Featured Company Pitch: OneRoof
Headquarters: San Francisco. CA
Year Founded: 2005
Founders: Dwight Wilson, Miguel Raimilla, and Eric Spector
Investors: Angel investors
“OneRoof’s goal is to make a difference by facilitating sustainability of public computing worldwide by providing quality software at no cost”
By Eric Spector, CEO
We founded OneRoof, a company of entrepreneurs and philanthropic-minded backers, in October 2005 to franchise cyber cafés in the developing world and to offer a range of Internet-enabled services in small rural towns such as: email and browsing, financial services, insurance, rail/bus/air ticketing, education, and job skills training. OneRoof opened scores of browsing centers in rural Tamil Nadu state in southern India, and in the states of Campeche, Veracruz and Yucatan of rural Mexico.
After some time working with their browsing centers, we discovered a need for timely information from their locations in India and Mexico. This led us to research most point-of-sale (POS) software products, and they eventually chose CyberCafePro for use in our businesses. In 2008, we moved beyond the rudimentary reporting features of the otherwise solid CyberCafePro by creating a robust, web-based online management information system. Initially, this work was done for internal purposes, but over time OneRoof began to garner interest in licensing our software from colleagues working in government-funded telecentre networks, from owners of private cyber cafés and from government officials around the world.
After acquiring CyberCafePro, in February 2010 OneRoof launched our online MIS called OneRoof Reports, a subscription-based service that is tightly integrated with CyberCafePro. OneRoof Reports provides enterprise multi-unit, 24×7 anywhere-access to intuitive, graphical reporting of company sales, program usage, popular websites visited, percent computer utilization by time of day, employee management and anti-pilferage tools, operations expense tracking and more—integrated with CCP, and available via modestly priced subscriptions. At present, both cyber cafés and telecentres extensively use OneRoof Reports and CyberCafePro to better serve their communities and enhance their sustainability practices.
Before OneRoof I built numerous consumer-oriented businesses, including a national direct mail catalog house and online restaurant reservation service as well as authoring SaaS software to capture email prospects and online donations for nonprofits (such as Save the Children). My previous experience in these fields led the development of the MIS initiative and SaaS offerings for OneRoof. I am a graduate of the City College of New York, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer, Harvard MBA and McKinsey consultant.
In recent months OneRoof was able to make our market-leading POS software, CyberCafePro (previously selling for up to $1,499) free by the adoption of advertising support through a single ad banner display at the bottom of all client (or customer) desktops. As a result, CyberCafePro now makes the Internet universally available to all public access locations—thus indirectly helping people’s aspirations, freedoms and quality of life. CyberCafePro has come a long way and in its current version is widely used in over 175 countries. Each download of CyberCafePro is also combined with a free 30-day trial of OneRoof Reports—the very first 24×7 online management information service that allows cyber cafés and Internet providers around the world to better manage employees, volunteers and the public’s use of the computers.
Additionally, OneRoof offers a customized personal web bookmarking service called “OneRoof Bookmarks”—accessible online, with individual bookmark access no longer dependent on the particular computer or browser being used.
OneRoofBookmarks.com is easy to use and allows subscribers to rename any of 12 category titles provided, change their order, layout and even background colors. Users are also able to enter any custom web search just once—and instantly see different results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia side-by-side; as well as add the user’s live Facebook “window,” the user’s own live Twitter feed and the user’s favorite RSS feeds, all in one place, all under “OneRoof.” Subscribers can even collaboratively share personalized OneRoof Bookmarks versions among friends, family or colleagues (e.g. for use in schools, workplaces). Best of all, OneRoof Bookmarks is free.
On June 7, 2010 we announced that we had closed a Series A preferred round of funding totaling $3.4 million delivering this funding announcement on the brink of our latest product release, CyberCafePro 6.0.
In the announcement I was quoted as saying: “This latest round of funding will allow us to continue our mission to do well and do good by facilitating Internet access and thus enhancing people’s aspirations, freedoms and quality of life. Already, as a result of CyberCafePro 6.0, countless people have new information at their fingertips—and such global communications will continue to rapidly expand.”
One of the goals of OneRoof is to maximize Internet access globally. It fulfills this mission primarily through the use of its software (the free CyberCafePro, and its unique online enterprise OneRoof Reports SaaS) and ultimately bridging the digital divide globally. OneRoof also devotes a percentage of its profits to organizations and nonprofit initiatives that support the extension of public access computing globally.
OneRoof’s revenue model is based on OneRoof Reports subscription plans and advertising channels within their software, one of which is the world’s first global captive advertising channel to the emerging middle class that accesses the Internet via public computer facilities (a daily audience exceeding 100 million people). OneRoof expects to seek a Series B round of funding this coming fall.
OneRoof – www.oneroof.com