Voiro derives its name from the French word ‘Voir’ which means to see & understand. With the plethora of data that is collected every minute from various avenues, Voiro’s technology helps content companies and publishers analyze revenue and have a single view of their revenue horizon. Voiro is a category creating data Technology Company bringing automation & intelligence to leading media organizations across the world. They engineer inventive products to track report and translate all data that contributes to revenue. They help accelerate every media company to be data first.
Voiro brings automation & intelligence to leading media organizations across the world, enabling them to make data-driven business decisions.
Kavita Shenoy, Founder and CEO of Voiro, speaks on the company’s journey, the impact of Covid, importance of Data and way forward in the new normal.
Take us through the journey of Voiro from its inception. Its mission and vision, values, etc?
This year we turned 6 but it feels like we are a 60-year-old company because that is how time moves. A year ago, when we thought back, it was about a team journey. The low survival rates of start-ups worldwide are an inescapable fact. We have bootstrapped our way through the early years, honed our focus and we have grown stronger. Our mission is to accelerate every media company to be data first.
We believe our sense of achievement is derived not just from surviving but from building and nurturing a strong team culture, the courage to face new challenges, and working ethically and encouraging the team to love what they do. We are a data technology company bringing automation & intelligence to drive global media companies. We engineer inventive products to track, report and decipher information that drives revenue growth. We provide instant access to all actionable intelligence that matters right now, to all our customers – from leading OTT, e-commerce and publishers who monetize content.
What are some of the services that Voiro provides which you personally feel are best in the business?
Voiro drives ad sales for media and content companies and publishers. We are India’s first all-in-one revenue management suite for ad-led digital publishers across media. Our product is designed to handle the complex world of multiple revenue channels in a data and content-driven industry. Especially in the Work From Home situation, we facilitate smooth inter and intradepartmental work processes, bridge information gaps, and exponentially increase efficiency through automation. Voiro’sdynamic, SaaS-based product harnesses the power of data to track ad inventory in real-time. Sales, Finance and Operations get the data they need to monetize opportunities, without leaving any ad revenue on the table.
Voiro’s deep understanding of media data enables publishers to understand their revenue. While organizing data and implementing a workflow is de rigueur. The magic actually is in how this data turns into intelligence for the right people at the right time.
Tell us about your journey with Voiro and how has the experience been?
One of the early players in this market, Voiro was able to get a front-row view of how the publisher ecosystem was turning a corner on technology with their first customer, Star Sports (now Hotstar), in 2014. Today, Voiro has 6 large enterprise customers – Hotstar, SonyLiv, Voot, Flipkart, Zee5 in India and DSTv in South Africa. After bootstrapping for the first few years, Voiro’s seed fundraise in late 2018 has seen the company grow ~4x in the last year and adding its first international customer. Voiro is set to take on the global stage – with the market turning strongly towards their value proposition and is excited to push ahead to convert global opportunities, invest strongly in data engineering and build a world-class SaaS product from India for media organizations around the globe.
Building the organization, fiercely maintaining our work culture and watching the team of people work towards a common goal and succeed at it is extremely rewarding. I can unquestionably say that we are currently armed with the weapons to win.
You come with immense experience having worked with Google…What were some of the learnings from there that have held you in good stead at Voiro?
Working with Google gave me the opportunity to grow my knowledge and hone my skills to a razor-sharp focus. The way things change at a rapid pace in a global environment taught me how to approach problems in a very constructive manner and find solutions. A sense of professional experience is of utmost importance in the development of strong entrepreneurial skills. Google has always encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit and been extremely meritocratic and these are two values that have been at the centre of the way we run Voiro.
How is the business shaping up in times of Covid-19? What has been the impact of COVID on your business?
Ever since this global pandemic has hit us, it has completely changed the way we live and interact. Across the globe, online publishers reported a negative impact on ad revenues that have affected consumer purchase behaviour and brand engagement. Every company has had to kick some level of contingency planning measures into place.
At Voiro, despite the pandemic, we are grateful to have grown as an organization and have acquired new customers and hired new talent. What the pandemic has brought to the fore is the starkness at work. It reminds me of a classic quote – one of my favourites from Yoda : “Do or Do Not. There is no try!”
Your profile mentions, “Kavita is devoted to solving problems faced by media houses, digital publishers, and OTT platforms by driving their digital/operational transformation to be future-ready.” Can you elaborate on the problems that you solve with a case study or example?
Voiro’s platform is a key driver for multiple teams in workflow automation and provides unparalleled intelligence across stakeholders in Sales, Ops, Planning, C- Suite and Finance teams.
Voot is one of Voiro’s earliest customers and we are proud to have maintained & strengthened our partnership over the years. What stands out are choices Voot made right in the beginning of their journey which was to consciously invest in leveraging their first-party data to keep their value proposition to their advertiser sharp and always in focus.
Within a year of its launch, Voot decided to bring us on board because firstly we were persistent and secondly they had quickly realized that to scale and keep their team nimble. Our objective was to harness the power of data to track, provide technology solutions that could help them scale operations. Our teams have witnessed transformative results in the advertising sales domain with Voot.
To date, Voot manages to maintain a lean and very specialized team of people across departments because of their steadfast commitment to bringing on-board solutions that help their people be the best at their jobs.
What is the importance of Data in the new age fast-paced world?
Data is only as important as the insight derived from it and the business decisions taken that grow revenue, delight, acquire or retain customers, build your brand, and bring about operational efficiency within companies. It is, therefore, not just a content-driven marketing strategy anymore it is but a combination of content reckoned with data analytics. All data cannot be actionable all the time – but the ability of a business to make data-driven decisions in this age of the ever-changing audience and also making revenue from an audience is paramount to every stakeholder in the business, right from the CXO levels to an operational and finance level where revenue is the key metric of success.
Being a SaaS partner and business solutions provider to the content creators/publishers/platforms (eco-system) how are you different from the competition that exists? What would be your elevator pitch?
Large Players (FAANG)* have proprietary tools to analyze& mine data but many others do not, in ad sales & monetization of content is always a challenge in the publisher, OTT and content space.
- Voiro provides revenue analytics (to the white space outside the FAANGS) that have proprietary tools to analyze revenue & mine data.
- We unite multiple tech stacks and our customers have a single source of truth & one view of revenue and our product is easily configurable with capabilities such as A Media Specific CRM, Revenue Reconciliation, Insights and Deep Analytics, Microservices and API Stack for Media Companies, we fall into the CRM, Analytics and Ad-Tech ecosystem which makes us quite unique and gives us the potential to play in quite a few spaces.
Voiro creates customer value by ensuring:
- User Autonomy
- Flexibility to support different workflows for Media: Broaden the revenue landscape from only ads to all revenue streams: Subscription, Partnerships, CTV & Syndication
- True to ‘Instant Access’: Web and App, along with rich, scalable user experience with a variety of features available out of the box
- Automated Actionable Intelligence Features
Any challenges and opportunities you foresee in the new normal?
We have always been conscious of the culture we reward and reprimand at Voiro. Honesty, ownership and constant learning are rewarded and recognized. We took an early decision to disband our physical space and become a distributed team. In that time we didn’t miss a beat. What happened in the office was the same as when we were out of a physical space if not more. We landed our largest deal with Flipkart, hired a full front end team for the new UI roll out and created measurable value with all our customers.
Sales and meeting people in other cities and countries will also be challenging and we will have to be innovative in the way we conduct business development and find a way to make meaningful connections.
Onboarding new teammates and managing company culture in a remote and distributed team is a big concern and focus for us at Voiro. The ability to connect in person at work was something that we all took for granted and this has been a realization that we need to find new ways to bring a human connection to the remote WFH models. At Voiro, we have a wellness program and counsellors on Slack to allay any employee concerns; we have a weekly quiz and a daily 10-minute catch up at lunch to feel like we are still part of the bigger picture.