YourStory recently caught up with Varun Bansal, founder of Tveen, on creating an algorithm to fetch a wide variety of events from online sources.
Tell us a little bit about Tveen.
Tveen is a refreshing spin on event ecosystem. Just spin the letters in the word Event and voila, you get Tveen! Tveen lets you easily discover what's happening around you. Simply specify what you like, where you hang out and Tveen gets those events to you! It’s a one-stop shop for all your event related information gathering, planning & sharing.
How is Tveen different from other event aggregators?
Tveen, with the help of its proprietary algorithm is able to fetch a wide variety of events from hundreds of online/offline sources. We are even able to find out events from tweets and pull out events data from any random block of text. The recommendation engine pushes the most relevant content to the user, enhancing their experience by providing a more personalised browsing. There are now a couple of new features being secretly developed in ours labs, which would bridge the gap of experiencing an event without even being present and attending it physically.
How did the idea for Tveen come about? How did you zero in on the name 'Tveen'?
It is an outcome of a genuine problem that I faced while working for my earlier company in Hyderabad. I got bored of the outings with friends to usual hangouts, like, malls, the same restaurants, Hussain Sagar lake and surroundings. During my quest to discover some interesting activity around my interest, I got to know about a whole lot of events that were of high interest to me, but somehow they were not highly publicized. Also, the events info was scattered over multiple website, blogs, twitter, etc. None of the existing solutions contained such an info. They were listing out the most obvious and well known events in town. So, I hacked for a day or two and compared the results with the existing sites. The new events info appealed to all my friends. That is when I quit my employer and started working on this idea.The name "Tveen" comes from the word "Event". It is an anagram of the later. After going through several articles over naming of a product, I decided to go for a 5 letter word, preferably a verb. That's how "Tveen" was coined. So, whenever you are looking out for events, you wont search for it, just Tveen it!
Tell us about your background.
I am from New Delhi. Did my schooling and college both from here. I have done my BTech in Information Technology. I worked with Infosys Technologies for 2.5 years in Hyderabad, before starting Tveen. I have a penchant for attending interesting events. Entrepreneurial spirit runs in my family. My mother heads one of the top translation and interpretation services company of India by the name of Anubhav Multilingual Services, based out of New Delhi again.
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 have now started getting into the partnering mode. We are in talks with a couple of companies for different things. Just waiting for things to finalize and we will break the news by posting on our blog at http://blog.tveen.in
The product has been well received by the audience. We are seeing a regular increase in number of users. Also, we have been getting loads of feedback from the users, which is helping us shape the product.
Where do you see event aggregation and Tveen five years from now?
We live in an age of data abundance. Ever-increasing amounts of digital information has made the discovery of relevant info a cumbersome task. This is where an aggregator pitches in and helps the end user by providing relevant info, in a structured manner. Similarly, in the events domain, there has been a surge in the number of events happening. This is evident from the analysis of data being generated at our end. Tveen helps the user by making the discovery of events much easier and along with the recommendation engine, it makes the whole experience more relevant and personalised. With the new features currently under development in our labs, it will revolutionize the way people attend events virtually. Five years from now, we see Tveen expanding to various corners of the world. Also, partnering with event entities like venue owners, event organisers in order to directly source the events and promotional activities.
What is Tveen's revenue model?
Working towards it, will soon break the news. We were till now purely focused on the product.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
I am enjoying each moment of this new found joy of being an Entrepreneur. I am able to channelize all my energy and expertise on a solution providing real help to other people. This gives me immense pleasure. Though, it is coming at a high cost. Loads of things to do on Tveen, but short of resources. Managing both technology and business front is getting a little difficult as we are progressing.
How big is the Tveen team? Give us some info on team composition. Are you looking at hiring?
We are a handful of resources working on Tveen, 3 to be precise - 2 developers and 1 data analyst. We are now in the mode of hiring a couple of resources, mainly for marketing and promotion. The immediate openings are for social media analysts (2 openings).
Let us know about your expansion plans.
We are now in the mode of starting partnerships with venue owners and event organisers. Also, have plans of adding a social layer to Tveen and integrating it closely with existing social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We are currently live in 6 Indian cities - Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. Planning to cover another bunch of cities in the coming months and then go international with Singapore, Canada and others.
With all the above plans in mind, we are now also looking at funding options.
Anything else you want to tell us?
Let me share some stats with you.
Visitors - 500 unique/day
Page views - 10000/month
Max visitors from New Delhi and Bangalore
Most popular events - Music, Nightlife, Film
We at YourStory hope that Tveen helps us uncover hottest events happening all over! Please check out http://www.tveen.in/ and let us know what you think of the idea. Feel free to write to us at feedbackyourstory.in