On this week's Vator Box, our guest host is Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList, a site that aggregates angels and connects them to fundraising-seeking startups, and co-author of VentureHacks. Naval joined me and Ezra Roizen, Vator Box co-host and digital media investment banker.
The startup in the spotlight is TekTrak, a service that helps people track their lost iPhones. In mid-February, TekTrak plans to launch a service for Android phones. Arik Waldman, CEO and founder, kicked off the program with his 90-second pitch.
Here are some "teaser" highlights (without giving away the entire show. We do want you to watch, after all).
- TekTrak, while only available for iPhones today, plans to have a service for all major mobile operating systems. The business model is based on a freemium service. The free service includes two free uses to track a phone, while TekTrak Pro is $5 a year, and includes unlimited service. TekTrak is not disclosing its uptake rate. Additionally, users can receive free usage for each friend who downloads an application.
- Naval and Ezra ask about the competitive advantage over Apple’s own “Find your iPhone or iPad” offering to its iPhone and iPad customers. Arik said that Apple's service is free only for iPhone 4G users. The majority of iPHone users are on 3G services, however, which means the "Find your iPhone" service is only available to those who pay $99 for MobileMe. Additionally, TekTrak offers more robust features, like providing the history of one’s previous locations.
- Naval and Ezra ask if this a feature set that becomes copied or is this a stand-alone company?
- This seems like an online security play that’s much broader than iPhones. If that’s the case, that story should be elaborated on, both men suggested.
- Ezra and Naval raise concerns about distribution and whether the Apple iPhone platform is the key. Apple’s platform isn’t “inherently viral," they said. While it's a great entry point, the company will need more distribution and depth of products.
- Both men encourage Arik to look for distribution channels, like getting the sales person at Best Buy to upsell TekTrak’s security products.
Thanks Arik for being a good sport. If you want to be a guest host or a startup in the spotlight on Vator Box, please email [email protected]