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The Chatterbox: The winner of AIS Start Up Weekend 2011

ทีม Chatter Box

Interview Chatterbox’s co-founder Tareef Jafferi:

1. Explain what the application does.

mobile application is a product that bridges content providers and broadcasters with their audiences – with the purpose of creating an augmented channel for entertainment and user-engagement. The product leverages an opportunity in which the audience seeks a medium to socialize around a topic of interest (in this case, a TV program). Concurrently, broadcasters and content providers can use data provided by users to customize content and learn more about their audiences. Chatterbox aims to make television more interactive and social for the benefit of all.

The application and its features are a product of extensive market research, focus group studies, an understanding in behavioral psychology (gamification), and user-testing. The challenge is developing a tool that enhances rather than distracts a user’s attention from the media content. At the same time, users will feel an immediate impact and social advantage of using the application while watching television.

2. Talk about business model, revenue streams, and marketing strategies.

The Chatterbox product is a result of comprehesive market research and study, in parallel with special insight into telecommunication and media outlook over the next 5 years. With the emergence of social media in the realm of television, there is much new found activity in this industry. Subsequent to the formation of the product idea, we explored every facet of existing developments in Social TV. Furthermore, by understanding the needs of each stakeholder and of the user, we can create a product worthy of its potential.

Identifying the key stakeholders in the TV ecosystem is critical in creating a business model to sustain the platform. Chatterbox is designed to connect not only with TV audiences, but with broadcasters, content producers, and celebrities as well.

Revenue streams include targeted advertising, merchandizing, and market intelligence – each stream also mutually benefiting one or more key stakeholders.

Finally, the Chatterbox platform will leverage celebrity and TV show endorsements to grow user-base while concurrently providing a channel to advertise and sell products, as well as provide user engagement data that will help content producers better understand their audiences.

3. What kind of market reaction do you expect? How many downloads by the end of the year.?

Looking at the overlap between TV viewers and smartphone owners, we hope to be able to access a potential pool of 12+ million users. We hope to hit 100,000+ downloads by the end of the year.

4. When will the application be launched, and what platforms will it support?

The application will be launched early August. It will be launched for both iOS and Android devices.

5. When was the company set up, and how much capital has been put in?

The company is privately owned and funded by its co-founders (Tareef Jafferi, Taarif Jafferi and Kavin Kavin Asavanant). It is in the process of being formed as an LLC. The funded amount is not disclosed.

6. Do we have investors yet, who are they, and how is the investment structured?

We have interested Venture Capitalists, but do not plan to proceed with investment funding rounds until after we launch in August. The investment structure will be negotiated at that point in time.

7. What do you think about Startup Weekend and how did you benefit from participating?

Startup Weekend 2011 hosted by AIS was a fantastic event. It was a chance for like-minded people to come together, share ideas, and network. The atmosphere was also conducive for creative thinking.

Overall, it was a spark that the start-up community in Thailand needed to build on. Six months after the event, I find myself working with some members of my team as well as talent from other teams.

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