Entrepreneur Christopher Kahler, CEO of Qriously, “Anything that improves UX is a win”
Qriously lets advertisers display questions instead of traditional mobile ads so that they can not only measure sentiment in real-time but also measure based on a user’s location. YourStory caught up with the founder and CEO Christopher Kahler to know about his exciting mission to challenge Google AdSense, and on raising their first round of investment from Accel Partners a couple of weeks back.
Tell us more about the powerful idea of Qriously
Qriously measures real-time, location-based public sentiment. By replacing ads with questions in smartphone apps, we enable you to ask millions of people what they think about something in real-time, and tag those responses with location.
Share with us a little about your background
I am an Austrian, but have lived most of my life abroad - everywhere from Saudi Arabia to Switzerland. I studied mechanical engineering in the US and bio-mechanics in Vienna, where I founded my start-up.
Why did you start Qriously?
There were two main impetuses:
The desire to disrupt the ad-based model for monetizing mobile applications. The realization that, in the era of real-time, the speed requirements for consumer insight are increasing exponentially
You are trying to compete with Google AdSense and create alternative revenue models for mobile (content) apps. What makes you so confident about the power of your idea?
People are tired of clicking on ads! :)
So, how does Qriously's service work exactly? Whats your business model?
Exactly the same way an ad-network does, only we serve questions - both technically and commercially. You ask a question on the Qriously dashboard and we determine who to send the question to, and when. Answers are then streamed back to you in real-time. As an 'asker' you either pay a subscription fee or pay per-answer basis depending on the volume.
The Indian smart-phone market grows by 100% p.a. and is expected to reach 100 million devices in 2013. The biggest chunk of it is going to be Android-based devices. Moreover, Indian consumers are hesitant to pay for apps. How does this opportunity mean for Qriously?
It's a massive one. For us, the key right now is focus on markets we are familiar with first. We shall expand after that. This interview will be read by plenty of developers in India. How can they make use of your framework?The benefit for developers is 3 fold: You earn way more for a comparable unit.
By asking 'house questions' you learn valuable insights into your own users and how to make your app better. This has inestimable value as a developer, it is essentially a portal for free user insight.
Users like it more (which explains the engagement rates being so much higher than ads). Anything that improves UX is a win :)
How many installations does Qriously have at this point of time and what can we expect in the next months?
Mid 8-figures in just over a year currently. We have very strong expectations regarding growth.
You have got your first round of investment from Accel Partners a couple of weeks back. How are you planning to spend the money to reach out to millions of users, researchers, agencies and publishers?
We are looking at hiring brilliant people and buying good coffee to fuel them :)
When does the self-serve aspect of the product go live?
It will go live in a couple of months. We will keep you posted.