Careers at Peel
Peel Technologies’ mission is to revolutionize the home entertainment and home control experience.
Thiru Arunachalam was an employee at Apple for 10 years, focused on technology development projects. He left the company to attend film school, as media was a passion of his. The experience inspired him to start a business that would enhance entertainment options for consumers. So he partnered with his schoolmate Bala Krishnan to launch Peel Technologies in 2009.
Peel‘s main product was a mobile app that enabled people to use their phones like TV remotes – i.e., control their television sets. Based on the promise of the idea, the team was able to obtain seed funding right away. This was followed by the raising of $16.7 million in a Series B round in 2011, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. In its first few years, Peel’s customer base soared into the millions.
Business model of Peel
Peel has a diversified market business model, with customer segments that have very different needs:
- Consumers – Individuals who desire more control over their home entertainment viewing experience
- Media Networks – Companies that want to promote their programming effectively to consumers
Peel offers four primary value propositions: accessibility, convenience, customization, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility for consumers by offering a wide variety of options. It can be used on both smartphones and tablets, to control a broad range of devices – it is compatible with 98% of consumer electronics, including over 600 set-top box types and 3,500 TV brands. Peel creates accessibility for media networks by enabling them to reach consumers through mobile apps, which represent a more targeted promotional channel than other methods such as billboards and print ads.
The company offers convenience by making home entertainment viewing easier for consumers. Viewers can use their Peel apps to set calendar reminders for their favorite programs, tune in directly to a television show, record programs on their DVR, and interact with contacts/other TV viewers.
The company offers customization. Its app uses consumers’ past viewing behavior and preferences to make program recommendations. Its suggestions become more targeted with greater usage.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It bills itself as the top universal home control and video content discovery platform. It has over 145 million registered users globally, generating over 10 billion remote control commands a month. Its smart remote works in more than 200 countries and its program guide is available in 110 countries. Its app comes pre-loaded on over half of Android phones and tablets distributed in the U.S. and is available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Its Peel.in advertising platform is used by several prominent TV networks, including HBO, Showtime, FX, CNN, and National Geographic. Lastly, it has won some prominent honors, including a Gold Stevie Award (2014) and an Interaction Award in the Disruption Category (2012).
Peel’s main channels are mobile app stores for consumers and its business development team for media networks. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages.
Peel’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees.
The company’s website provides answers to frequently asked questions and helpful user information through a blog. That said, there is also a personal assistance component in the form of e-mail support.
Peel’s business model entails designing and developing its software for customers.
Peel’s main partners are the device manufacturers that it partners with to integrate its software into their products such as smartphones and tablets; its main allies are Samsung and HTC. The company invites third parties to become partners through an application on its website.
Peel’s main resource is its patent-pending technology.
It depends on its human resources in the form of engineering employees to design and develop its software, sales staff to promote its offering, and customer service employees to provide support.
Lastly, as a relatively new startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $86.7 million from five investors as of October 2014.
Peel has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions.
Its biggest cost driver is likely sales/marketing, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of product development and research and development, both fixed costs.
Peel has one revenue stream: the promotional deals it forms with media networks such as Showtime, HBO, and National Geographic, which enabled it to earn approximately $10 million in 2014. The company makes its app free for consumers.
info: Thiru earned a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering at the National Institute of Technology and an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as Co-Founder of Adyana, as an Associate at Booz Hamilton, and as a Manager at Apple.
info: Bala earned a B.S. in Electronics and Communications Engineering at University of Madras and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Arizona. He previously served as Co-Founder and CEO of Adyana.
info: Daniel earned a B.S. in Landscape Architecture at Cornell University and an MBA at UCLA. He previously served as a Senior Manager of Strategy and Business Development at Disney Interactive and as a Sales Marketing Manager at Drury Design Dynamics.
info: Inderjeet earned a Master of Science in Computer Science at Washington University and a Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. He previously served as the CEO of Trymph and as a Software Engineer at Google.
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