BASED IN: CALIFORNIA
What does Branch Metrics do?
Branch Metrics is a deep linking solution for app developers and marketers. It’s used by major technology companies like Pinterest, Redfin, HotelTonight, Buzzfeed, and Jet to make their apps and app content more easily shared and discovered.
With Branch, app developers and marketers can both track what in-app content prompts downloads and app activity as well customize what a user sees once they open the app. This enables app developers and marketers to move away from expensive paid install campaigns to new, lower cost marketing channels for mobile apps such as email, SMS, and social marketing campaigns.
By using Branch deep linking app developers double user engagement, reduce acquisition costs by 30 percent, and obtain nearly double the retention rate.
What do you do for Branch Metrics?
I am one of the co-founders of Branch. Currently, I manage the community and developer relations at Branch. Our community is over 10,000 mobile developers and marketer and growing. We brought together this community through meetups, lunch and learn, hackathons and workshops that we held first in SF, and over the past year in 40 cities around US and the world.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
Funnily enough - no. I grew up in Romania where entrepreneurship is almost non existent. My family wasn’t well to do and I did not have much all throughout my childhood. So I dreamed about working at a big fancy company. I came to the US for an undergrad and then got a dream job at this big company. I was thrilled. But then during my Masters at Stanford, in one of the class lectures, my professor told all of us that being so bright and young, we should be building things - products, companies. And resonated with the core of me. Since then I focussed on just that - building fantastic company and product.
Who is your role model?
Personally, my mom. Like I mentioned, we weren’t well off during my childhood. Then suddenly one day, my mom decided to switch careers and become a financial analyst. She literally pulled us out of nothingness into middle class. She also taught me how to do much with very little. As an entrepreneur, I needed those skills in the early days where we literally had no money.
Professionally, I am a fan of Michelle Zatlyn.
What is the hardest thing you have to do as an entrepreneur?
Giving up on some ideas. I tend to become very attached to my ideas. They are like my babies! Sometimes, you have to give up on some as timing might not be right, or might not fit logically. By doing so, you emotionally grow as an entrepreneur.
Do you think it is hard being a female entrepreneur in Silicon Valley?
Not in my experience. I have been very lucky to be a part of the team that looks beyond my gender. I just focus on bringing my A game to the table and having fun. I tend to think less about being the only woman in the room etc. Even during hiring, we focus on finding the best person for the job - male/female does not play into the conversation.
What keeps you going?
The challenge. I love a challenge. Solving the challenge is also very gratifying. Branch was born as a solution to the challenge that me and my co-founders faced during our previous start up. Branch has no precedent. It is the challenge of building something brand new and growing it that is making this experience so exciting.
How do you manage it all?
It is hard - very hard. Have no illusions about it. I don’t claim to manage it all. Some days are good but some aren’t. I work long hours and that leaves me with no time to socialize as much. I have a small but very good set of friends. I have friends that I vent to and that I use as a sounding board. The key is not to lose focus of your goal. My goal is to build this amazing product and company.
A word of advice for young women entrepreneurs?
I know it sounds cliche, but just do it. We switched ideas four times until we found the right one with a big potential and that we were passionate about, and we would have not found it without going through the journey of exploring our first three ideas. So don’t wait for the perfect team or the perfect idea - just start building and selling something. Your first try might not be perfect, but you will learn a lot and if you keep on building you will find your own way to success.