A Q&A with Feedvisor co-founder and CEO Victor Rosenman. The Tel Aviv-based startup, which offers a repricing service for Amazon sellers based on a proprietary algorithm, completed a $1.7 million Seed funding round in late October. Investors include JAL Ventures, Oryzn Capital and Micro Angel Fund.
SUB: Please describe Feedvisor and your primary innovation.
Rosenman: Feedvisor is an automatic repricer for Amazon sellers. It reprices items in a way that keeps the seller’s prices competitive, but at the same time maximizes profitability. Feedvisor’s primary innovation is that it works on an algorithm. What this means is that competitive offerings of millions of products are checked every hour and Feedvisor adjusts the seller’s prices accordingly, in real-time. The algorithm also takes into account the seller’s specific business goals.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Rosenman: Our current audience is Amazon sellers, and we hope to extend our offer to other marketplaces and ecommerce sites very soon.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition, and what differentiates Feedvisor from the competition?
Rosenman: Although there are several repricers on the market, they all use a rule-based system, requiring the seller to define a set of pricing rules. These rules can be very complicated and the rules often conflict with each other, causing extreme price wars and price escalations that are nearly always detrimental to the seller.
Feedvisor, however, is fully algorithmic. There are no pricing rules and retailers are able to continuously and consistently make sales without sacrificing their profit margins.
SUB: You just announced that you’ve raised $1.7 million in Seed funding. Why was this a particularly good time to raise funding?
Rosenman: We started with a very small customer base back in 2011, and since then our focus has been directed solely on perfecting our technology. With a lot of hard work and determination, we have made significant strides in enhancing our repricing platform, acquiring new customers and proving ourselves as the market leader. As a result, in the past year we have managed to bring our technology several levels above our competitors. The funding has come at a perfect time because we are now 100 percent ready to focus on our growth and customer success. Now we’re ready to step it up a notch!
SUB: How do you plan to use the funds?
Rosenman: We are looking to expand our team of first-class developers, product specialists, and customer success representatives, so that we’ll be able to concentrate on perfecting our product and maximizing our customers’ returns.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Feedvisor? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Rosenman: The initial inspiration came from the international stock market. Today, algo-trading software is responsible for over 80 percent of the trades that happen every day, optimizing profits without any human interaction whatsoever. Our team of first-rate mathematicians and developers soon realized that the same logic could be applied to online markets, with pricing algorithms that are constantly learning from, and reacting to, the ever-changing market conditions.
Feedvisor is unique in that, as opposed to copying other companies and solutions that already exist, we are a tech-driven company—one that has created an innovative solution for an old customer problem.
SUB: What were the first steps you took in establishing the company?
Rosenman: Our first step was to get a small group of ‘power sellers’ to use our product, tweaking it as we went along to improve it based on real-life seller feedback to cover all possible market situations. Within a few months, we realized that we actually had something quite incredible and opened it up to a wider number of customers.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story or meaning behind it?
Rosenman: We wanted to come up with something that would combine two distinct elements about us—our product and our approach. In terms of the product, our technology revolves around sending and receiving product feeds. In terms of our approach, we are extremely customer-focused. We provide each customer with a personalized, goal-oriented service and consequently, we’re almost like a trusted advisor. So there you have it, we work with feeds and we are advisors. Thus ‘Feedvisor’ was born.
SUB: Do you have plans to seek additional outside funding in the near future?
Rosenman: We’re not looking for any significant funding in the near future. Thankfully, we have a dedicated base of customers that sign up and stay with us for the long term, so we don’t have a major need for additional capital at the moment.
SUB: What have the most significant challenges been so far to building the company?
Rosenman: Our biggest challenge has been ensuring a more gradual and sustainable growth. We need to ensure that we have enough resources to deliver a best-in-class experience to every one of our customers. To that end, we only take on new customers when we’re sure that we have sufficient account management, support, and hardware capacity to guarantee we can offer the best possible product and service.
SUB: How do you generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Rosenman: Feedvisor charges a pay-as-you-go style, performance-based commission. Clients pay a small percentage of their gross sales that are generated with the help of the software. They pay only for the products that are being repriced.
Due to the fact that we charge customers based on their success only, we place customer success as a number one priority. No other repricer on the market prioritizes customer success over their own sales. However, since Feedvisor’s goals and customers’ goals are completely aligned, we generate more revenue as our customers generate more revenue.
SUB: What are your goals for Feedvisor over the next year or so?
Rosenman: Our goal is to be the undisputed leader in the repricing field. We’re already working on new features that will raise the bar even higher than what it is already. We plan to include additional marketplaces, such as eBay, Buy.com, and Sears, and give our customers greater visibility and control over their prices, allowing them to operate both tactically and strategically.
Feedvisor – www.feedvisor.com