Exploring Content Intelligently: The “Dhiti” Story with entrepreneur Bharath Kumar M
Dhiti was founded by 3 friends, Kiran, Venkatesh and Bharath, who shared many years at Mysore University together. After college all 3 went to different areas -Bharath did his Phd at IISc in information rerieval, and worked at Google. Venkatesh worked at Veritas, NetApp and other startups - on high performance, and reliability products. Kiran worked at HP, ThoughtWorks, and other startups like CastBridge and Abine.So with this steller background, the trio came together once again to start a venture which will change the way we consume content. Don’t believe us? Read on the Dhiti Story and what makes it a compelling venture and a must for online publishers and readers.
YourStory in conversation with Bharath on Dhiti and the story so far –
What is Dhiti? What differentiates it in the market?
Dhiti is an exploratory search company. Dhiti stands for insights, in Sanskrit. Search, as you know it, is about queries that yield result pages. Now we answer the following -
What if the query is not a set of keywords, but: - a page, a set of concepts, interests of your social network or just you!
What if you don’t click on result pages, but: - explore concepts and facts among them, drill down and pivot among them?
Our vision is to let people discover relevant and interesting content from wherever they are, in any context.
Dhiti Dive, our flagship product, offers content discovery and improves user engagement for publishers. Dive is free, self-serve, just takes minutes to install - and allows contextual discovery for readers from every page on a publisher's site. Traditionally, good content discovery has been restricted to information channels like Google, Twitter and Facebook, which people predominantly use to find what to read next. They visit a page, and when done reading, return to the channel. Publishers who produce high quality content deserve to engage readers better, and want to retain users in their sites instead of losing to the channels. Dhiti Dive provides awesome discovery on publisher sites helping retain visitors.
Dhiti has a vibrant labs and research culture, and continually experiments with new products. Some labs products from Dhiti that are already popular are:
a) Intweetion.com - converts people's incoming twitter streams into a research library, meant for users who get their insights and knowledge from Twitter.
b) Drilll.com - A bookmarklet that sits on a browser, provides contextual discovery from any page on the web a user is in.
Why Dhiti? What was the idea behind the venture, what propelled you to start?
We are starry-eyed about information dissemination and disintermediation. Access to right information enables people to do their best. With so much information getting online, its become a big effort just to separate relevance from noise. We wanted to build technology that helps people gather insights from the web's information, from across pages, based on their contexts. We made progress when we invented algorithms that helped organize lots of text into relevant concepts dynamically. Next, we found out a way to rank the most meaningful facts from lots of sentences, pertaining to any topic - in real time. Good technology inspired us to build products that would address information needs in the market. Thats where we are now - taking content discovery products to the market.
Bootstrapped or Funded? Plans for raising money?
Dhiti is self-funded. Dhiti's flagship product is Dive, which is an interactive content discovery product for publishers. Dive is free for publishers. Eventually Dive will make revenue through contextual advertising, and revenue will be split with publishers. Dive will also provide intelligence to publishers to define their content strategy.
Dhiti plans to raise capital soon for expansion.
What is the exciting part about being an entrepreneur?
Access to the market. No where else can a person be exposed to everything that matters to build a successful company. Its not just technology, its also the product design, the customer focus, the ethics, strategy, marketing and business skills. We've probably not learnt so much so fast since our first two years after being born.
Challenges as an entrepreneur?
The biggest challenge is to take the plunge. After that having survival skills is enough to bring success. Another challenge is to not get carried by stories of successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs need to be busy working on the ground always. Rigor and focus are as important as ideas and vision.
What's the roadmap for the year ahead?
Our roadmap is to build a successful business. We want our discovery tools to be installed by thousands of publishers, help users interactively find relevant information, and improve monetization both for ourselves and for publishers. We will also foray into other markets - like the twitter ecosystem, and mobile information consumption.
We at YourStory (also being an online publisher) see Dhiti as a very useful partner and recommend all online publishers, blogs, websites to give their product “Dive” a shot. Log on to http://dhiti.com and check them at the end of this page too.