Gaurav Sharma, Founder, Twtbuck
Single Platform to make money from Twitter and to advertise on Twitter
With 218 advertisers, 14000+ publishers, mobile based startup Twtbuck has served over 195 million ad impressions and has reaches over 3.35 million twitter users
Young and ambitious, entrepreneur Gaurav Sharma is a B.Tech from NIT Warangal. After his engineering he joined an investment bank as Financial Analyst in Hyderabad but his heart remained firmly entrepreneurial. And why not? While he was in college itself he had co-founded Vinnoite Media which has a flagship product called Vinnex. So it was but natural that sooner then later Gaurav would plunge into entrepreneurship, which he did this year with his startup Twtbuck.
YourStory spoke to Gaurav about Twtbuck to get an inside view on the product, business idea and how he is ramping up his Startup.
YourStory: What is Twtbuck?
Gaurav Shrama: Twtbuck is a single platform to advertise on twitter and to make money from twitter. To put it in more understandable form Twtbuck is to-be Google adwords and adsense of Twitter. Hence, a place where businesses can leverage the global reach of twitter and twitter users can make money from twitter just the way they make from websites and blogs.
YourStory: How is Twtbuck different from others in the market?
Gaurav Shrama: Twtbuck is different from its competitors in three major ways,
1. It is the only network which provides keyword targeting facility to advertisers
2. We follow smart pricing which helps advertisers to get more than what they pay for and
3. Publishers have full control over tweet ads as ads are published by publishers only not by twtbuck system unlike others where ads are published by automated system on regular intervals.
YourStory: So how did the idea for Twtbuck come about?
Gaurav Shrama: I love blogging and obviously I love it more when more and more people read my blog and comment on it. So I decided to make some Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kind marketing model which will run on its own even if I am busy in my office. So I developed some code and started using it for my blog and it worked really well as it brought good amount of traffic to my blog. Hence, I improved the code, added some UI to it and opened it up for market as a DIY advertising platform called Twtbuck
YourStory: How has Twtbuck been received by your target audience?
Gaurav Shrama: We have over 218 advertisers, 14000+ publishers and have served around 195 million ad impressions till now. Also the numbers are growing at a healthy rate.
YourStory: What is Twtbuck`s revenue model?
Gaurav Shrama: Twtbuck revenue model is really simple. An advertiser pays X amount for advertising on twitter, publishers get a majority portion of it and we keep the rest, similar to other ad networks.
YourStory: What do you like about being an entrepreneur and yes tell us your challenges?
Gaurav Shrama: The freedom to think, innovate and experiment are some of the major joys that entrepreneurship brings along. Coming to challenges, firstly its very difficult in our society to not to go the conventional way. A 22-year boy who leaves a well paying job to concentrate on his ideas will not be taken by many in healthy sense. I thank God that I have an awesome support from my family but many people around still think that the boy must have been sacked from the company or something on similar grounds. Secondly, being from middle class family, the finance part has always been a challenge but as company grows and money starts coming, this problem fades away.Lastly, the work-life balance gets disturbed really bad but just for initial few years.
YourStory: How big is the Twtbuck team?
Gaurav Shrama: Mr. Prabhu S. , ex-Technical Architect Goldman Sachs, joined me as co-founder and technologist in Twtbuck in September. In addition we have 2 marketing associates working on sales and marketing.
Yes, we are looking at hiring. So in total we are 4 people right now.
YourStory: Scalability and expansion plans
Gaurav Shrama: Twtbuck will launch a new advertising platform under its banner for a new field/domain which has over 500 million active users (No! I am not talking about Facebook) and we will be the first player in this market. So this very platform is our big bet. Moreover, developments in Twtbuck itself are going on really fast, we are improving our algorithms on daily basis and will increase our headcount to around 18 by end of next year.
In addition, we are in talks with few investors and looking to raise some funds by June 2011.
YourStory: Throw in a few stats (how many clients, most popular service, interesting trends and usage patterns, forecasts for the future and anything else that’s relevant)
We hear that bloggers, daily deals/ coupons websites, Youtube channels and social networking start ups are finding Twtbuck really useful and economical to advertise on twitter. Most of the advertisers at present are from US, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Gaurav is busy working on new features etc to make it a robust and most sought after international platform in the coming days. We wish him all the best and hope to see another quality product from India.