CEO SERIES Episode 13:
A Conversation with Movable Ink CEO Vivek Sharma
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>> Hi Charlotte, is Vivek on?
>> Who?
>> George-
>> Vivek, he's not on yet, so I'm gonna ping his assistant, can you see this hold slide ok?
>> I can see the slide, yes, I'm seeing something that talks about Adobe Acrobat, that's gone away.
>> Okay.
>> And you re-resent me the link of the questions?

>> Yeah, check your email, I just sent you the outline, I just wanna make sure- An email, there we go.
>> Okay,
>> Outline handless link, John's plan this link got it.
>> Okay.
>> I'll text her back and just remind him.
>> Yeah, that would be great.

>> Is it too bright behind me?
>> Can you increase your screen brightness to see if that might brighten up your face a little?
>> That's not gonna be it, I was hoping that having the Manhattan skyline might work somehow but the light angle's not great.
>> How's that?

>> Yeah, I think that's better, yeah.
>> Okay, that's somewhat better.
>> It's better, yeah. I know you always want that skyline, it's like kind of fades.
>> Sorry?
>> The skyline tends to fade when you're on the Zoom with-
>> Yeah.
>> Yeah.
>> It is what it is, hold on, this might help.

A little clearer, okay.
>> How, what did you do to do that?
>> Sorry.
>> What did you do, to do that to make it clear?
>> I literally took a tissue.
>> Perfect, old trick. I just had my video, so that I can be the voice of God.

>> Okay. Are you getting a effect behind me from the screen?
>> The screen is doing a little curly wavy thing, but you are fine.
>> Yeah, but just hear, let me make changes.
>> Yeah, that's good. Perfect, I followed up with his assistant and you texted Vivek.

>> I texed Vivek with the link, so yes, with his assistance.
>> Okay.
>> I also emailed with him yesterday and said.
>> He said he's coming?
>> More I said looking forward to talking to you tomorrow.
>> Okay.
>> Gavin, his assistant said, he should be on by now just pinged him again.

I don't know if that means to sit tight. I just saw a nice nod on you.
>> No, but I'm definitely gonna tell him.
>> Hi, there? Welcome, thanks for joining.
>> Mr. Vivek, how you doing?
>> John, doing well.
>> Always a pleasure man. Yeah, likewise. Quite a beard.

>> Yeah, it's yeah, I don't know what I'm doing.
>> Okay, wonderful. So well.
>> Go ahead John
>> Yeah. Before we jump in, I just I'm not going to talk about this on the call, but the round you did is done, right and that's public you raised money at the 1.3 billion valuation, correct?

>> That's correct.
>> You had talked about in the summer of potentially doing a tender. Is that still something that's on?
>> We're going to explore now, yes.
>> Okay, and talk to me about the IPO and what you're thinking what we can say or can't say.
>> We're just going through some readiness things internally but market can do When and if and when that happens.

>> Okay, but look, the markets probably going to be messy into Q4 would be my guess and maybe it gets better.
>> Yeah, nothing this year.
>> Yeah. Okay cool. I think we've got another 15 to 25% downside so will see he that plays out. But good growth yeah its like when we come out this will be well sought after.

>> Definitely.
>> Cool, okay.
>> We're at 11:01. So I'm going to start the webinar, and we'll get started. I'll let a few minutes come in before we officially get going, and I'll introduce you John so you'll know exactly when to kick it off.
>> But we'll let some people come in first so I will start the webinar.

>> Charlette, you don't hear my background noise spreads?
>> No.
>> No, I don't hear anything.
>> I'm going to pick something here on my own Hi everyone thank you for joining. We will get started in just a minute so sit tight and we'll get started, Zoom. Hi everyone.

Welcome to our ffVC CEO series where we talk to some of the incredible founders and CEOs from the ffVC portfolio. Today, we're joined by ffVC founding partner, John Frankel and Moveable Ink founder and CEO, Vivek Sharma. As a reminder, please feel free to use the Q&A boxes to get your questions for Vivek and I kick it over to you John.

>> Hi, I'm. Good morning everyone. I really appreciate people taking the time out today to spend with Vivek and myself talking through Movable Ink, which is just a fantastic story. Movable Ink early earlier this year, announced that they were a newly minted center 100 million. Those are two good mythical beasts to be.

Vivek is just one of our just best CEOs in terms of keeping a steady hand on the helm and has sort of brought Movable Ink which he co-founded back in 2010 into being a dominant New York company. Though I guess nowadays post pandemic, we don't talk about companies being located anywhere.

But nevertheless, I think New York is very proud to have incubated this really great company for over 550 employees worldwide and they serve some of the world's most innovative brands. People sometimes ask me what it is that Movable Ink does and I'm sure Vivek is going to chastise me for my description.

But, you have people who market and they market digitally and they want to market across multiple channels. How can they do that behaviorally relevant and how can they do it, where the data they capture and the data you have in their systems allow them to do that in the most efficient and effective manner.

And it's really a matter of data strategy marketing that Movable Ink enables them to do. And I got to tell you, it's an incredible product companies in the world of rapidly changing Ad tech, privacy rules, other dynamics change. The company has just steadily grown and in fact has been growing faster of late.

I want to hand this over to Vivek to tell us a little bit about the story. And in particular Vivek, I'd like you just to talk about how you came up with the idea of Movable Ink and how did you know it was such a big idea when you got started?

>> Thanks for having me here, John. If everyone had a hype man as great as he we'd all feel fantastic as we enter every day. So thank you. Thank you for that. Yeah, we've known each other going all the way back to 2011 I think when you Around.

So going back quite a ways the thing that we may not have ever talked about or kind of the story that predated it was, I actually started a company with a different co founder and we were trying to solve a different problem. We bought a domain name called market.io.

And it was a syndicate e commerce type of idea cross selling merchandise from different merchants. 8 very intense months in, we realized it was not going to work out and along the way, we picked up the third co founder a guy named Michael Nutt, who's my co founder from Movable Ink.

And late one evening, I think we run a kind of Ad widget on Squidoo, which was Seth Godin's website, and somehow we convinced him to go run this thing. Clicks and the conversions and everything that we're getting was just horrible. And this is kinda like our last scramble to try to prove that there was something here and kinda validate.

And we realised if we if we wanted to make this a real idea market IO, I was gonna just take way too much effort, and we were our heart was not in it. And so sitting there bemoaning this probably over a warm beer, the other co founder had left and gone away.

And Michael and I were talking about other, there ideas that we had we weren't ready to throw in the towel on building a company. And in the mid-2000s I started a mobile company, and this is pre iPhone. So we were on the bleeding edge of doing things with mobile and we were too early to that to that, frankly.

And so I didn't want to get caught into a bleeding edge technology type of situation again. I said, could we work on something that maybe is ubiquitous, everyone uses it, but there's more room for innovation. And so even now was one of those things that I was, thinking about quite a bit and email marketing and not that I've ever been an email marketer.

I'd had a background building e-commerce. It's sort of an e-commerce type of background as well. But there was a technical innovation, as we're just talking about this, Michael mentioned, hey, it's possible that. Just before like what is connected to email, we talked about email as a wallet as it did your digital wallet is a ubiquitous, open protocol.

It's a social network, it's all of these things. And there was this technical thing Michael mentioned. It's like an image can be dynamic inside an email. And I've been an engineer and like, that doesn't sound right like that. That doesn't sound like it would work. And we started talking about this and decided, well that no way that works, but if it does, what could you do with it?

And I was kind of excited about the idea and Michael was gonna go off that night, and build a prototype that literally just proved to himself that technically things could change. And we started having a deeper conversation about in the request itself. What could you know about an individual, from an HTTP request?

So you could get IP address and per location and the weather outside, time of day on the server You would be able to pick up the device from the user agent. And so that was kind of the genesis of this and I said 3 AM, 4 AM for each different industry and all these use cases that I could just come up with in my head for what you can do with that.

And that's kinda the start of it. Hey, this is kind of interesting. The third co-founder didn't really see it, who were still friends now, but he left the company shortly after. But it was a tough, it was a tough breakup or a good. That'd be kind of founded as well.

>> So yeah, you started off with email marketing, dynamic emails which are a great thing to start with. But today you're so much more. So can you talk a little bit about the sort of strategic marketing aspect? I'm a Fortune 500 company, you come to me. How do you explain Movable Ink, what is it you can do for me?

Cuz I think that'd be very helpful for people to understand the company.
>> Yeah, so a lots changed since those early days. The early days I think the position was like contextual marketing and let's take the factors that you don't know as a marketer. At the moment you're deploying an email and these real time elements like time, weather, location, etc can be used to, dynamically create.

Generate a piece of creative to do better marketing. And I think we overestimated the capabilities of the email service providers back then we said there's all these things data access and, dynamic content that they must have solved for. This feels differentiated, and I think it took us several years to realize.

These things were nice, they kinda opened the door. Things like countdown timers and email or showing a local map to a nearby store, but they were parlor tricks. What really kind of opened our eyes was probably three or four years into the company. Companies have rich set of data assets, and today they might have a CDP, which was on an acronym or a category that existed back then customer data platform.

They may have had a CRM it maybe it was in their ESP and other systems that manage data. And they have a system of engagement, which back then when we started was just email. You use Salesforce Marketing Cloud for your ESP or brace for mobile marketing or attentive for SMS market.

But, what was lacking, was a way to generate the ideal content, for an individual that could tap into any of their data sources. Be it an API, a CDP, a CSD file we've been figured out a way to turn the webpage into restful APIs. And to generate the ideal content that sits inside any of your communication channels.

And so we integrate into Salesforce marketing, cloud and braise and all of the big ESPs. So that was the essential innovation and even Gartner observed that 90% of personalization projects fail not because of the lack of data. But because of the lack of content and so there's a bottleneck.

You could create a seven step multiple multi four can journey. But if you don't have the content to fill what people see when they get to that step and open up that communication, what your marketing is? To be pretty successful for us. And at the core of what we do we also really understand what the strategic initiatives are for a given company we work for.

We listen to their earnings call, we listen to what the CEO is saying. We understand what data assets they have. Then we come up with use cases that are really powerful around content generation that use that data and are able to push their big strategic initiatives forward. And that's the thing that really unlocked the growth and allowed us to have high six figure and even multimillion dollar.

>> That's kinda amazing. Let's talk a little bit about the beginning, when you got started.It was a small team. How did you come in contact with FFEC? Let's talk a little bit about the beginnings before. I mean today you're 550 per person multinational. Back then was a little simpler.

>> After college, I moved to the Bay area, and so I'd experienced building a company and working as an early employee. Companies in Silicon Valley or Cisco early on and a company called Blue Martini software which pre revenue went from 20 people to 800 when I was there to big IPO.

But when I moved to New York in the early 2000s. In New York and you certainly couldn't find other tech companies, and right around 2010 I think it was super nascent. And I was somewhat aware of ffpc but metamorphic now called compound and. There was Betaworks, I think it started somewhere around then.

So there were all these, it's not even later stage funds that existed back then. And there was an energy around New York. I think people maybe decided they didn't wanna go into banking after 2008. And you started to see smart people starting companies around then. But it was way, way smaller than San Francisco and the Bay Area and so Seed round, so market IO died one of the things I kind of realized was maybe I was talking to VCs a little too early because you're judged I know sometimes you're told hey have those conversations early But it certainly felt like if we didn't have enough of that tied together there's some snap judgments that can be made about an idea or concept, so the team people always liked but we want to wait a while before we talk to investors and.

Angel list just started up. And that was really our first navall personally, like helped me edit my pitch and sent the email out to everyone and we got a ton of interest and raised about 200k on a laughably low valuation today it was on a $2 million pre money back then.

And a few months after that some VCs wanted to talk to us and I think Matt Gorman contour. I didn't even know him but was persistent throughout and he was interested in we also met with Louis and Mark and David Hershey. Metamorphic and they were interested. And so that started to turn into our series A, and we were like, okay, great, we got a little bit of money, which seemed $700,000, or whatever we initially thought just seemed like an immense amount of money to us.

And Mark mentioned he and you had been talking about a different company Sort of in the space but decided there was something off about it and you liked our what we were trying to do better. And Mark asked me to meet you. We had a great conversation, and you made a decision pretty quickly that we'd be a great fit for you.

And since then I've really valued that kinda unique Things that FFBC provides kind of the add on services and is kind of unusual in the crop of BC is about having in house accounting and controlling and legal and advice on these things that you as a founder just don't wanna have to worry about on top of everything else.

>> Right? Yeah, no, I think From the early days, you really focus on making sure that you're able to making number informed decisions for accounting and health survey. I think that was very important. Today, you've crossed this 100 million era of threshold. And I will tell you that Maybe four basis points of companies have formed in any year get to that so that's pretty good and I've seen a stat that you know maybe 1% maybe less than 1% of SaaS companies that get venture funded get to that so you're in a very You know rarefied Group of Companies.

>> By the way, it's even, it's even less of data. So Scott Brinker runs this more tech landscape. And there have been nearly 10,000 companies on his, you know, originally it was like 5000 the martec 5000 10,000 more tech companies that have ever been in existence But have those got some other data from Luma that only 60 have passed the 100 million dollar revenue mark.

So, you know, there's a lot of companies out there but very few make it that far. And Shai Goldman formerly of SPV now at brex had some data and he pulled it there. 632 unicorns. In the US but only 4% or 25 have gotten there by raising less than $100 million in capital and so both making it that far as a marketing company and being as capital efficient as we were I think we kind of look at that as we're proud of those things Well, I'll tell you as a seed stage investor, we very much appreciate the capital efficiency, that's for sure.

I'm also blessed, you said there are 60 martec companies that have reached 100 million run rate. We're blessed to have two in the portfolio and we think a third will join next year. So we've been very We've been very fortunate in that regard. So when was it you felt you have product market fit?

Yeah.
>> Yeah, and I would say there's multiple moments of different types of product markets that we had. So I think this is back in October of 20. 10 where we said, hey, would blink is this thing we bought the domain name? We started to try this idea and we would talk to anyone who'd be willing to have a meeting with us.

And a lot of those early adopter customers were just small companies. They were startups. There's a TechStars company called Star street sports up in Boston. We talked to and the email newsletter companies like daily secret was one. There were daily newsletters, daily deals, group sales. This is definitely that era that these were the companies that were using email in a big way.

And I think daily candy may have been one of our And being an engineer, former engineer, I'd done a couple of years in sales but wanted to see if we could build something that people could self service and build a conversion funnel and people see the value proposition and sign up on their own and use the technology in the right ways.

Well, we might have had 30 something companies using us, but nobody was paying us real money. And when we realize we're spending three months in a sales process, trying to convince someone to spend 20 to $30 a month, something was really broken with how we were going to market.

And I think it was about a year after that point, we're like, do we have a real business here? And I had my first child on the way and we're like, Is this is this gonna be a thing? Or am I going to have to as my wife jokes, get a real job?

We got an enterprise to, you know, take a bet on us or some early customers like Fandango and Suddenly getting a deal size of like $12,000 More than doing a $30,000 deal, opened our eyes and said, Wow, these big enterprises have huge customer bases. They are looking to increase the performance.

They're eating their program. They're not necessarily harder to talk to you than startups. In fact You know if you're a startup that parting with at $20 a month is super painful.But for a big company like that,these types of the right amount of spend for the right kind of solution is not a huge deal and they seem more amenable to talking to startups.

Than maybe ten or 15 years before that. So that was the wake up call and I think I remember getting a $72,000 deal and we're like, okay, there's a formula here that's working let's not waste our time with small businesses. We have a solution. We just were selling to the wrong type of client, the wrong segment.

So we went all in on enterprise And suddenly like clockwork, you know, a deal comes in two deals a month, three deals next month, and our revenue started outpacing our costs. And then it became a scramble to hire people quickly enough to be able to service these clients and do the kinds of things that they wanted to.

So that was the first kind of product market fit where you can literally feel the pull of our clients and it was exciting. Rolls just rolling up their sleeves and funny enough our first client experience manager servicing clients he's now our SVP of product one of our early BDRs runs North American sales for us.

Now. So there these people who've been our president now was joined when we were about 25 people he came in to run our customer success teams, and now he's overseeing all go to market efforts. So we definitely found great talent and we grew that talent over time. And that was the first moment of product market fit, but there were other moments where we You sort of lose it or you need to capture a bigger opportunity and we found that, and the data access thing was one of those big aha moments about three or four years in.

>> Yeah, I think a lot of founders when they come to attack a space, fill their stuff up with small businesses, there'll be simpler, and then larger and larger and then enterprise. And honestly we found the companies that tackle enterprise as their first attack, somehow do better. And I think it's something you've touched on, which is the enterprises now are more willing to work with startups, they just weren't 20, 25 years ago and I think that has definitely changed

>> The one thing that's gotten trickier is they're more willing to. But then in for InfoSec and privacy requirements have gotten tougher in the last four or five years and it's making things more difficult. And I worry that for startups there's additional struggle and they raise more capital just to get your product up to spec to even pass that clearance, it's going to be a bit more difficult.

>> Someone will come out with a startup for that layer.
>> Yeah, that's a good idea.
>> So we're gonna talk a little bit about the future. Before we do, I just want to remind people if they want to use Q&A, if there's any question they like to ask for that, we'd love to sort of fold them in.

Let's talk a bit about the future. You're integrating AI, your quads, Coherent Path, let's talk a little bit about two aspects. Probably how you're thinking about acquisitions.
>> Yeah, let me answer the second question first about acquisitions. Now we met with companies over the years and we never had a formal Corp Dev function at Google Inc.

And so it was head of product was familiar with a startup, or someone reaches out to me, or I get familiar about them through our partnership network. And so we evaluated things, but it was kind of a part time thing on my side that I'd kind of poke at it and figure out if there was something there.

And we came close several years back on one or two companies, but for whatever reason, we chose not to kind of follow through. I never realized what a big benefit having a full time Corp Dev person would be to a company and especially at our stage. And so we hired a gentleman named Neil Gandhi early last year, and suddenly, we were just seeing a lot more companies, we were getting a better understanding of the landscape.

And there was a company we looked at late last year, one that we got serious about, and we started a process to evaluate if should we go buy this company. For different reasons it wasn't the right fit, but Coherent Path kind of popped up and we'd started a partnership with them late 2020.

So partnerships are a great way to kinda get to know a company. So we have that partnership relationship. It also turned out we had an employee who had been a client of Coherent Path while she was at Neiman Marcus. So we got an insider's view on the benefits of the value proposition, and I joke about this with James, his pitch wasn't totally clear to us initially.

James Glover was the CEO Coherent Path, he's our GM of AI now. So pitching the company to us, and it wasn't totally clear to me what they did. And then we got a deeper understanding through our partnerships and the employee who had been their client, and it was like, aha, I get it now.

And there were a couple data points that were problematic in their numbers, but we understood the reason for that, and we were thinking about the space AI in a meaningful way. So we realized this is a diamond in the rough. They're not telling their story the right way, and whoever they're pitching to, we may actually have a shot at grabbing this company.

And it could be pretty transformative for us and the deeper we went, we noticed there was a lot more substance there.
>> PhD from UCSD, taught at Dartmouth and still does research on geometry and topology, really smart guy and their head of engineering. Just the technical team was super top notch.

And so, found this diamond in the rough, it's a private and private company sale, which can be tough to navigate and pull off, but somehow we did it and convinced both boards and the CEOs. I mean, James got it done and we announced it and rebranded it as DaVinci last week at our annual think summit.

So what DaVinci does is basically create a model of a kind of an n dimensional model of your product catalog, or it can be any sort of thing you sell products or services, and customer behavior against that over time. So a nice way to visualize that as geometric arcs moving through a big and dimensional lattice space.

And what DaVinci is really good at is not only reinforcing the kinds of things you've seen before and purchased, and just limiting you to those types of products. But opening the aperture and being really good at predicting the kinds of products and services and categories you're likely to want in the future, the things that you will love.

So it's really a discovery tool. And there are companies that use, DaVinci as a layer on top of their email service provider and everything is machine generated, 100% of their promotional emails. We're figuring out what category to put into that, we are assembling the whole thing, we are deploying it through the ESP.

There's even send time personalization. What time is this person likely to open it and what's the ideal frequency to message this person? And there's a whole class of other AI services that are also coming together. And there's a perfect control held for every single send of an average of your business as usual emails.

And we're seeing regularly over a ten to one ROI, sometimes meaningfully greater than that, for the clients that we work with. So it's pretty transformative and I kind of describe it as the. How you get a Corolla back in the 2000s to the Cadillacs of marketing today, which are the modern marketing stacks.

And we're creating this AI brand that you can put inside that Cadillac and it turns it into the autonomous car of marketing.
>> I mean, the ten times ROI is kind of amazing, but from a consumer it means you're getting less annoying messaging.
>> You get.
>> Getting messaging that's more engaging for you.

>> Yeah, this is the directly attributable revenue lifts, right? There are other benefits that you're also getting, which is happier customers. Sometimes you're lowering the frequency that you're messaging people and actually getting greater gains. People stick on your list for longer, they don't unsubscribe as quickly, and especially in today's climate retaining your customer.

You can't shake the ad tech tree as easily anymore and get customers, so it's more important to retain and keep loyal customers. So you're doing a better job with that and you're also gaining big productivity gains. Your team doesn't have to create, we've moved from a segmented approach to a highly individualized approach and doing less work to do that.

So there's other games that you might not quantify. And lastly, profit margins. A lot of companies moved to discounting, 50% off as a way to juice conversions, and that really hampers your profit margin. So there's benefits in not having to do that by being more personalized.
>> Color the brand either good or bad, you go to Tiffany's you never expect a discount, you go to Macy's, you feel like you're an idiot if you don't get a discount.

Because they granted around this candidate. By the way I'm gonna try and find the number usage in the next year of a geometric curve in an n-dimensional space
>> It's called hyperbolic geometry if you're curious.
>> Well, I did actually study topology at Oxford, I can appreciate it.

>> Awesome, very good.
>> Cool, so recession, right? We're in a recession, we're going in a recession, we're on the edge of a recession, Europe's definitely in a recession. You're a global firm, talk to us how you think about the recession world and what it means for your business.

>> Yeah, the last couple of years have been crazy. So I don't feel any, the start of the pandemic in 2020. I think every company was figuring out what that meant to them and some were big beneficiaries, And then last year was pretty complex too, from a crazy competitive labor market where you could feel that compensation was moving up significantly over the previous year.

And other kinds of industry changes, you've Apple doing things, you've Google doing things. So we're a really good position as a company right now and having run it in a very capital-efficient fashion. I think that it's a tough scenario and I sympathize with founders running companies and we've been in tough replaces way back in the past.

But if your bonus is too high, or your runway is not long enough, or it's been a while since you've raised around the capital that could be beneficial to you. Or you're selling to a lot of small businesses that have taken VC your customers, or a lot of VC-funded brands or small businesses that are more affected by economic headwinds.

There's a tougher go a bit, on the other side. The other extreme is you're selling to enterprises, well-capitalized, capital-efficient company must-have piece of technology and you're probably not feeling any kind of headwinds. We're a little bit more on the latter camp and I'm obsessed about this. I keep asking our head of sales, hey, are you hearing anything?

Are you seeing anything, any change to the forecast? And thus far, we're not seeing that, we're seeing positive news. In fact, we have our biggest opportunities month in the past month in the company's history. But I'm really aware that kind of rising inflation and the downstream effects maybe consumer brands feel it.

Maybe AdTech feels at first, but there's a domino effect that might be several phases down. So we're operating cautiously just looking at the future, still going. Into the banker conferences and hear anecdotes from crossover investors and tracking what public companies are also seeing. So it's a mixed story.

It seems what I've kind of gathered so far right now seems to be about equity capital markets are the thing that is causing difficulty but software spend. It isn't completely clear that there are headwinds there yet not to say that that won't happen a month from now or three months from now or six months from now.

>> Yeah, I have been talking with a number of other sorts of late-stage investors about software. And I think we're in the part of the cycle, which is you're gonna like, which is when things get tough people spend more on software to save money fast. So your ten times our ROI solution is more attractive in a downturn than it is when everything's sort of loose and daises and things are just fine.

And you were just kind of seeing this in other places as well, that we expect if there's a recession, maybe a quarter of they're in caught in the headlights. But then the spending on software and the efficiency solutions or kinds of things you bring to the table actually have robust spending against it.

>> Yeah, and I think brands learned this during the pandemic that digital transformation is a multi-year journey. Bull or bear market and the ones who resisted where the future is going, right? Digital is taking over from analog and software if you're doing it right is inherently deflationary. So if you need to become more efficient contain costs, you're gonna wanna make these bets.

And you're gonna wanna create a steady connection to your customers over time and not kind of fall off a cliff and then try to pop back up. Because you're competing with every other company that is either a digital native or pushing digital transformation forward quickly. And you will lose ground to them when a cycle inevitably kind of turns we get back into growth.

>> So, you're now a grand old man in MarTech and AdTech and the like. What advice would you give to people just starting off in the space today? Yeah, how do you think of obviously not a few we're starting off but if your cousin is starting off in the space, what advice would you give them?

>> Yeah, I think this is an amazing time to start a company, right? These downturns always seem to be there's less noise you can break through the noise if there aren't, Easier access to talent. Sadly, companies if they have to do layoffs there's some creative destruction that happens and there's a talent pool that might be motivated to say hey, what do we have to lose?

Why don't we get this thing that I've always been wanting to do? I don't have to think competing for my attention that this other company and I can go work on this thing that I have been kinda obsessing me for a while. There's also talent pools that are far deeper in New York, you wouldn't be able to find in VP 10 years ago that had been there done that and SaaS and today there's tons of people with great experience.

So starting businesses and specifically in MarTech and AdTech, you can build something now, knowing that privacy is a high priority. Security is a high priority and are there ways you can solve these challenges? Other business, seeing even collaboration. How do you work?
>> I got a cool demo of how learning from former CEO of edX has this cool product that he's working on that makes it easier for teams to collaborate.

So it's rife with opportunity if we look around us, and I'd be pretty excited if I was a founder. Augmented reality being imminent, AI being something that's gotta play a fundamental role instead of people kinda turning wheels and dials and knobs in how software works. There's just so much happening around that it's opportunity-rich and talent-rich to do something.

>> Yeah, I mean look I don't disagree with you plus I think every startup is a play against changes in people's behavior, wherever it's enterprise, it's consumer. And the last couple of years we've been through, I think there's a lot of behavioral change. And so not only is the opportunity set there the ability to take your commute time and start a side project that becomes a real business.

But I think people just open to new solutions to new sets of problems that they see in front of them. I really wanna thank you for your time today. I know we ran a few minutes over but I appreciate it and good luck with everything. I'm excited for the future for the company and for where it can go.

I suspect an IPO is the next logical step here and there's something that the company is thinking about. Maybe that would be a good point to sort of wrap things up today on just your thoughts about that.
>> Your words, not mine, but we do wanna build an enduring company.

We have great clients, just coming out of our thing, something, wait 500 people together in an amazing space. Amazon, Walmart, American Express, all speaking on stage about how they're using our technology and the connection we're creating between marketers. So we think there's a new guard that is rising now in MarTech and Mobilink is one of them.

And we're very excited about the future and so our ability to really innovate, to invest in bigger things happens. And we see being an independent company is a great way of doing that. So my CFO and I were having regular conversations, there's a bunch of readiness things that we would do.

Our board composition, there's a board addition that we will announce probably in the next month or so as well. And feeling like we're gonna be in a really good place for that in terms of readiness by the end of the year. And then it's sort of when the time is right we can kind of make the determination when the markets look right to us, for us to go out.

And I know there's pros and cons if nobody's going public. If you can capture all the attention and there's an argument for that but if the market valuations get healthier, there's an argument for that to the amount of capital you're able to raise in an IPO.
>> Yeah, to the extent that you do, should you go public, I think it will be a very natural next step on the path of building.

Well, I think it's gonna be a very important AdTech company over next decade plus. And I wanna thank you for having us as a part of your journey, it's been a lot of fun for us. And i'm excited for the things ahead of the company. Thank you very much for your time.

I really appreciate it.
>> Thank you very much John
>> Cheers.
>> Cheers.

A Conversation with Movable Ink CEO Vivek Sharma
Movable Ink's platform activates data into personalized content in any customer engagement and serves as an extension to the technologies that marketers use, enabling clients to accelerate their marketing performance.
ffVC first invested in Movable Ink in 2021
Vivek Sharma
Co-founder & CEO
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