Zycada is still in direct proof of concept selling, but plans to build out a channel of both MSPs and VARs.
Today, San Jose-based Zycada is emerging from stealth with a bot-based solution which will initially focus on e-commerce, although the company has plans to extend it to other user cases. Zycada’s approach complements CDNs [content delivery networks] which handle static content, by accelerating dynamic content as well, allowing online retailers to deliver a faster shopping experience than Amazon.
“Everyone in retail is effectively competing against Amazon, often using outdated technology,” said Jim Brear, Zycada’s CEO. Brear’s appointment as CEO was one of several business-side moves announced with the exiting of stealth. He was formerly President & CEO of Veriflow, which was sold to VMWare in August 2019. In addition, Subbu Varadarajan, Zycada’s co-founder, and original CEO, has transitioned to the Chief Product Officer role. Zycada also announced it has raised $19 million in total funding to date, with Kholsa Ventures leading the investment.
In retail, speed is all important, particularly the Time to Interact [TTI] – the metric on how soon a page is clickable.
“If it takes longer than 3 seconds – Amazon is 2.3 – you are likely to leave, and 57% of shoppers abandon their sessions,” Brear indicated. “If your TTI isn’t good, no other metrics are good. If you accelerate your TTI, the other metrics improve. The technology that Subbu invented lets big and small retailers overcompete against Amazon.”
Subbu Varadarajan, now Zycada’s CPO, explained the problem he set out to solve, which revolved around retailers’ reliance on CDNs.
“CDNs have some advantages,” he said. They are very good at storing static content and they are very good at security. However, CDNs don’t know what to do with dynamic content – the content that is personal to specific users. Because of that, CDNs cause delay in dynamic content, which increases TTI to unacceptable levels. You need a solution to speed up static and dynamic content, that works with existing CDN and cloud vendors, and can effectively personalize for them. That’s what we do. We complement the CDN networks. We have built the world’s first programmable bot structure to deliver consistent shopping experience for dynamic content as well as static content.”
It works through Zycada bots anticipating user interactions, working ahead of them as a personal concierge. The Zycada bots are micro-programmable, allowing merchants to uniquely customize the shopper’s experience, with a very fast TTI below 500 milliseconds.
“Being microprogrammable, high performance, and getting content ready even before the customer asks for it gives the end user customer a snappy experience,” Varadarajan said.
“We wont even charge our customers until they see results,” Brear added. “It’s that compelling.”
So where does the channel fit in here, given that Zycada is still in its direct selling stage?
“The Go-to-Market with companies I have been involved with in the past has always been channel positive,” Brear said. “We want to leverage the partner community, although we haven’t done that yet. We didn’t start selling until 10 months ago. However, our goal is to move downmarket. We are establishing beachheads there and partners can help us do that.
“We would like to start with a sell-with model, with a channel-first model being in the future,” Brear added. “There are a lot of customers in the midmarket that we cant address. Our goal is to use partners to drive those sales.”
Brear said that this is a very good story for both MSPs and VARs.
“There are programming options and professional services and opportunities they may not have thought of in the past, and the whole online market is growing now because the coronavirus has gotten more people buying online.”
Longer term, Zycada sees opportunities for their technology beyond the retail vertical.
“Streaming product and mobile operators is one,” Brear said. “Next year, we also plan to address the gaming market.”