Nu toate milioanele sunt egale

Au aparut in ultima vreme in presa din Romania cateva articole despre Brainient care folosesc cifre ce sunt departe de realitate si consider ca este de bun simt sa le clarific.

S-a spus in cateva randuri ca Brainient valoreaza 50 de milioane de lire. Pe cat de mult mi-ar placea sa cred ca atat valoram, un startup in tehnologie este evaluat intr-unul din urmatoarele doua momente: in momentul unei investitii sau in momentul unei vanzari. Intr-adevar, Brainient a primit finantari in valoare de 5 milioane de dolari, insa din motive comerciale am decis sa nu facem publica evaluarea companiei la care a fost facuta investitia. Compania nefiind vanduta, nu exista in momentul de fata o evaluare externa pe care sa o facem publica. Drept urmare suma vehiculata este, cel mult, un ‘wishful thinking’ al fondatorilor si in niciun caz o evaluare declarata si asumata a Brainient.

A doua idee vehiculata este cea conform careia cateva milioane de lire s-ar afla si prin conturile mele personale. Realitatea, insa, este alta. Pentru a construi un startup, un fondator sau mai multi pornesc de la o idee. Pentru a transforma ideea intr-un business, acestia iau bani de la investitori, care primesc, la schimb, un numar de actiuni in cadrul companiei. Toti banii sunt investiti in companie pentru a o dezvolta, iar singurul moment in care fondatorii primesc bani (in afara de salariu) este acela in care compania este vanduta (ceea ce inca nu s-a intamplat pentru Brainient). Ideea ca as fi milionar mi se pare amuzanta, avand in vedere ca realitatea este cum nu se poate mai diferita: de cand am fondat Brainient, in primul an nu am primit salariu deloc, in urmatorii doi ani am fost platit cat sa imi pot acoperi costurile in Londra, iar in momentul de fata sunt probabil unul dintre cei mai prost platiti CEOs din tot sectorul de tehnologie din Marea Britanie. Nu am o problema cu asta, pentru ca interesele mele materiale nu au fost niciodată motorul dorinței de a porni un business. Acestea fiind spuse, nu pot sa nu zambesc la ideea ca as fi un tanar milionar, in conditiile in care, din fericire, nu sunt decat un tanar antreprenor.

Sunt recunoscator pentru atentia acordata de catre presa din Romania pentru Brainient, si ma bucur ca cea mai mare parte dintre informatiile prezentate despre noi sunt corecte: avem clienti in 20 de tari, suntem lideri de piata in Marea Britanie si avem cel mai bun produs din industria de interactive video advertising din Europa. Dar recunosc ca mi-ar placea ca in loc sa fie vehiculate sume fabuloase care, stiu bine, fac rating, sa se vorbeasca despre faptul ca cele mai mari televiziuni din Europa folosesc o tehnologie construita in Romania de o echipa de romani talentati.

Sons of Romania

I’ve had this blog for about eight years and for the most part my posts have been all about my entrepreneurial endeavours. There’s very little personal content, as I’ve never thought my personal life is interesting enough for me to write about it.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I had a TV crew led by the wonderful ProTV news anchor Amalia Enache following me around London & Bucharest, speaking to my friends, family, team and clients. The result is a wonderful window into my life, family and especially into my work at Brainient. If you speak Romanian, I hope you find it informative and entertaining. If you don’t, I hear it’s fun to see anyway. You can watch it below.

Thank you Amalia and the ProTV team for your hard work in putting this together. I owe you lots of chocolate. 

http://www.stirileprotv.ro/lbin/video_embed.php?media_id=61606654&section=54&video_section_id=

#WPPSTREAM

For the past three years, I’ve been lucky to have been invited to WPP’s annual un-conference, WPPSTREAM. This year was by far the best STREAM I’ve ever participated in and, by a long mile, the best event I’ve ever been to. The video below doesn’t do it justice, but it gives a glimpse into what it’s all about: great people, great discussions, great fun.

The rise of second screen, in three graphs

I’m a massive multi-screener, and as it turns out so is pretty much everyone else in the developed world who owns a smartphone. It’s truly incredible how quickly this shift has happened (<2yrs).

Broadcasters love second screen experiences, because they drive more media engagement. Because of this, many big players in TV are investing second screen mobile experiences for their audiences. A good example is ITV with their XFactor and Britain’s Got Talent apps. 

Advertisers love second screen ads, because they boost brand recall and almost double purchase intent.

At Brainient, we’re experiencing the rise of second screen from the front line. ITV, UK’s largest commercial broadcaster has chosen Brainient for the delivery of all their second screen ads. The engagement rate on these ads is stellar, ranging from 30% to 300% in some instances.

So if you’re a brand, give second screen a chance. You may realise it’s actually the holy grail of advertising, because it helps brands generate brand awareness while enabling people to actually make a purchase (or express their intent to make one). 

Going for Europe

Ever since the German aristocrat Richard Nikolaus wrote the paneuropa manifesto in 1923, most capitalists have longed for a unified Europe. No borders, free markets and a unified currency has been the European entrepreneur’s dream for generations. Yet sixty years after the Treaty of Paris, winning Europe as a business is still not as straightforward as going for single-language, single-culture markets like the United States or China.

At Brainient, intrinsically a European company, we’ve been doing a push across the old continent over the past 12 months. We now have customers in 9 European markets and are expanding aggressively into Europe’s key territories – France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Nordics. We believe we’ve become good at winning Europe, and we’re looking for people to join the team. If you’re in one of these markets and would like to be part of a fast-growing technology company, visit our careers section or drop me an email.

Also, if you happen to be in Cologne for DMEXCO next week, stop by our stand and grab some chocolate. You can find us in Hall 6 Stand F-024. 

Growing up

As some of you may have read, we’ve recently relaunched our platform, our studio and our identity. It’s been a labour of love, sweat and tears, but we felt it was needed after almost five years of being in business. Our platform is now used by some of the largest media companies and brands in the world and they expect us to have the best product in the industry. We think we do, but to avoid banging our own drum we asked ITV, the largest commercial broadcaster in the UK what they think about us. Here’s what they have to say: 

As proud as I am of our new product, I’m even more excited about our KPIs. Here are some interesting stats, to go with our relaunch:
– 400% YoY growth since we started the company
– 600+ campaigns / year for customers
– 95% customer retention rate
– 3 out of the 4 top broadcasters in the UK are Brainient customers (ITV, Channel4, Channel5)
– the average engagement rate across all our interactive formats is 8%