5 success stories of Russian it companies in Silicon Valley
Telephone systems, testers for servers, Internet telephony and other areas where small companies Russians competing with giants.
Known in the world of Russian IT-companies are not only ABBYY David Ian or Evernote Stepan Pachikov at an, whose Office is located in plain view on the way from the airport of San Francisco in Silicon Valley. Community of Russians, launching startups, there is one of the most influential in the Valley. Here are five stories about small, but successful companies based from Russia.
- Company: Zultys
- Year established: 2009
- Founder: Vladimir Movshovich, Moscow
- Scope: development of telephone systems
The ideological INSPIRER and the founder of Zultys-53-year-old Vladimir Movshovich. In 1993, he arrived in San Francisco at the invitation of a former staff member of the Institute of system research, made in California startup image recognition. "Took with him one sweater-thought, came for a couple of months," recalls Movshovich. It turned out differently. He soon began work on a startup Zarak (founder Ian Milnes), in charge of production testers for the telecommunications industry. The business was successful: by the end of the 1990-ies Zarak won half the American market testers, and overseeing such clients Telecom giants like Cisco and AT&T. In 2000 year Zarak replaced owner, Movshovicha fired, giving the option. Money enough to purchase a home in mountain view.
In 2001 the team Movshovicha and Mills of the former Russian engineers started developing software for telephone systems, a startup called Zultys. "The expert market where he worked as Zarak, limited and telephone systems market is huge," explains Movshovich shift course. Zultys offered clients a set of simultaneous services: call-center operator, Secretary-General, voicemail, fax, "client" on the desktop and gadgets. Nearest rivals-American Mytell, Shoretell, Avaya, Cisco. In General, the volume of the American market is estimated at telephone systems $10 billion.
But with all the virtues of the product initially customers in queues were not. "We've never had a really good marketing is our main Boner," acknowledges Movshovich. The situation has improved in the year 2008 when CEO took the American Nile Lihtmana,-per year sales have doubled. Stimulation strategy worked: they were offered a discount on the price, the amount of which is kept in strict confidence, so that each dealer sells clients phone systems on their own, rather than the manufacturer's recommended price. "This approach makes dealers loyal, they" addicted "to us even in the absence of a known brand, earning a decent margin.
350 dealers play a key role in the business models of Zultys. They are looking for customers, trying to find the options they want telephone system (how many people work for the company, how many phone numbers, is there a need for call center call recording, Secretary-General, statement and other services), install equipment and software. The cost of telephone systems in Zultys did not disclose the industry average, it is 000-40 000 $30.
At the beginning of 2010 the year market phone systems became narrow-typed the popularity of cloud technologies. "It has become clear that we need to go in the cloud: to preserve and continue the growth we have virtual, and then with the cloud proposal," says Movshovich. The company now sells turnkey phone services from its data centers in the United States. Closest competitors on SaaS company Ringcentral (founder-odessit Vladimir Shmunis), American Star2Star, 8. Surrender of lease services is another way to increase the income of the company. Maintenance cost for such customers is minimal. About running this direction announced in the spring of 2014 years.
Among the largest customers-Bank of Yutah and First Bank of Texas, car dealers, such as a large dealer network and Toyota, Acura Ken Garff have with 3 500 staff (although the average client size-35), school associations-the so-called school district, 5-15 schools. In the United States per class must stand telephone, where a teacher might call the police, and the police must understand what a class ring. As a result, by 3 000-4 000 licenses for Zultys system sells for only one school district. In the nearly 6000 clients, a large part in the United States and Canada, but there are customers in Australia, and in South-East Asia.
The company's revenue is growing at 10% in the past year-about $10 million. The team employs nearly 100 engineers-the majority in the United States and about a dozen in Kiev (in 2011 year there design office was opened).
Storage for business
- Company: LoadDynamiX
- Year established: 2008
- Scope: testing server workloads
- Founders: Leonid Shaybah (St. Petersburg), Alan Newman, Dick Bush
- Revenue: approximately $10 million
In California born Leonid Shaybah arrived in 1989 year. A graduate of the Leningrad Electrotechnical University, a physicist by training, has not completed a single day Shaybah, and "immediately took up computers. In 2008, he led the engineering and consulting firm real 3Play. The idea of creating device-tester for simulating server workloads was born in the course of communication with one of our clients, Alan Newman. The fact it was necessary to assess the effectiveness and safety of information storage in the data center (if you are having problems purchasing or server capacity growth of traffic), and really effective testing services on the market was not.
At the stage of creation of the company, then called SwiftTest, to Njumanu and joined Tanjir Dick Bush (later both American withdrew from the project). The development partners have invested their own funds, 000000, $200 same gave local business angel. With the conclusion of the LoadDynamiX to the market helped another investor, Eric Benhamou, the thing in the draft order $6 million.
Who is the buyer? Manufacturers of servers and large IT companies, their use. The first customer was the IT company F5 Networks sells storage solutions, networks and applications. Tester companies Terri Schwartz has attracted not only the ability to carry out complex tests, but easy to use interface. He eventually replaced dozens of own servers used for testing loads on a single device with a solution from LoadDynamiX.
Followed by F5 Networks came the largest in services for storing and processing information EMC Corporation. "The first thing they said when they came-on what you are doing here, we specialize in 10 years," remembers Shaybah. As a self-funded startup managed to catch online such large fish? The Corporation attracted the ability to find the problem servers storing and processing information at the stage of preparing the final release, but not when they impact bought equipment customers.
But most customers still drawn, when there is a problem. So, at the beginning of the year 2013 New York-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the largest medical centers in the country, struggling to cope with the intense growth of data on their patients. The hospital took more than 2 million patients a year and coordinated the work of 20 000 employees, medical and insurance data of patients stored on dozens of servers. IT-infrastructure failures have led to delays in finding information that faced lethal outcomes for patients. LoadDynamiX conducted comparative tests of extreme loads of servers, helped the client to choose the most effective configuration of equipment.
On big business with the workload as the hospital until 20% earns only clients (such as HP, IBM). "Year two would like more," says Shaybah. It can be understood: the volume of the market testing data storage systems is estimated at more than $1 billion, of which server manufacturers account for only $300 million, the rest is on big business.
The cost of the product LoadDynamiX-from $50 000000 (this amount includes only the minimum number of ports and basic protocols, the sum of the average order-twice). Customers are willing to pay. "We are tired of independent tests of our network" stores, "says Justin Richardson, architect of Go Daddy, the world's largest domain name registrar. -Most importantly, that provide solutions LoadDynamiX-understanding cost control and the ability to sleep at night knowing that everything will work out. "
Its decisions LoadDynamiX sells worldwide: in addition to the States, have clients in Japan, Germany, and India. In April 2015 year opened a sales office in the UK. On operating profit, the company must go to the year 2017.
A Disciple Of Hoffman
- Company: Talkatone
- Foundation year: 2011
- Founder: Danis Dajanov, Kazan
- Scope: Internet telephony
- Revenue: n/a
The 39-year-old California engineer Danis Dajanov arrived in 2000 from their native Kazan where he graduated from the Faculty of applied mathematics of the Aviation Institute. "Then the most interesting software projects in Russia have evolved gas or oil industry and I wanted to do a startup in another field is the main thing I lacked in Russia»,-he explains the motivation.
After working briefly in a consulting company, Dajanov got a job as an engineer with the new startup-LinkedIn, where he stayed for five years. "It was a classic startup a lot of risk, a lot of hard work, a fun team, mistakes and good luck. What we did was have to users, and it pushed us forward. The founders, Reid Hoffman including, I studied how and what to do: LinkedIn-phenomenally good school, the majority of those who have passed it will only do startups. It captures.
He was no exception. Somehow at lunch with a friend at the hands of twisted telephone Dajanov, contemplating how to not pay for sms and send messages using only the Internet on your iPhone. And the idea to create a program that is installed on the user's mobile phone, which is assigned its own phone number.
Development of the mobile app does not require large resources for writing code you don't need money, requires only a computer and the Internet. In autumn 2010 the year released the first version of the application for the iPhone, release placed on the AppStore. "Two months after the release of Talkatone had more than 170 000 installations. We knew that our application people want, "said Dajanov.
The result is impressive, but in reality the growth dynamics installations only indicator development, rather than the success of startups. If 100 000 installations remains only two real user-developer efforts wasted. "Therefore, we have tried as quickly as possible to form a base of clients that use the application on an ongoing basis.
In 2011, together with two partners Dajanov registered company Talkatone and started to look for financing. "We were lucky, the successful law firm At first we help immediately Dettmer. They undertook all the necessary work for the preparation of corporate documents, building shareholder structure, made of us Classic startup Valley. And did so under the scheme with deferred delivery. We had to pay only in case of successful financing or sale, "admits Dajanov. It is common practice for Silicon Valley: it is a large law company (lawyer) have incorporated Apple, Cisco and Facebook.
Start-up needed u.s. phone numbers. Telephone bases in the United States owned by large companies, which resell them to the next level of providers, and those are even smaller, they can buy rooms. "The more difficult task of implementation proved to be hotel rooms our soft-forecasting, negotiation, contracts, took almost a year, with the technological complexities of integration we managed somewhere for six months," recalls Dajanov.
Startup has quickly gained market: today, 2 million order Talkatone regular users from different countries. In addition to the United States and Canada, major markets, applications are popular in South Korea, the UK and Saudi Arabia.
How does Talkatone? To your email address, the user gets a phone number online, confirms it and can make calls and send text messages to regular phone numbers using the mobile Internet. Earns subscription Talkatone-payments for telephone numbers, international calls and additional minutes of conversation, not included in the free tariff plan. The main source of income is advertising. "We actually profitable partner. When our number of users and the time they spend in Talkatone, we can guarantee important for advertisers options, such as minimal number of banners, the percentage of clicks, conversion of potential clients, "explains Dajanov. -the more banners show ad networks on our site, the more you pay us money.
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In the year 2012 Talkatone released apps for Android and iPad, and two years later a startup Dajanova bought Ooma-telecom-company of Palo Alto. Details of the deal Dajanov does not disclose, said that he had received "great drain". Talkatone joined the Ooma structure while retaining its own support and the right to make decisions. In this connection the Dajanov has no right to disclose the earnings of your project.
"Guarded the gates of hell"
- Company: SATS
- Year founded: 1994
- Founder: Alexander Nemirovsky, St. Petersburg
- Scope: database analysis
- Turnover: $3 million
At the end of 2012 the year of Alexander Nemirovsky was awakened by a phone call. Called from LiveTV-their customer airline Virgin America, "lay down" entertaining service enjoyed by passengers in flight (movies, music and other services). The problem happened at the weekend when native support is not working. "After a couple of hours we raised" service and receive regular customer, "said Nemirovsky, founder and owner of SATS (Support Administration Technology Servises). Spontaneous treatment at the time the problem is the standard way in which most companies comes in the SATS.
The company is engaged in the antivirus or protection against DDoS attacks? No guessing. "Catch" any problems in databases of clients when they arise and prevent malfunctions IT systems-on the SATS and earns money.
In 1996 year Nemirovsky invented technology of database performance monitoring technology Serberus ®, part of technology wrote, myself, with separate modules helped team members. "Cerberus"-so called PSA, hailing the souls from hell, hell is for our clients when the site database is not working, so we sort of guarded the gates of hell, "jokes Nemirovsky.
Development of the technology, hardware procurement, opening of laboratory in San Mateo are demanded by Nemirovsky multi-million dollar personal investments. Financial fed served as the IT-consulting (Nemirovsky advised, for example, LinkedIn, when he was just starting to work). The investment paid off long ago.
How it all works? On the client computers is put "agent"-engine, watching in real time all processes on the server. "Agent" investigates how this business works everything related to the processing and storage of information, how many servers and with what parameters the service used, and then inform the Serberus. The system statistically analyzes the information on the current status and warns of failures before they become problems. The developed technology allows Nyemirov compare sent matrix (so called a set of parameters on which track the current state of the database characteristics) that was transferred to the "agent" 5 minutes or half an hour, a day or five days ago. "So we can see what options begin to" float "within the permissible and where possible rapid problem", he explains. Sometimes this is reported to the client, but usually "clean" all the vulnerabilities immediately, and the client on the occurrence of threats does not even know.
In part, this approach is practiced and competitors: true heavy intellectual soft put not host and clients. This requires them to specialized personnel and use of expensive monitoring systems, which makes meaningless use of the outsourcing services. Possibility of remote monitoring and support of databases are the key competitive advantages of the company Nemirovsky. Not counting the banal savings: SATS services a large company will cost cheaper appropriate content Division.
So, support databases, large companies generally provides a special Department with the average number of employees in 10-20 people total salaries $2-10 million per year. SATS services cost klintu in $100 000-200 000 per year. "Data, documentation and knowledge customers never lost, as if from the client will take key people, he does not need to spend time looking and learning," said Nemirovsky.
A couple of times he had to practically live in the offices of clients, just to not miss them. So, a few years ago, high-speed railway North-East SpeedRail linking Boston, New York, Washington and Philadelphia, failed with their own traffic analysis: when trying to count who and how many tickets were sold, the system "becoming". "I spent three weeks in Washington, until everything is settled down, after which the company subscribes to our services for many years to come," remembers Nemirovsky. Another two weeks in the year 2003 he had to spend in Bratislava: Tatra-Bank has launched a new system in Slovakia receive credit card, but after the beginning of processing, it became clear that if more than 300 000 transactions per day, the database fails.
The minimum subscription price for SATS support-$350 per month, maximum price are not limited, there are examples of subscription to tens of thousands of dollars per month (in this case, the response time is no more than 15 minutes). In General, the cost of services depends on the number of servers on which stand the client database, and a set of support services.
The largest customer today is Adobe, which a few years ago the California startup Frontiers, which serviced the SATS. Among famous clients and Internet auction site Ebay, Napster, LinkedIn. Today SATS just 11 works people, eight of them in the United States and three in Israel, they provide a night American support clients in their time zone, and also help in developing code Cerberus for new technologies.
Alexander Nemirovski with his wife and three children live in a prestigious area of Silicon Valley. The House stands on the hills, if a little of him to depart, fantastic beauty opens a view of the Stanford lying below. On the proposals on the possible sale of the business reacts negatively sharply Nemirovsky: "I do not want to start again or someone to work-not ready to lose their freedom."
The next step of the company-run the end of Nemirovsky 2015 year monitoring-database support on open source software. For example, on a platform of OpenStack, one of the developers of which is Russian Alexander Friedland.
- Company: Mirantis
- Founded in: 2000
- Founder: Alexander Friedland, Moscow
- Scope: software based on open source
- Revenue: up to $100 million
In California, 19-year-old Alexander Friedland arrived along with his parents, graduated from the University of California, Santa Clara County, where he received a diploma of computer engineer. "When you find yourself in the Valley, it's hard to do something else besides IT," smiles Friedland.
In 1998, together with partners, he created a small company coftvernuju RSI Group, part of the solutions for which was developed in Moscow. A few years later the company was sold to British company London Bridge Software (now a part of FICO), leaving Moscow Design Center with its 20-30 engineers. On its base in the year 2000 and raised Mirantis.
Initially, the company earned on outsourcing: helped customers from the Valley to create dedicated service centres and technologically complex products (CAD for Cadence, Mentor Graphics and Synopsys, Metrology for KLA-Tencor, network infrastructure for Cisco, t. d.). After the crisis of 2008 onwards, it became clear that business outsourcing itself exhausted. What to do next?
"We looked in the direction of cloud computing-about them then everyone knew very little," said Friedland. -In parallel, we learned about the platform for developing software with open source, OpenStack. Because the code is written by the community of engineers from various countries, software turns a lot of mistakes. On the imperfection of technology we decided to make is focused on dodelyvanii and then promoting the products.
In those years IT industry desperately needed to build infrastructure on decisions that are not dependent on commercial vendors, but in the direction of open-source watched with caution-consistent lack of knowledge. Here's the rescued Mirantis: its engineers thoroughly understand OpenStack platform and products on its basis. For this knowledge by clients and were willing to pay. Some time Mirantis earned solely on consulting and building private clouds based on OpenStack.
So, the first customer was the U.S. company Internap, whose owners have transferred their public cloud OpenStack platform. Among famous clients-electronic payment system PayRal, which completely private cloud built Mirantis. All would be good, but there were not enough funds for the development, began to search for external funding. "The problem was that investors almost never imagined, what is open source software, so when we asked for money for OpenStack, we said: ' what is it?" and then denied.
In 2012 year finding investors has been made: $20 million in invested Mirantis investor group, whose leader was Intel Capital. The funds invested in the development of Fr?dlant own technology platform-based OpenStack-open operating system for cloud infrastructure management.
Total-more than 130 customers for four years. For AT&T, Ericsson, Symantec, Orange, Yoigo, Tata Communications Company Friedland-strategic supplier of products and services based on OpenStack. There are clients and in Russia, Rostelecom, the big banks (their names Friedland did not disclose). Their support provides local major integrators: Croc, "Cheeks" and "Ay Teko. "Cooperation with Russian roots Mirantis has for domestic business-good chance to reduce the dependence on Western technology vendors," said Friedland. -Open-source-products-an alternative to industrial solutions from global IT giants. " By the way, technology from the Ministry in the competition won Mirantis Russia in the category of "cloud" virtualization management tools-Office contest results announced in mid-June.
How it all works? Customers download and install host platform, as capacity use their equipment or equipment Mirantis, which is in its data-center. Then enjoy the technological decisions made by engineers Mirantis OpenStack platform, which is something like a giant core, around which the "swirl" technology. "Essentially, this skyscraper of technologies where OpenStack performs the role of the Foundation-Foundation does not save.
Mirantis services cost from tens of thousands of dollars to several million. Most of the money the company earns on a subscription basis, the amount of which is composed of a single payment per year, according to the number of nodes (i.e. physical computers), which supplied the application from Mirantis and cost of services, to which the clients subscribe.
Today the company has over 200 clients from the United States, China, India, Japan, the Philippines and countries in Europe. The main sales market United States account for about 50%, 25% divided between Europe and Asia. In Mirantis operates 750 employees, including 350 works directly in Russia, opened offices in Moscow and Saratov.
By the year 2014 Mirantis has managed to take the third place in terms of code you added in the OpenStack (on par with RedHat and HP). And at the end of the same year, the Fund Insight Venture Partners has invested in Mirantis $100 million is one of the largest rounds of financing in the short history of software based on open source code. Frindland funds to invest in the development of Linux distributions and other products, as well as to expansion to markets in Europe, Asia and Russia and expansion of partner network.
Mirantis today (together with RedHat and HP) is one of the world's leading suppliers of technology OpenStack. The next tier of competitors-IBM, vmWare, Microsoft is offer alternative cloud solutions based on closed technology. "Beat with such giants in the global technology market is extremely atypical history for startups with Russian roots," said Friedland.