’t think apps usage on Android devices comes any close to iOS devices. Analytics firms like Quantcast base their reports on analysis of visitors to the websites they track. This may not present a complete picture of mobile web usage. iOS users spend a lot of time engaging with apps and most of their web consumption happens through the apps and not from the mobile browser. Any report that doesn’t analyze apps usage is only presenting half baked information.

Here is the real picture. Let’s take a look at the monthly active user stats for Facebook apps on the top 4 mobile platforms:
Facebook for iPhone : 45 M
Facebook for Blackberry : 21 M
Facebook for Android : 3.7 M
Facebook for Palm WebOS : 0.7 M

Facebook is perhaps the most popular app across smartphones (2nd on Android after Google Maps) after the native phone dialer, phone book and email apps which typically ship with the devices. If we consider Facebook app usage on these platforms as a reasonable indicator, mobile web usage on iOS devices is 12 times that of Android at the moment.

Update: Quantcast got back to me this morning. They’ve just put up a blog post on their measurement methodology. I replied to their tweet and also commented on their blog post. They’ve not yet approved my comment!

Here is my take: I am OK with them not including traffic from iPads for the study. However, the key issues I have are: 1. They don’t cover apps usage (which is a significant part of mobile web usage) 2. Quantcast doesn’t directly measure the traffic to top Internet sites – which is a significant chunk of mobile web traffic (mobile web traffic is more top heavy than the desktop web traffic!). Therefore, I believe the picture presented by their report is inaccurate!

Lunch 2.0 at Minekey

Sep 5, 2007 § 2 Comments

Lunch 2.0 We are hosting a Lunch 2.0 at Minekey on Thursday, September 6th. Started as an informal and regular gathering of Silicon Valley tech workers in corporate cafeterias, Lunch 2.0 has rapidly evolved through word-of-mouth into a national series of events.

In a recent article, Wall Street Journal said that Lunch 2.0 “has grown into a social-networking phenomenon that now draws hundreds of engineers, venture capitalists, and even summer interns to various companies for free meals and conversation.”

If you are in the Bay area and can join us at this event, please RSVP at: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/257418/. Facebook users can RSVP at the event link on Minekey’s Facebook group.

We already have more than 200 people who have confirmed participation and over 150 people have indicated may be. Perhaps, this could be one of the most attended Lunch 2.0 events in the Bay area. So, come check it out.

$ 3 Million Series A Funding

Aug 2, 2007 § 1 Comment

I am pleased to announce that Minekey has closed a $ 3 Million Series A Round of financing with NEA IndoUS Ventures. Vin Dham, acknowledged as the father of the Pentium chip, joined Minekey’s board back in December 2006, when NEA IndoUS invested part of the money in the first closing.

Let me tell you why we chose to work with NEA-IndoUS. Vin Dham and Vani Kola (founding partners of NEA IndoUS) are topnotch Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. They both have strong operational track records and understand what it takes to create a company of enduring value. As a serial entrepreneur, I understand how important it is to have investors who have been there, done that.

Interestingly, I first met Vin when I pitched the Minekey opportunity to him in July 2006. We were joined by Dr. Sudeshna Sarkar, Chief Scientist and head of the Minekey IIT research team, who was passing through the Bay Area on her way to a conference in Seattle. Vin accommodated our schedule and met with us at his home in Fremont on a Saturday afternoon. He was thoroughly persuaded by Minekey’s vision and market opportunity right from our first meeting. Even amidst their own efforts to fundraise for NEA IndoUS and Vani’s India move, both Vin and Vani took the time to visit and meet with the Minekey research team at IIT Kharagpur.

As a strategic financial partner in the venture, NEA-IndoUS team is taking an active role in helping to steer Minekey through the most critical stages of our growth path. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Vin and the NEA IndoUS team towards to create a world leader in the content discovery and recommendations space. Well, who knows – with the Father of the Pentium chip backing us, could we be the next “Intel Inside” for blogs and websites? Stay tuned.

Presenting at the AlwaysOn Stanford CEO showcase

Jul 30, 2007 § Leave a comment

AlwaysOn Stanford LogoI will be presenting at the CEO showcase at the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit taking place at the Stanford University July 31st through Aug 2nd. My presentation is scheduled for August 2nd at 2:00 PM in McCaw Hall. Immediately following the presentation, we’ll be hosting a demo station in the Fisher Lobby. If you’re at the Summit, please stop by.

If you can’t make to the event, here’s a link to the live webcast. Some 35,000 people are expected to be participating online.

No more excuses!!!

Jul 27, 2007 § 2 Comments

Well, it has been 8 months since I last posted on my blog. As a Founder/ CEO of a company that provides a widget for bloggers, I have run out of excuses 🙂 to defend my inconsistent blogging behavior. I realize that most good things in life need some discipline and getting into the habit of blogging regularly is no different. Perhaps it’s never too late to get that going, especially NOW, when there are so many interesting things going on in my life and there is no way to share them all with each one of you other than to post on this blog. How else, can I explain my tardy responses to some of your emails and phone calls :-).

Past 8 months have been the most interesting in my life. While, things were very hectic with my 2 startups – they were quite exciting too.

My personal startup has been a great ride so far. I am really fortunate to have been married to a wonderful and supportive woman.

My professional startup Minekey, which I have been working on for the past two years, has come a long way. During the past 8 months, we have made tremendous progress at Minekey.

During this time, Minekey got its own existence and identity. We set up our offices at Sunnyvale, California and Gurgaon, India. We were able to attract a great entrepreneurial team at both Sunnyvale and Gurgaon. Some of the former team members, who had been part of the early Minekey team at IIT but had graduated and since then been working for leading global companies in India, came back and joined us – Umar Shah joined us from Symantec, Gaurav Sahni (a.k.a. Rave) joined us from Lehman Brothers and Himanshu Baweja (a.k.a. Frosty) joined us from Trilogy. During a time when there is a huge talent crunch in India, we have indeed been very lucky to attract top IIT Computer Scientists to our team. Between our IIT Research Centre and the Gurgaon Development team, we now have around 15 top quality Computer Scientists working to put together technology that lets Minekey users discover the most relevant content. We are fortunate to have Gaurav Bhatia who relocated to India after living an working in the US for 15 years. Gaurav leads our team in India. In Sunnyvale, California, we have assembled a highly entrepreneurial team with great experience in online media. James Ryan, Alex Gault, Raymond Rouf and Rajiv Doshi have joined Minekey team to spearhead our Marketing and Business Development initiatives.We also completed a beta trial of Minekey Product with over 1000 bloggers during this phase and we have received some really good feedback. Our Engineering team is really working hard to get all these implemented over the next 2 releases coming up in August.

Minekey was also selected as Proto’s Asia Top 25 companies. Check out the detailed coverage about this event by several leading bloggers from India.

Even, without any marketing efforts Minekey was able to attract some level of attention from Analysts and Media during the past 8 months. Also, several bloggers from all over the world talked about us.

We are getting ready to launch Minekey finally next week. We are really looking forward to exciting times ahead. Stay tuned for updates.

My startup adventures …

Nov 26, 2006 § 13 Comments

It has been a while since I posted on my blog. 6 months exactly. Yes …I was quite busy with my 2 Startups.

1st one: I have blogged about this in this past. It is obviously Minekey, the startup that I have been incubating out of IIT Kharagpur for a little over a Year now. Past 6 months we have made some good progress and witnessed some interesting twists and turns. Over the last one year, I have been closely working with an academic and research team at IIT Kharagpur to productize and bring to market some of the academic research innovations in the Personalized Search and Recommendations space. By May this year, we had developed an Alpha version of a Personalized News Portal based on this technology. We spent the next 3 months talking to Alpha Users, Potential Investors, Customers, Partners and Analyst. While every one was quite impressed with the technology, usability and the features the product offered; invariably every one suggested that we should look at a potential business model of licensing this technology to Publishers and Content Portals to help them surface most relevant content to every user thereby improving the user experience and maximizing their revenue.We took the feedback quite seriously and went back to the drawing board to develop a Content Surfacing/ Recommendations Web Service that could potentially be used by the Publishers and Content Portals. We’ll be launching the service in early 2007. Good News: We just closed VC funding and the First Customer.

2nd One: >I have finally found some one who I have decided to spend the rest of my life with. Yes …I am getting hitched on December 27th in India at Bangalore. If any of you folks are going to be around in Bangalore and can make it for the wedding, please let me know your address and I’ll send across an invitation. Look forward to seeing you there.Unlike the 1st one, we intend to boot strap this startup all the way through 🙂 and the 2 major share holders are committed to see through all the different phases of evolution of this startup.

I’ll be off to India for business and wedding from Mid December till mid January. Now that these 2 startups are slowly getting off the ground …I am hoping I’ll be able to post more from time to time hopefully in 2007.
Happy Holidays and Wish you all a very happy 2007.

%d bloggers like this: