A quick Q&A with Jirafe co-founder and CEO Amit Shah. The New York City-based company was founded in late 2010 and raised a $7 million Series A round in June.
SUB: Please describe Jirafe and the value proposition you offer to online merchants.
Shah: Jirafe is a software company that helps ecommerce retailers make better marketing and merchandising decisions.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Shah: Retailers that sell online and want to grow their revenues by making better marketing and merchandising decisions.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Shah: Omniture, Coremetrics.
SUB: What differentiates Jirafe from the competition?
Shah: We only focus on the needs of ecommerce retailers and our solution was built from the ground up in the last 12 months.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Shah: The company was founded in December of 2010. The first step we took was agreeing to a name for the business…Jirafe .
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Jirafe? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Shah: Over the past five years at Magento and OpenX I was lucky enough to meet hundreds of online merchants. From those conversations I saw just how hard it was for folks to successfully conquer the world of both online retail and marketing. So, our goal with Jirafe is to make their jobs easier.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Shah: Being patient. It takes time to build a great product.
SUB: You recently raised $7 million in Series A funding. How do you plan to use the funds?
Shah: Hire more developers and maybe one or two sales and marketing folks. The focus continues to be on building out a great product and making sure we support our customers.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
Shah: Not for the next 12-to-18 months we hope.
SUB: What are your goals for Jirafe over the next year or so?
Shah: Grow our merchant base from 5,000 to 50,000 and reach profitability.
Jirafe – www.jirafe.com