Jibestream is the provider of an indoor mapping and location platform that is transforming the way people engage with indoor spaces. We help enterprise organizations develop IoT-driven, indoor maps that can power a wide range of use cases from indoor navigation to asset tracking, spatial business intelligence and beyond.
With a portfolio of high-profile venues deployed globally, including the Pentagon, World Trade Center, Mall of the Emirates, various Department of Defense hospitals and hundreds of other buildings in both the private and public sector, Jibestream is the go-to leader in the indoor mapping space.
Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
The company was co-founded by a business entrepreneur and a web developer. Today the company is run by co-founder Chris Wiegand. About 35% of Jibestream staff are on the engineering team with expertise in Java, JS, SQL, Node.js, Python, LISP, Objective-C, and C.
Chris’ ‘lightbulb’ moment came during his employment with a print shop that was in the process of transitioning from traditional lithographic to digital web press.
During that transition, and well before marketing personalization started to gain traction, Chris was exposed to a range of one-to-one marketing tech that enabled direct mail personalization. These experiences led to a moment of serendipity and a hunch about where the market was moving. He ended up being spot on with that hunch, launching and establishing the Jibestream brand well in advance of today’s behemoths like Google, Apple and HERE who are only now starting to deploy their own solutions.
Jibestreams’ first concepts of indoor maps were centered around the mall wayfinding kiosk. They leveraged facial recognition to allow us to instantly know the age and gender of the kiosk user so that a relevant advertisement could be displayed. The concept had some obvious flaws but the idea of using real-time variables to deliver the most relevant message to the user is still a core concept that is contextualized across Jibestreams’ range of use cases.
How are you being financed?
Jibestream is a private company backed by venture capital. In total, Jibestream has raised $2.5 Million in outside capital. $2M from Whitecastle Investments and $500k from the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund. Otherwise, Jibestream is largely funded by cash flow generated through customer revenue.
What do you think will be/is a big obstacle to overcome?
The opportunity and challenge of working in a highly fragmented market that is in high growth lays in identifying the appropriate target buyers, which vary vertical to vertical. Unlike traditional SaaS vendors, we are working with enterprises who are trend-setters in digital transformation. Recent research by Gartner as well as MaM have identified tremendous growth in the market over the next 5 years (predicted at 42% CAGR) but that growth is just starting to take off and so our biggest challenge will be in remaining at the forefront of that adoption.
How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Jibestream is self-aware and recognizes, nurtures, and promotes the people involved in making our platform a premiere product. Our team is a resourceful group of passionate people that believe together, we can achieve great things. The solutions we create and the work we do is something we are all excited to be a part of. Finding amazing people is one of the hardest parts of building a successful company which is why we take our culture and people seriously (and why we couldn’t help but give them a shout-out in this response)!
In addition to all of the traditional recruitment approaches, we are actively engaged in peer community groups (like Peerscale). We’ve also founded a program called women.js, a special interest group with the mission to increase the presence of women within their organizations and to inspire gender equality in tech. We hope to be able to cultivate relationships with talent through programs like this and other developer community engagement initiatives.
Who is your biggest competition?
Our competitors change based on the vertical market. At times it can be point solutions that solve a specific need and other times it is something more comparable, such as a platform. Usually the intended use case easily differentiates which vendor is best for a particular customer.
How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
By continuing a repeatable scalable model of identifying use cases where our technology is a must have, not just a nice to have. We believe that the market is headed to this realization on its own and we are focused on demonstrating the capabilities so that decision-makers who are embarking in digital transformation initiatives can look to Jibestreams’ industry leadership for guidance throughout the process. The primary markets which we are focused on are healthcare, retail, transportation, hospitality and tourism, industry 4.0 and commercial buildings.
What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
The biggest lesson we’ve learned is likely the value and impact that peer groups can have on a growing business. The ability to network with other founders and startups, learn from their mistakes and get input on our own strategy and execution was instrumental in our early success. Following this, would be the role that diversity plays not just on culture but in performance and growth. This is much more difficult to get right later on and in retrospect it would be at the top of our priority list in developing our brand, culture and product.