Co-founder of PixelKraft, Entrepreneur Siddharth Kumar: On Moodler and more!
Tell us about PixelKraft.
PixelKraft is actually a media lab, masquerading as digital advertising agency. With insights we derive from helping clients with their online and offline marketing strategies, we have been able to create marketing platforms that are, in one word, disruptive.
How is PixelKraft different from other media solutions companies?
Most media solutions companies deliver - SEO, SEM, Twitter and Facebook solutions. We're first a storytelling company and by that definition, platform agnostic. We believe that the distinctions between an 'ad agency', 'web design company', 'content creators' are simply semantics. We are about getting the brand story out there in the market. Another distinction is, our own experiments on the internet, such as Moodler and Buzzar.
How did the idea for PixelKraft come about? How did you zero in on the name 'PixelKraft'? How much capital was required to implement the idea?
PixelKraft happened about 8 years ago when Christie (the co-founder) and I were discussing the future of advertising and media over a cup of coffee. Both of us were fascinated by the possibility of the content creation and distribution on the internet, that too without intermediaries. A company that exploited a situation like this, we figured, would require a temperament for both technology and artistry, and hence the name 'Pixel' 'Kraft'. Who would have believed an idea like this in 2003, when Youtube, Twitter and Facebook were not even a twinkle in their founder's eyes? We bootstrapped.
Tell us about your background.
I'm a Medical Microbiologist by training and strayed into advertising after my Master's degree - from culture media to mass media, I often like to say( I don't know if the joke is dry, but I insist on repeating it till somebody tells me so upfront). I'd been a freelance cartoonist during my college days and the transition wasn't too painful. I worked as a Consultant at Lowe Lintas for a couple of years, when I discovered the Internet and Christie. I figured that my training in viruses and epidemics would be useful after all and co-founded PixelKraft.Let us know about the tie-ups that you have (if any). Is there acceptance for your concept? Can you give us some incidents to illustrate the same?
We've had an amazing response to Moodler. Moodler is a social mood tracking platform and has been discovered by 120 countries so far. The initial results are very encouraging and if all goes well, we could be the next (better) Twitter. Speaking of tie-ups, let me talk about a few. Toyota Etios, for example. We have a derivative of Moodler called CrowdSpeak that we used for real time mood polling when Toyota launched Etios in Chennai. The results were amazing.
We followed it up with a mood tracking assignment for Intel, for their App Up platform
For Grundfos, we provided mood polling for their unique 'pump yatra' throughout their trip across the country. In this case, there were some important enquiries the brand got through Moodler CrowdSpeak.
More recently, we have a phenomenal response for our 'Change Chennai' campaign' - a print media campaign for S&P that was integrated with Moodler CrowdSpeak and the results are pretty encouraging.
We're excited like hell about Moodler.
Where do you see social networking, mobile apps and PixelKraft five years from now?
The way we see it, Twitter and Facebook will become commodities, like what Google Search has become today. The access point itself - browser or mobile, will be largely irrelevant. Tomorrow's gamechanger could be someone who takes it to the next level. We believe we are already doing that with Moodler - where you track your friend's mood, instead of all his/her tweets, which is such a waste of time. We also have other products in the pipeline, but I'm going to be tight lipped about them now. We have five years, you see :)
What is PixelKraft's revenue model? Have you been funded? If yes, can you throw some light on how the funding came about and from whom?
Advertising and Marketing Services are our primary revenue, though Moodler CrowdSpeak has already started fetching us revenues. We've had a couple of angel investors so far and are presently looking for venture capital to take it to the next level.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
It's primarily about being able to do your own thing. It's a joy that's hard to explain. When we created Moodler and put it out there, we were thrilled that we could actually do something absolutely original and challenge, I dare say, the Twitters and the Facebooks of the world. It's a high. This kind of challenge is exhilarating. In the real world, however, the challenge is to convince the home grown venture capitalists who usually discount all this enthusiasm and politely ask for you balance sheet and revenue model. It's a bit difficult to get them to see the future when they're busy extrapolating the past into the future. So, the biggest challenge is waiting for the 'adventure' capitalist to arrive.
How big is the PixelKraft team? Give us some info on team composition. Are you looking at hiring?
We're a 20 member team and an eclectic bunch. We encourage multi-skilling and therefore, people are usually multi-tasking. As a policy, we've decided withhold titles, territories and name-calling till we're a bit more 'established'. Formal structures are something we can live without for the moment. Usually we're looking at firing people who get complacent. However, we're always open for bright and creative people.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
We're looking at venture capital to take Moodler to the tipping point. We're hoping to have Moodler on mobiles and other devices shortly. We also have a couple of products built around Moodler, some of which we will launch this year.
We wish PixelKraft success with their exciting line of products coming up! Please check out http://www.pixelkraft.in and let us know what you think. Cool, isn’t it?