Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan – Drawbridge

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Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan is an Information Theory scientist who founded and leads a cross-device mobile advertising company in San Mateo, CA, Drawbridge, which is based on her very own algorithmic technology.


Success in the early days of the company is usually hard to come by. The obvious requirements of a great product, technology and business model are indeed core to success. However, being unabashed and dogged in pursuing a partner, client or hire is an equally important ingredient. The more you are able to listen and understand a client or team member, the more you are likely to succeed. If you cannot be unabashed in your pursuit, rethink entrepreneurship. This is especially true as you are trying to get the first few customers, partners and team members on board.


We have built a large scale, Petabyte-plus Hadoop cluster wherein our engineering team is uniquely positioned to develop and solve for very large scale learning problems. This capability is not known to exist among other startups at our size and scale. This enables innovative development of machine learning algorithms that solve many of the problems that are at the heart of our product.


I was the lead scientist at AdMob, the largest mobile ad network acquired by Google in 2010. As I was responsible for key aspects of the science and technology, I saw some pressing challenges in mobile ad targeting. This presented a product and business opportunity which I was able to identify and solve by developing some algorithmic techniques. I got curious and began the exploration of bringing some of ideas to reality.


Drawbridge was funded by a seed round to begin with followed by a Series A and B financing round. My key lesson in the process was that a sound piece of technology and a smart technologist has an unmatched edge over others including entrepreneurs and investors.


We launched officially through a press release in May 2012 on a bunch of outlets including the The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), TechCrunch, AdWeek among others. We acquired our first customers through our professional network of app and game developers.


We have created a lot of demand for our product and are already operating in-market. Our product is so compelling that it markets itself quite well. Additionally, having a very technology-centric team, along with my personal background, provides credibility and is one of our best marketing assets.


We have a culture of high performance, transparency and continuous innovation. We as a team, individually and collectively, desire to succeed by taking ownership in building hardcore technology products that solve real business problems.


Product strategy and development, customer conversations and business development. Analytical skills, algorithm development and strategy formulation are key. These are driven by big data analysis using Hive, scripting languages like Pig and programs like Excel.


I don’t identify myself with any startup community.


Got into a terrible accident trying to make a customer meeting on time.

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