Michael Komissaruk: "We have been offered for Ukr.net $ 100 million" | Предприниматель

Michael Komissaruk: “We have been offered for Ukr.net $ 100 million”

One of the most popular sites in Ukraine – Ukr.Net – chose its own special path of development. Among the leaders of the portal is difficult to find people with experience in other online projects. The company is not afraid to speak openly about competition with Google. Not participate in making many of the study, but has funded more. Even the incomes of its atypical – on banners have less than a third of revenues. List the features can be long. But the results speak for themselves – for daily services of the company comes over one million Ukrainian users, while it is still a private Ukrainian company. Details on how this was achieved, AIN.UA said the head of the supervisory board “UKRNET” Michael Komissaruk.

Ukr.net used to be the provider. How did he become a portal?

The company “UKRNET” was established in 1998 as the Internet – provider. Usually, the ISP provides its subscribers with e-mail service. In contrast to the other, permitting the use of our UKRNET FREEMAIL all Ukrainian Internet users.

In 2004, it became clear that the market for ISP moves into a phase of consolidation and, potentially, in each of the categories (both wired and wireless internet) will be a pair of strong players and a few optimists. Take a worthy position in the market can a company owning its own infrastructure, optical or radio. To build such a network throughout the country, it was necessary to invest a billion dollars.

Another equally important prerequisite was the presence of hundreds of thousands of users FREEMAIL. Even then, it has exceeded the number of users of all Ukrainian web-service.

When it became clear that it’s worth it and before you do business with good prospects?

This was the solution to the problem, the answer to which is written at the end of the tutorial. Since Ukraine is not yet a leader in the development of the Internet, in order to figure out where to go, it was enough to look at the Western markets.

Judging by your background, you just joined the company in 2005 as you were in it?

In 1993 I settled in Israel. They founded the IT company for over 10 years and led the development of software for banks. In parallel, at the request of his father, who owns a controlling stake, “UKRNET” took care of family assets.

In 2004, I had more free time and I – started making the portal, while in Israel. The project was very interesting, and in 2005 I moved to Ukraine.

How exactly do you start portal?

At first we only had email, then came news feed and search, links, site of employment. As it turned out – we are guessing with starting services. Then came the movie, TV, PLAY, dating, “Market” and others.

Tell us what you major mistakes were made at an early stage?

The first mistake – blindly copy someone else’s experience. Having made his idol Yahoo, we have chosen to create their own services in a wide range of categories, using the “umbrella” brand. Fortunately, the budget we had not dimensionless, and we saw the light in time.

Another major error – underestimate their responsibility. We invited foreign “gurus” in the hope that they know the path to success. And found that “the salvation of drowning – the handiwork of drowning.” To create a knowledge business is not enough. Children must be born of love. In starting a business to invest part of themselves.

Tell me, what is a Ukr.net today?

On the development of Internet projects employing over 200 people. This staff, freelancers and contractors. Each service is engaged in a separate command. Every day our sites visited by more than a million people from Ukraine and about 200 thousand users from abroad. Monthly outreach projects in the domain Ukr.net – and we have projects in other domains – is around 6.5 million visitors from Ukraine and a few million overseas.

Your position is called the “head of the supervisory board” – you are doing the operational control?

No. We also do not have the CEO of a traditional plan. There is a director, but he is engaged in administrative and legal issues. And I am responsible for strategy and advice to colleagues.

On than earns your company?

Sources of income are the media advertising, sales conversions and paid services. By the way, the banner must not exceed 30% of revenues.

Exact figures of income you can call?

We are not interested to disclose this information. Let me just note that in the past, the crisis year our revenues have grown. Almost all of the profits we reinvest in development.

By the way, when there was that reinvest?

Get money from the pocket of owners we stopped in 2007, that is, for entering the self-sufficiency took two years.

coming in whether you offer to sell the company?

Yes, several times a year. We respectfully consider each proposal, but not interested in any of them.

Which sums it?

Best for the money proposal contained $ 100 million.

you think Ukr.net costs more than $ 100 million?

Goods worth as much as him willing to pay. By the way, we have a decision of shareholders of an IPO on one of the world’s stock exchanges. Originally planned to leave in 2012, but now that I think we need an additional year or two. Place 20-30% of the shares and find out how much UKRNET.

Let’s talk about services. You have that focus on current projects. Do you think their leaders?

8 out of 10 leaders.

Way, you recently announced a new music service, but it did not run as scheduled …

Technical Manager service suddenly got married and asked to go on a honeymoon. I personally learned about it a week before the trip. Wedding important thing. But we understand that burned, making a statement with specific deadlines. Taken out of this lesson. Regarding this service, I hope, run it in the next few months.

One of your sources of income – sale of transitions from the news stream. But in contrast to the same banner ads, everything is based on accords and the site is not publicly shared terms and price lists for traffic. Why is that?

It is difficult to formalize the evaluation of parameters such as credibility, originality, timeliness, relevance, ease of interface, the upload speed of pages, etc. and formulate it in a public price list.

If you turn this service into a mechanism for the sale of traffic, such models will become hostage to our readers. And the last thing we need.

Therefore, the conditions of cooperation are determined individually. The price range for the traffic we do not disclose. The most authoritative resources may from time to time to get some traffic for free. Total to news now connected more than 800 publications.

Another your project – the weather forecast service, “forecaster”. Unlike others, he is running on a separate domain, not within the portal. Why is that?

This is a marketing decision. With brands – specialists dominated in this category, you can only compete successfully separate brand. Weather sections of portals – a vivid example of the ineffectiveness of an umbrella brand against a “specialist».

Michael, tell us why Ukr.net not participate in the panel Gemius?

We believe their model of measurement is extremely risky in terms of confidence. Several problems.

Gemius panel composed of members recruited anonymously. A representative sample of the same can be formed exclusively offline, through face to face recruiting. It is also necessary to monitor traffic Panelists regardless of the browser and clear cookies. You must have traffic data as a home and a desktop computer. Panelists need to monitor (both technically and on the phone) for compliance with these requirements.

I’m not talking about that psycho “volunteer” does not represent the general population psycho. And, accordingly, his style of using the Internet may not represent the behavior of all audiences.

So in fact you can only collect data from the counter, without sotsdema?

Counters have enough without it. There is the same Bigmir in which we are witnessing a long time. Every extra meter slows down the site. And forcing the user to wait.

Unlike Bigmir given Gemius recognized standard UAIR and it is increasingly oriented advertisers …

We offer UAIRu commission a study in accordance with international standards within the sociology of this association. We were told that the market is not willing to pay for such a product at this stage should take advantage of “cheap” solution for small countries and countries with low Internet penetration. Our argument is that the Ukraine – not a “banana republic” was not heard. And it’s not a “leavened” patriotism. And in respect to professional advertisers, operating on the Ukrainian market.

Reliable information about the audience the advertiser sites will receive a high return on investment in online advertising. And motivates increasing the share of budgets on the Internet.

From September 2010 to advertisers, agencies and sites available for study, conducted on request by IAU InMind. Until the end of 2010 access to its results can be obtained free of charge. I think in 2011. will be judged on how on how research oriented advertisers.

But apart from you it is not supported none of the major sites?

At each meeting of the Committee on Internet advertising in IAU comes Yandex.Ukraine director. He has promised to decide in October with the contribution that Yandex is ready to invest in this research. Demonstrated interest and Mail.ru. In the committee’s work involved a dozen advertising agencies and large advertisers.

Are you satisfied with the first results of the present study?

Yes. To date, financed by a panel of 1,200 people. At the same time, all agree that the panel of 5000 will properly measure a much larger range of sites. Almost all of which are interesting to advertisers. We invite market participants to invest in advanced research. By themselves, the data I have no doubts.

Even data on Facebook?

You that at 600 thousand registered users, a monthly audience of that study showed that almost one order of magnitude more?

Arthur, on AIN.UA set Facebook as a promo in the form of buttons «I like», as well as a separate unit with a list of users. Similar manifestations are available on many sites, especially news, visit. And by him, believe me, pushes a lot of people who do not use Facebook, for now … A mailing list? Many registered users give it a username and password from their mailboxes. And all their contacts are on Facebook invites.

Facebook for you is a partner or competitor?

This is a service from a different category – a social network. We welcome the serious player, positively affecting the increase in Internet use in Ukraine. And it started with the partnership talks.

But in some countries, it is as a source of traffic to media sites are already ahead of Google. In our country you often speak in such a source of …

We are always ahead of Google as a source of traffic to the Ukrainian media, at times. A competition stimulates the development.

Tell us what was connected with your PR-activity against Google?

We consider Google as the main competitor for the role of the home page.

Why choose this rather unusual niche?

We believe that is perfect for this role. The same Google – good search engine and we will use to find them. But, as a start page, our web is more convenient for Ukrainian users.

And why now?

In the five years from 2005 to 2010 we have gained a commanding lead in the category “Ukrainian portal”, beating by a loyal audience of its closest competitors by more than twice. The next goal – the position of the most popular homepage Ukrainian Internet users. Here, our competitors are international brands.

But portals usually measures the monthly coverage?

It is of the devil. Just as Facebook to measure five million visitors who have come to him with blocks or promotional mailings.

If we talk about numbers with counters. Compare our core audience and close colleagues. Our exceeds more than twice. ukr.net – one of the most popular search queries, at times more popular than searches for the domain of our colleagues.

80% of the daily audience comes to us consciously, by typing in the address bar or the search form – UKRNET, ukr.net or opening a web browser, where ukr.net set start and so on. 80% of organic traffic. Furthermore, our daily Ukrainian audience exceeds its nearest competitor by more than twice. A month is not less than one and a half.

In conclusion, the question from readers AIN.UA, inspired by a recent survey. If the movement starts Uanet for fair rules of the game that are not will be backed by laws, but one of the goals will just be completion of these same laws, whether you support this initiative?

Good job. You can organize a movement under the auspices of the IAU.

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