In one sentence, what is your product/service?
We make it possible for users to try apps before installing them.
What problem(s) does it solve?
Users are constantly asked to install apps that they barely know anything about. With so many apps already on their devices, users are reluctant to downloading new ones.
With Voxel, the discovery process is much more natural. Instead of getting sent to the app store, users now get to try a demo of the app instantly.
What are your immediate goals?
Our immediate goal is to create a better form of app ad that’s more efficient and more pleasant to the end user.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or your team?
Building the technology was quite challenging. At first, we weren’t even sure if it was possible to run apps remotely and stream them to the client. After months of engineering and optimizations, it finally became fast enough to a point where it’s hard for the user to tell the difference between running an app locally versus in the cloud.
How will the company make money?
We work with ad networks to enable app ads that are fully interactive demos. Because playable ads delivers a significantly higher eCPM, we would extract part of the value that’s created there.
Who is on your team?
We are a team of eight entrepreneurs and engineers. The founders include Tim Cheng (previously SVP at SplashTop), Russ d’Sa (23andMe, Twitter), David Schwartz (DigiData), and myself (Amazon, ZumoDrive, acquired by Motorola).
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
We want to revolutionize how app ads are delivered in the next year. At that point, I’d like to see a significant percentage of all app ads to be fully interactive demos.
In the long term, there are a lot of exciting opportunities around changing the way apps are distributed. For example, why do you have to install an app for everything? Could we allow users to stream apps that they don’t yet have on their phone? To me that’s a powerful concept that we want to work towards.
Other than your own, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?
There a few apps I’ve been liking a lot lately. Sigfig is a great way to manage your stock portfolio. Slack allows my company to communicate better and reduces emails. I read RSS feeds on a regular basis, and Feedly has been a great replacement to Google Reader.