Today we’re talking with Venddo co-founder Jose Galvez. A lead-generation site based in Monterrey, Mexico — one of the few in Latin America — Venddo was in the May 2012 WAYRA Mexico acceleration round. Using the link at the end of this interview, LASB readers can try out the new Beta version of Venddo.
LASB: Tell us a little bit more about Venddo. How does Venddo identify and generate leads?
Jose Galvez: We have all witnessed the growth of social media users and a shift of marketing spending from search engine to social media channels. We have identified that effectiveness of traditional online advertising like banners and SEO is now losing market.
Our product is a subscription based cloud service that allows businesses to create their customers profiles. Our platform aggregates information from social networks as a source of information. Then we apply intelligent algorithms and techniques to detect buying intentions and identify customer profiles. We are using different approaches from semantic filters, graph analysis and we are doing some research analyzing big data and machine learning algorithms.
Finally, we provide tools to communicate with these users and even provide a “small campaign” tool that allows to generate metrics like CTR. We are researching how to improve this last step of the chain to create an integral approach to customer engagement and community strategy in terms of content.
LASB: How did you decide this was the problem you wanted to solve? What is the state of the lead generation business in Mexico?
JG: We have identified the problem in our own businesses. I have funded several online businesses that depend on traffic and online customers. Several years ago, we were assigning budget for specialized online magazines, then we moved to email marketing campaigns, SEO and Adwords.
In the last year, our ROI dramatically decreased and we understood we need to figure out new lead generation channels. During some tests we found interesting leads in social network conversations and decided to research a little more. During a Startup Weekend in November 2011, I pitched the idea and came up as a winner. I got a master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from TEC de Monterrey, then I solved some problems with intelligent algoritms like neural networks, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms then it was natural my interest in predictive systems and machine learning.
On the market side, only 20% of online advertising budget is spent in Lead generation. Mostly is spent in banners, paid ads and even email marketing.
JG: I have built several business internet services before and have attended thousands of customers. My main challenges with Venddo have been technical issues like Twitter API restrictions, dealing with access to all the Twitter stream. Finding great developers and how to integrate them to Venddo. It has been very difficult to find great talent that fits with our budget.
Right now we are during a due dilligence process to get and additional and bigger seed round that will allow us to hire more talent and develop additional functionalities or products. We are also working with almost 100 beta testers and very close to sign contracts with a couple of them.
LASB: Tell us a little about your experience at WAYRA — what was the most valuable part of being in a business accelerator?
JG: The most important thing is the structure and all the help to incorporate the businesses as a legal entity. This has helped a lot to go into a due dilligence process with a private fund. We have lawyers, accountants, consultants and a very talented network of mentors. There is a lot of work to be done, but it has been very helpful.
LASB: How would you describe the startup community in Mexico? What aspects of it might surprise people that aren’t from here?
JG: The startup community is growing and gaining more interest from hackers and entrepreneurs. There are hackathons, Startup Weekends, networking events almost every week. I’m very confident that this generation of startups and entrepreneurs is gonna make a huge impact on the mexican economy and why not? the world.
I’d like to invite the community to test our FREE Beta in www.venddo.com
In Venddo we can help your business get new leads and increase your customers engagement from social media: Venddo has consistently delivered better conversion rates than online paid ads for businesses in a variety of industries. Get FREE access to our Beta version in www.venddo.com