Traditional ads are annoying and pushy and as consumers are getting smarter, they are increasingly opting out, leaving companies to find new ways to engage customers. That’s where RANDIAN comes in. Its patented platform makes shows and videos interactive by enabling viewers to directly purchase goods that they see in the show by hover over an item and clicking on it. This non-intrusive e-commerce engine is looking to engage the +200M U.S. viewers who currently watch online content.
LA TechWatch spoke to cofounders Ian Truitner and Randall Scerbo Truitner on how its latest round of funding will enable the startup to transform the way people shop while delivering value to brands.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
RANDIAN has raised over $500K in seed funding from five investors. The two lead investors are R&R Ventures (Dick Parsons and Ron Lauder) and Quake Capital.
RANDIAN is a patented platform that makes shows and videos interactive, with a full-scale e-commerce engine that drives direct sales for brands. RANDIAN’s disruptive technology is the next generation of advertising and aspirational purchasing in the digital age.
What inspired you to start RANDIAN?
We saw a future need in the film/television industry when it comes to monetizing content in the streaming space. With mass migration currently underway, our idea was prophetic and our timing is spot on.
What market is RANDIAN targeting and how big is it?
The target market is U.S. viewers who watch content online, which is roughly 200M people and growing. The worldwide market for this is several billion people.
What’s your business model?
We work with production companies and content makers to deliver a seamless interactive experience that gives viewers the ability to buy things they see in shows, while also providing a powerful revenue stream for the content makers.
Do you think your platform has the ability to completely displace traditional TV advertisement? If so, when do you foresee traditional TV ads being phased out?
The traditional TV ads are already on their way out, and RANDIAN is simply filling that void with ads and product purchasing capability that is not intrusive to the show. Old habits die hard so it could be a few years before traditional ads completely die out, but apart from premiere live events like the Superbowl and Oscars old ads hardly make sense anymore, and I’m sure few viewers will lament when they are gone.
What was the funding process like?
It is a fascinating and humbling process. We strongly believe in our platform and future growth though, so any obstacles wash away in the face of that core belief.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Finding the right investors who understand the space, the opportunity, and who also add value to our business. What we are endeavoring is a new frontier, so it’s not for the squeamish. Like with anything to do with business, revenue forecasting often relies on old paradigms to predict future success, but since we’re smashing those paradigms this opportunity requires a courageous outlook on media, technology and viewer/consumer behavior.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
We are a forward-looking patented technology that solves a problem for both content makers and brands as the landscape of how people view and shop completely transforms.
AI development, a robust portal for brands to be able to add and control the products they want to be featured in shows through our platform, and 2-3 core clients using and monetizing through our platform.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Stay with your vision but know when to pivot if an opportunity is right.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Gaining market traction through content partnerships and next round of investment.
What are your favorite restaurants in LA?
Nobu, Matsuhisa, and Viet Noodle Bar.