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Is Solvate destined to be a failure


Sometimes in October 2009, Solvate raised $2.3 million Series A venture Capital from DFJ Gotham Venture and RRE Ventures.  One and a half year later, the employees and expenses all seem to have eaten up the whole VC fund without delivering anything substantial.

Solvate  could be headed and destined to become failure, unless the marketing team realizes the gravity of the situation. The recent pumping of $4 million in the next round of funding from DFJ Gotham Venture could only  only prolong its existence and illness.  The company seems to be devoid of any online marketing directions. Their online marketing team is clueless and seems only to be experimenting and not delivering.

Solvate seems to be spending heavily on Adwords and other Ad media. While it is perfectly ok to use adwords as one of the medium of advertising, it drains funds fast.

The biggest challenge with Solvate is to bring other mid sized companies come to Solvate to take services of its “US based talents”.

It is still unclear, how solvate will provide value addition when there are a lot of players like Olance, elance, freelance, odesk, guru to name a few. And if you have more money then do go out and hire someone for a permanent or temporary contract position. What is the need of a middleman – the Solvate ?

Solvate is using affiliate scheme for its online marketing. Affiliate marketing is not a new concept and is/was successfully used by Amazon in past. However, the amount of the effort required in the Affiliate marketing is enormous and no serious affiliate marketer will agree to a mere $2 per sign up the SOlvate promises for each talent sign up. If you are a serious talent and you wish to offer your services, you may like to join Solvate. But do not expect any project etc. For now, they are just hoarding the resume of talents and will keep them, till the company exhausts the Venture Capital.

If you are looking for talent and you are short of money try to take a look at freelancing websites including odesk, freelance.com, guru.com. If you have slightly more money, hire a consultant for 3 month or so assigment. Solvate does not provide any value addition.

Solvate “may” be successful. But it will have to mend its way and it should be ready to accept new ideas and experiment. The Alexa ranking of Solvate hovers around 100,000 at the time of writing. They will need to work on several fronts, the most important amonng these is to bring the client. The only sincere effort in terms of bringing the client seems to be the Affiliate program. Solvate pays $25 for “each lead that completes registration process and provides business information”. It also pays “$75 additional for each lead that verifies a credit card”. The offer is lucrative but the task is daunting. There are alternative ways in which business can be attracted to hire the talent. Discussing these aspects is beyond the scope of this topic. But we can give the hint

 

– Ask each and every expert to write on unique article about their area of expertise. This should be an scholarly article. It should reflect the talents’ expertise. There are two benefits – first, if each of the 5000 talents at Solvate writes an expert article, Solvate will have a database of 5000 articles. These should have good SEO value. This itself will typically bring minimum of 1000 visitors daily. Remember Solvate potentially makes an expenditure to the tune of $500 to bring  this 1000 traffic.

Beneath each of the experts scholarly article will be a button that will say “take service of this expert”. When someone clicks this button, it will go to Solvates client management team which will contact the potential client.

– Heavy use of Linkedin and groups, especially communicating with biz owners.
– Comparative studies with other famous freelancing platforms to get message out.
– Personal contact with biz owners
– Opening up the website for more content and Search Engine Optimization.

Unless Solvate works quickly, it looks like $4 million Venture Capital will get exhausted sooner than it expects.

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