Aspira Networks, Inc. Palo Alto, CA has developed a unique and proven system that solves an important problem for Network Service providers: How to significantly increase non-subscription revenue from their user base. Aspira Networks addresses this problem by enabling networks to participate in our comprehensive e-Commerce platform. As a result, Network owners earn commissions from transactions taking place on their networks, while increasing product sales for retailers and delivering contextually relevant shopping opportunities and reward programs to consumers. Aspira’s patent-pending technology deployed on a partner’s network develops detailed behavioral profiles based on network location. This aggregate data is combined with customized marketing programs to increase product sales at the world’s leading online retailers such as Amazon.com, eBay.com, BestBuy.com, Macys.com and 1,200+ additional merchants. Network owners are positioned to participate in the revenue stream generated from shopping transactions and the resulting affiliate commissions that are critical to the $170B+ per year market for online shopping.
We have built and launched our service and transaction platform, signed more than 20 customers and are seeking $2.5M to expand sales and install customers.
N “Consolidated cost of services and sales in 2008 increased $1,460 million, or 3.9%, compared to 2007, primarily as a result of higher wireless costs…. caused by increased network usage for voice and data services…”
- Verizon Wireless form 10K, Consolidated Operating Expenses
etwork owners face increasing costs with little new or expanded revenue potential. Internet service providers, telecom carriers and other large network owners are faced with exponentially higher bandwidth requirements brought on by increased use of the Internet to access services such as YouTube, HULU, Facebook and others. Coupled with intense market competition and downward pressure on subscriber rates, ISP’s and carriers are forced to pursue new streams of revenue and reduce operating expenses to meet their thinning profitability forecasts.
Aspira Networks enables network owners to offset increasing costs by enabling them to earn commissions from online retail transactions. The online retail ecosystem is comprised of consumers, retailers and the networks that connect them together. Each member of the ecosystem requires a specific outcome to suit their needs. To ensure success while addressing the needs of each constituency, Aspira Networks enables retailers to sell more products, consumers to save money on their purchases and the network owners to earn a new source of non-subscription revenue. Until now, network owners have not been able to effectively leverage their position in the ecosystem.
To accomplish this, Aspira Networks deploys a server on a partner network that ties consumers to the world of online shopping though purchase incentives and special online promotions. This server does three important things: 1) learns about the aggregate shopping behaviors at each network location, 2) uses this data to deliver contextually targeted shopping opportunities to the users of each network and 3) provides the network owner with commissions for purchases at affiliated online retailers. In addition, the system enables network owners to easily extend a share of their commissions to end usersend-users.
Value for Customers
All parties of the retail ecosystem benefit from Aspira Networks’ partnering with network owners: Network owners gain new revenues; consumers get savings plus a seamless and highly relevant shopping experiences which convert into increased product sales at affiliated online retailers. Aspira Networks’ technologies provide a new vantage point for Internet service providers such as telecommunication
companies or any large network owners to earn more revenue.
The Aspira Technology
The Aspira system is designed to provide flexible deployment options that can be tailored for each location and size of deployment. Each deployment includes a combination of customized marketing solutions and management systems.
Regardless of the size of the network, there are three components to the solution that are always utilized: 1) a remotely deployed server which collects data for contextual analysis, purchase monitoring and presents or supports customized marketing campaigns, 2) an administrative portal that Aspira uses to control the various aspects of the deployment, payments and monitor the entire system, and 3) a reporting interface which provides deployment partners with insight into how their network is performing, partner payment status and valuable information about what people are purchasing and where the transactions are taking place.
Aspira Server: Data Capture, Analysis & Utilization
The Aspira Server is comprised of a server or router or server +router configuration depending on the network topography of the deployment location. To date, the hardware has been physically deployed at partner sites and in large data centers, although small remote deployments are also supported. In addition, the Aspira server is device agnostic supporting any end user computer, mobile device or Wi-Fi enabled device that will work with the system. In the event that a user, who has opted into an Aspira Networks supported rewards program, should visit a member site, the system will automatically manage their click-through to earn credit for a sale.
Aspira Administrative Portal: Centralized Retail and Deployment Management
Aspira Networks has developed a sophisticated administrative control system for managing deployments, affiliate retail relationships, user and partner accounts and analyzing data from remote deployments. In addition, the system provides direct control over the customized user facing products at each deployment and enables the filtering and clean-up of on-line retail promotions.
Aspira Partner Reporting Dashboard: Secure, Accurate Data on Performance
Aspira Networks’ proprietary and secure online reporting allows network owners to keep track of their commissions. This reporting dashboard includes graphic visualizations of the network’s revenues earned over time, averages, transaction data, top retailers and easy access to payment history. As the system evolves, Aspira Networks will continue to add and expose specific areas of analysis to improve partner participation with the system (e.g. breaking down the categories of products selling on the network). The reporting dashboard has been designed to incentivize and enlist the support of the network owners to help drive traffic.
Aspira Networks offers network owners a suite of customized marketing solutions that are tailored to their unique customer base. These services offer touch points to affiliated online retailers, such as promotions, rebates or rewards, and provide end users with opportunities to save money. The purpose of these offerings is to easily enable network owners to incentivize users to shop on their networks.
Custom Rewards Website | White-label Lilideals.com Network owners can offer their users a way to save money when shopping online. Visit our premier website, www.LiliDeals.com, to see a live example of the customizable rewards site. LiliDeals includes cash back rewards at the top 1,200+ online stores plus coupons, sales, a unique blog and more. Though LiliDeals is designed for direct cash back rewards to the end users, a partner can create their own mechanism to interface our service to offer an alternative application. For example, a mobile network may offer the rebates as ‘shop for savings on your monthly bill.’
Custom Sign-in Pages | Free Internet & Rewards
The sign-in page serves as a gateway to the Internet. Consumers can either accept terms for free internet access or sign-up to earn rewards as they shop. This page appears before a captive audience serving as an ideal method for promoting affiliated retailers and timely specials.
Custom Landing Pages | Today’s Bargains
Aspira Networks customizes contextually relevant destination pages for consumers to visit anytime. Network owners may use these as landing pages or link to them from newsletters or the network’s primary website. These landing pages are designed to be white labeled and reflect the networks identity.
Custom Deal Tips | Store Relevant Sales & Coupons
Network owners can choose to have ‘Deal Tips’ appear when users navigate to one of our affiliated retailers. The user will be presented with time sensitive links to coupons and sales available at that specific retailer’s website. It’s a powerful way to incentivize consumers to purchase additional items and to feel confident that they are getting the best deals out of that shopping experience.
Aspira Networks’ server and Aspira consumer marketing programs (customized shopping incentives) are the company’s primary offering, and the product is currently being deployed under a revenue sharing model. Under this model, Aspira Networks collects transaction fees from retail stores and affiliate networks for purchases made by end users. Depending on the partner, the revenue share will range from 33% to 60% of the sales commission to Aspira Networks. Although the primary focus of the company is to partner with large network owners, the Aspira solution can be used by networks of all sizes, from multi-million user telecommunication companies to small, single-site deployments.
Aspira Networks partners with network owners to increase online product sales. Whether the deployments occur at the hub, such as a data center, or the spoke - the office, apartment or other single site – data from each location is captured, analyzed and utilized to improve end user retail offers.
Our Focus: Commercial networks: ISPs, Telecommunications Providers, Large Retail Chains and High Traffic Spaces
These companies typically have thousands to millions of users on their networks and therefore have the most to gain from an Aspira Networks solution. Network end user customers are anxious for a variety of shopping discounts, as well as programs that can lower their monthly bills. The service providers need non-subscription-based revenue to offset increasing network expenses. Examples of this target segment include:
Franchise businesses, such as coffee and hotel chains, and public spaces such as airports or public squares presently spending $100-$500 per month to offer Internet access to their end users (consumers) will benefit from the Aspira Interchange solution. As with other networks, the return is dependent on volume: busy locations will provide better return than slower locations. By capturing the commissions from their customers’ purchases, these companies stand to gain, minimally, enough in sales commissions to offset their out–of-pocket operational expenses. Those who offer ‘paid’ services can shift to ‘free’, thereby increasing the number of users on their network and opportunities for product sales.
At this time, we are unaware of any companies building competitive products that effectively leverage ecommerce transactions on physical networks. There are companies that have enough related technology fragments to allow them to move in a similar direction, for which we have established
significant barriers to entry. The potentially competitive companies fall into two categories: router and network equipment providers and companies that focus on consumer retail relationships.
Routers & Network Providers
Key differentiators: Aspira Networks deploys on the network not the user’s computer or device. Zero privacy concerns. Contextual shopping recommendations based on location.
The Aspira solution solves the two essential problems faced by consumer sites: how to collect sales commissions without forcing users to start at a rewards site or use a toolbar, and how to do it while protecting user privacy.
Aspira Networks has established several barriers to entry for competitors ranging from legal protection to the company’s approach to the market.
Intellectual Property: Aspira Networks has filed patents on the unique approach we are taking to address this worldwide opportunity. The patents cover technology and method as well as address alternative approaches to the same problem.
Unique Knowledge: To develop the product, unique knowledge is required ranging from an understanding of router device porting layers and router chipsets to ISP and operator network architecture and services.
Strong Retail and Affiliate Relationships: The product requires significant time and resources to establish extensive retail relationships to attract the thousands of stores necessary to monetize the system.
Business Approach Eliminates Competitive Opportunities: The business approach eliminates competitive opportunities. Due to the nature of the product and the integration points with networks, ISPs and mobile operators can only work with one such vendor at a time. Once Aspira Networks is driving revenue for the network owners there is little to no incentive for them to make changes to the infrastructure and a great deal of risk in making such a change.
Mark Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, brings more than 15 years of product management, marketing and sales experience to Aspira Networks with a proven track record of building and launching industry-leading software products. Past responsibilities include: CEO of Mobile Clarity where he established a series of revolutionary mobile software products, Principal Director of Product Management at Kyocera Wireless, Openwave Systems, where he oversaw the company's Mobile Browser offering and spearheaded the launch of Openwave's client messaging product line.
Bob La France, Vice President Business Development, brings over 20 years of experience in technology and new media creating successful partnerships with HP, Real Networks, CBS, AP, Forbes, Dow Jones and others. Bob was VP Bus Dev at Kadoink, Inc, a mobile/SMS ad service, VP Bus Dev at MyWire and Storymail and (acquired by Gemstar-TV Guide). As Senior Director of North American Channels at Macromedia, Bob was responsible for over $100MM in annual revenue across multiple business segments.
Michael Runge, Director of Engineering, has developed a variety of enterprise systems; eCommerce systems, content and data management technologies, mobile ad serving and large-scale game servers. He created the system architecture for the BabyCenter.com international platform and implemented core technologies for Johnson & Johnson's #3 highest-producing eCommerce store at $30MM a year. Michael was Senior Software Engineer and Architect at Kadoink, Inc, a mobile/SMS ad service and at AirPlay Network, Inc, a web and mobile gaming platform.
Ronna Tanenbaum, Senior Director of Marketing, brings 25 years of design, branding, ecommerce and affiliate marketing to Aspira Networks. She was Chief Creative Officer at Alexa Internet, an Amazon.com company, responsibilities included conceptualization and design of online shopping products. Ronna co-founded Kadoink, a Mobile/SMS service and worked for HP, Apple Computer, Internet Archive, MacArthur Foundation and The New York Times. She has key patents for display of metadata related to user behavior and is a WorldLink board member.
Tom King, Director of Product Management, a skilled entrepreneur with engineering experience in application development and implementation across social networks. He founded King Gaming, an affiliate marketing-based company and led a team of 12 in the re-design and development of Verizonwireless.com. Tom developed Wells Fargo's online payment system. He was business analyst and engineer for PG&E working on Risk Mitigation Systems to enable traders to effectively trade on the energy market.
Richard McKinney, Director of Operations, Customer Service, Quality Assurance, Program Management and Process development. Most recently, Richard led Business Operations at Innopath Software. Richard served as a Senior Program Manager at Openwave Systems where he was responsible for a project working with Qualcomm to integrate Openwave’s browser technology with BREW. Richard has held Management positions at Microsoft, Liberate Technologies, Oracle and Claris Corporation (a subsidiary of Apple Computer).
Current Success & Projected Financials
Aspira Networks has enjoyed considerable early success in closing contracts with over twenty network providers and has established extensive retail relationships. The chart below provides a one year outlook of contracts that have already been signed (area in blue) and additional contracts that we are in the process of closing (area in orange). Financing will enable Aspira Networks to scale to these additional contracts and other opportunities on the horizon.
In addition, Aspira Networks has relationships with over 1,200 of the most popular stores on the internet with more being added every day.
The following chart provides the projected 3 year outlook.