About three years ago, Rashmi Sinha and her husband Jonathan Boutelle, along with Amit Ranjan, started a company that was going to let users share PowerPoint presentations over the Internet, much in the same way as YouTube gave people an easy way to share videos. I was skeptical of their service, SlideShare, and chose to ignore it. Boy, was I wrong. It seems there were a lot of takers for SlideShare’s service, which has now graduated from sharing mere slide shows to sharing all kinds of documents. The site has become a favorite of web workers, corporate workers and independents. Here is SlideShare by the numbers:
It attracts 20 million visitors, who generate 60 million page views every month. It has 1.5 million registered users. SlideShare, which is based in San Francisco with offices in New Delhi, has some revenues, but so far it has been like any other web-based service -– surviving on venture capital funding, including a $3 million Series A round from Venrock that it raised back in May 2008.Now SlideShare is getting ready to launch two services that will form the underpinning of its business model. The new efforts, offered together as SlideShare Business, are:
LeadShare, a self-service tool for capturing leads with all your documents and presentations. At the end of the presentation, a form pops up that allows you to sign up for more information. The form is available everywhere documents can be embedded. The service costs anywhere from $8 to $22 per lead.
SlideShare has a slew of new services on deck, and I got a demo of some of them — I’ll write about them as they get fully baked. “We are currently going to focus on small and medium-sized businesses, as large corporations need more customized options,” Sinha said.
LeadShare is a smart idea: It tries to update the lead generation business, which seems to be stuck in the dark ages. SlideShare’s fresh approach involves more proactive involvement from the viewer and is thus likely to result in higher quality leads. Now, let’s just hope I’m right about the company this time around.