In the first quarter of 2012, The VoiVoda Team attended the DEMO Asia Conference in
Singaporein search of the best possible startups to work together with in order to help them secure a major
round of funding and re-locate their business to the Silicon Valley. After examining the entire pool of startups
at the conference, VoiVoda set their eyes on TranscribeMe as the team with the best chance of succeeding in our program.
TranscribeMe was founded in New Zealand in 2011 by a proven, serial entrepreneur team of scientists and technologist,
including a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Stanford Business School. Solving the problem of time for business, creatives,
and for the crowd by recording meetings, follow-up and archival data while sitting in traffic or waiting in queues, TranscribeMe
allows you to effortlessly upload audio from any smartphone or digital device and get back transcription, words, good old
fashioned reading material. The advantage of this is the ability to share, store, search and monetize.
By converting your audio recordings to text using crowd-sourced transcribers, you can easily search, share and market
your otherwise useless audio. Simply click the big orange button on your smartphone app to record and receive an email
with the transcript within 48 hours. They have invented the fastest way to have the most accurate transcription possible.
As a result, they are able to satisfy customers’ demand for an easy-to-use service, with purported 98%+ accuracy and a
fast turnaround time.
TranscribeMe fit our criteria’s at each level, they had 2 co-founders, a working product beginning to generate some
revenues while attacking a potentially large market. They also had a valuation that fell right into our sweet spot
with plans they, to exit in 18-24 months. Once VoiVoda recognized the opportunity, the team moved quickly to support
Transcribe Me and began a fundraising process, taking them through the active angel groups in the valley and then
to other potential investors.
Their first pitch received very valuable feedback and attracted a very strong co-investor, Yuri Pikover,
the man behind Xylan Computing’s billion dollar exit. Yuri now dedicates his time and money to help with the
development of promising start-ups. Following the initial investment, our team along with Yuri worked closely
with the company to strengthen their business plan, taking into account all the feedback received in an effort
to increase the company’s fundability while simultaneously preparing (updating) documents for the due diligence process.
As a result, it accelerated the investment process. During the same time, the company was re-incorporated as a
Delaware Corporation (from New Zealand) and began its process to transfer the intellectual property while also
relocating offices to Silicon Valley.
In May 2012, after running a successful private beta, the company officially launched and has been growing at an
exciting pace. Most recently, the company brought on a sales team and has outperformed their monthly projections,
four months in a row. VoiVoda Ventures continues to work alongside Transcribe Me, supporting them through the
growth of the company and ultimately to a stage where they will be profitable and self-sustaining.
In summary, VoiVoda Ventures led the fundraising process, including assisting with the developments of the business plan,
engaging with lead customers, refining the product strategy and recruiting efforts. In March 2012, VoiVoda Ventures led
a financing round of $XX thousands with Yuri Pikover. To further expand Transcribe Me’s sales and channel partner efforts,
VoiVoda Ventures has been helping the company close on a $750M investment round. Most of the round has been filled and is
expected to close by the end of October.
Through our specialized, hands-on practice, VoiVoda offers a systematic process and an alternative path to market
that creates a bridge between International companies, like Transcribe Me, and investors in Silicon Valley,
experiencing a smoother transition to the US Market while avoiding many of the hurdles most companies face.
VoiVoda understands that all of the best talent is not centered in one specific location. We understand that
there are great ideas from all corners of the world. As a result, VoiVoda specializes in the process of
finding promising companies, where ever they may be, and bringing them over to the USA where they can better
leverage themselves for success. Our team has expertise in all areas vital to bringing a company from overseas.
We will handle the visa process, help arrange travel for the entire team, setup accommodations state-side for the
entire team, provide office-space for the team, help the team start working here, assist in finding funding, and
assist in acclimating the new team to their new surroundings. A perfect example of this process can be seen in our
portfolio company, ClimateMinder.
When we first discovered the ClimateMinder while on a business trip to Istanbul, Turkey in 2008. At this time,
ClimateMinder was entirely based in Turkey. The ClimateMinder team showed great potential and they had the dream
of one day making their product a world-wide leader in its marketplace. Though Turkey is developing
at a rapid pace, opportunities there are not like in the USA and the founder realized this. At this time,
he began talks with VoiVoda about the possibility of moving the operation state-side. VoiVoda saw great
potential in this company. They had a great idea with potential for mass use world-wide and their team was motivated.
The founder of ClimateMinder, Bulut Esvaras had spent time studying in the United States and realized the opportunities
having a business state-side offered. VoiVoda Founder, Val Babajov also saw the potential in ClimateMinder and
began working with them on bringing the team over. Over the next couple of months VoiVoda obtained H1 work visas for
the ClimateMinder team and their families and began the process of moving them to the States. Once the ClimateMinder team
arrived, VoiVoda assisted them in finding a place to live, obtaining reliable transportation, setting up their office
space, and generally getting to know their new surroundings. Flash forward a couple of years, and ClimateMinder is on a very
promising track. The team has been consistently obtaining new paying clients for their product. They were able to do this in
part thanks to a round of funding provided by
Keiretsu Forum Angel Investor Network
which was instigated/backed by Val. As of now,
they are currently in talks for an M&A possibility in the near future. ClimateMinder founder, Bulut is happier than ever and
believes that moving the company state-side was the best thing he could have done. He acknowledges that it would not have
been possible were it not for the help of VoiVoda.
About 3 years ago Kroum Antov realized that with the costs of bandwidth and memory on the “cloud” going down, that a powerful virtual computer that
was hosted on the “cloud” could be something viable, even profitable. Many large industry leaders were starting their own “cloud-based” projects and
the timing was perfect for his idea. That is when Xform Computing Inc came into being. Xform Computing Inc is a powerful Virtual Computer in the “Cloud” that can be
accessed from any Internet-capable device including Tablets, Smartphones, and Set-top boxes. Over the next three years, the OnPAlwaysC group used its
expertise at development to push out a cost effective and highly scalable virtualization cluster solution which is extremely hard to replicate.
Once the development began chugging along, Kroum began to understand that, though he had a great idea, he needed more funding to bring it to market.
At this point, Kroum approached long time business acquaintance, Val Babajov, CEO of VoiVoda to help him with his dilemma. Val loved the idea,
and personally invested in the project. In addition to his investment and mentoring of Kroum, Val used his connections in the investor world to help
put Kroum and Xform Computing Inc in front of several Angel groups. With Val’s help, Xform Computing Inc was able to pitch itself in front of Angel giants such as
Band of Angels
. Currently, Xform Computing Inc is a leader in its market.Kroum acknowledges
that the investment, mentorship, and introductions Val provided were invaluable on Xform Computing Inc’s path to success.