"We literally got this round of financing by the hair on our chins," says Intelligenx COO Azim Tejani, who is launching local search company YaSabe.com in Q1 of 2009, of the cash-injection the company received just before the heavy turmoil hit U.S. and foreign markets.
Tejani tells Portada, “We’re going to focus on the 10 highest population Hispanic MSAs in the country, by bringing content hitherto unavailable to the marketplace,” says Tejani, noting that their strategy is to bring unique content proposition through distribution partners. Using advanced search technology, the company will provide Hispanic consumers access to a proprietary database of 15 million U.S. businesses via the wired and mobile Internet.
The information will be available in both Spanish and English so that the site can cater to a broad audience of Hispanics, including for consumers that prefer Spanish-language content as well as for Hispanics in the U.S. that prefer to consume content in English. Regardless of the language preference, Ya Sabe will present content in the context of Hispanic culture, including specialized themes around traditional Hispanic holidays and celebrations and life events (e.g., Quinceañera).
“We’ll be able to slice and dice the data,” Tejani says, and to bring a unique set of products to the business community. “For instance, we could go to a wedding magazine and give them a searchable database of all wedding planners in the country.”
Ya Sabe’s mission is to corner the market for Spanish language local search and to become the dominant provider of local business information. Tejani says that Ya Sabe wants to be to the world of Hispanic local search what YouTube is to Online video. “Essentially, we’ll provide the framework and infrastructure through which many others can promote their businesses and services.”
Ya Sabe will also aggregate a high-quality audience of Hispanic consumers using a unique data syndication model aimed at existing destinations on the Internet, including Spanish language newspapers and radio and TV stations. Ya Sabe will offer its distribution partners highly-functional deep and rich content and several ways for partner destinations to generate incremental revenues. In addition, Ya Sabe will offer next-generation applications for mobile devices, including the capability to query the database in Spanish using SMS and WAP. The company will pursue relationships with wireless carriers in order to offer mobile search applications that are co-branded with carriers that want to differentiate their offerings for Hispanic consumers.
While YaSabe.com is still gaming out all of the applications of its product, and addressing competition concerns, Tejani says that the company will be ready to launch in Q1.