TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring US-based mobile services platform provider Kony Solutions.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Kony Solutions provides a suite of products and support services that enable Fortune 500 companies to offer consumers feature-rich mobile applications in less time and at lower costs than any other solution available.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
- Raj Koneru, CEO
- David Schreffler, Sr. Vice President – Sales
- Ajay Kumar, Chief Operations Officer – India
- Ramesh Nanduri, Vice President – Finance
- John Stewart, VP, Technical Services
- Sophie Vu, Director, Marketing & Business Development
We are entirely self-funded with no history of outside investors.
What problem are you trying to solve?
With the fragmented mobile space, Kony has created a proprietary Write Once, Run Everywhere single application definition that enables applications to be designed and developed just once, in a device independent manner, and deployed across multiple channels, including on-device applications, mobile web, SMS, web gadgets, tablets, desktop applications, HTML5 and mobile operating systems (Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian etc.).
Describe the business, core products and services?
The Kony Mobile Application Platform leverages the company’s Write Once, Run Everywhere technology for designing, developing, deploying and managing mobile applications that run on more than 8,000 mobile devices and popular operating systems, tablets, HTML5 and more than 15 browsers.
Kony provides solutions for clients over a variety of verticals, including travel, automotive, hospitality / tourism, banking, insurance, retail / commerce and media.
Kony 360 Services provides end-to-end project management and professional services for any mobile strategy, from identifying a business’s mobile opportunities through application development, hosting the applications and providing ongoing monitoring and support.
Kony 360 Services can develop, deploy, host, manage and support all mobile initiatives. Designed to minimize project risk and accelerate time-to market, Kony 360 Services delivers comprehensive consulting services, helping a business automate their current business process in a way that enhances the customer experience.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Today, Kony works with more than 30 major companies across a variety of verticals, including travel, finance, media and automotive.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
No – founded in 2007, Kony spent the first two years dedicating more than 100 engineers towards developing the Kony Mobile Application Platform. We made sure it was fully baked before going to market in 2009.
Since then all the major airlines and travel portals have migrated to the Kony solution.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
Already profitable, Kony licenses its software applications and provides a subscription model to develop, manage, maintain and provide optional hosting to its customers.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Only cross-platform and cross-channel platform for mobile web, mobile apps and SMS, tablets, web and desktop.
- Robust and recurring revenue model
- Strong promoter and management background
- Proven client acquisition and revenue visibility
- EBITDA-positive growth stage company
- Kony has not mastered yet how to clearly differentiate its mobile solution from point solutions/verticalized mobile apps/niche developers. No other company has a mobile platform with the breadth and depth of Kony Solutions. More than 30 global brands have chosen Kony as a competitive advantage in mobile, but we are still the “best kept secret.”
- In the US alone, enterprises are expected to spend $11.9 billion on mobile applications in 2012. Mobile is a strategic investment for enterprises to generate an alternate revenue stream, build brand ubiquity, increase customer service and loyalty and drive differentiation.
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- By not being able to keep up or stay ahead of the mobile chaos, companies will be at a disadvantage. The threat to Kony is not growing fast enough to keep pace with the demand for a comprehensive, future-proof technology platform.
Kony did not run into anyone who thought the idea was not going to be successful. By identifying the growing need for companies to go mobile, Kony knew that there would be demand for their products and services.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
With an incredibly fragmented mobile device market and many new and emerging technologies, companies are forced to spend their mobile dollars wisely, making sure they reach the most consumers.
Using its Write Once, Run Everywhere technology, Kony is able to deliver brand consistent, feature-rich mobile applications for companies in less time and at lower costs than any other solution across all tablets, mobile devices, operating systems (Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian etc.) and the new HTML5 specifications.
Kony’s ability to do this will keep them viable and profitable into the future.
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.