Unlike market leaders WeDo and Subex, analysing Israeli RA vendor cVidya always causes me headaches. For example, they tell their customers they are headquartered in the USA, but they submit their figures to a Deloitte ranking for fast-growing companies headquartered in Israel. But cVidya are backed by venture capital, which means they are under no obligation to tell the public anything about their results, never mind telling the truth. So over the years, I have relied upon piecing together scraps of data from here and there, not least from the numbers reported by cVidya to Deloitte’s Israeli Fast 50. cVidya once again features in the Fast 50 for 2013, being ranked 29th fastest growing firm in Israel. This was achieved by delivering 175% revenue growth between 2008 and 2012. And from that, I estimate they probably suffered a 20% fall in sales between 2011 and 2012, with revenues dropping from around USD52mn to around USD42mn.
Archimedes said: “give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth.” He was discussing the principle of leverage, which seems oddly appropriate. To calculate cVidya’s revenues from the Israeli Fast 50 numbers requires two fixed points, for security. Then we can plot the curve of cVidya’s growth over time. After following cVidya for ten years, I finally have two fixed points suited to the task.
The crucial first point is found way back in 2004. We know, with a very high degree of certainty, that cVidya’s 2004 revenues were just less than USD63k. How do we know this? Because in 2008, cVidya received a ‘special mention’ from Deloitte, despite failing to qualify for their Fast 50 Index. At the time, cVidya was very proud of this, and issued a press release. Why did they fail to qualify? It had nothing to do with arguments about where their headquarters were. The growth of a Fast 50 business is always measured over a 5-year span. cVidya’s 2004 revenues fell below the USD63k threshold to be included in the Fast 50 ranking.
Step forward to 2009, when we can be confident that cVidya’s revenues were around USD20mn. The backers of cVidya and ECtel negotiated their merger, there was good evidence that the two firms had roughly equal revenues, and ECtel’s revenues were in the public domain by virtue of their stock market listing.
It is important to emphasize that cVidya has never publicly admitted to falling revenues. They have, in contrast, often stated they were growing. So if the 2009 revenues were higher than the 2008 revenues, and the 2012 revenues are 175% higher than the 2008 revenues, we know that 20*(1+1.75) = USD55mn would be the high end of the range of possible 2012 revenues. But this would assume negligible growth between 2008 and 2009. This is unlikely. At the time, cVidya frequently reported new sales and were very upbeat about their growth. So the more that cVidya grew between 2008 and 2009, the lower their 2012 figure would be. I came up with the following growth estimates, based on the Fast 50 numbers and by setting the 2004 revenues and 2009 revenues to USD63k and USD20mn respectively.
Numbers below the red line are for the post-merger cVidya, incorporating ECtel. Numbers above the red line are estimates of growth between USD63k in 2004 and USD20mn in 2009. From 2009, all revenue estimates are consistent with the 5-year growth figure reported in the Fast 50.
There is some guesswork here, but the numbers make sense. Crucially, it would be very hard to engineer a model to fit Deloitte’s Fast 50 numbers, without showing cVidya had a downturn somewhere. In the past, cVidya have talked big about their growth. This year, they were quiet about growth. Hence, I make the rational assumption that the start-up did grow impressively during its early years, but it plateaued following the merger with ECtel. If the model is wrong, there are only two ways to find out: wait for the figures in next year’s Fast 50, or wait for cVidya to be more transparent about their financial performance. I know which I think will come first.
maybe you’ll share with the public your salary and cvidya will share its revenues?
@ no one, you talk big for somebody who won’t share their name, and uses a proxy to hide where you are. (Two proxies to be exact – were you worried that the first one didn’t work?)
cVidya does make public statements about its revenues, like its rivals. Unlike its rivals, when cVidya makes a public statement about revenues, it lies about them. Maybe they think they’ll fool a future buyer that way. If so, good luck, and let us know how much you profited from your share options.
I can talk to the CEOs and CFOs of other software companies about their revenues, without being told that I have to reveal personal data first. What makes cVidya special?
There is another thing I am curious about, as well as cVidya’s financial performance. Why did you initially enter your name as ‘James’, then change it?
Of course, there’s no fooling some people. cVidya CEO Alon Aginsky is the 95th most powerful person in telecoms. More powerful than the CEOs of bigger rivals. And more powerful than European Commissioner Nellie Kroes. Anyone who says otherwise must be a liar or a fool. Obviously.
As it happens, my salary is zero. Everyone who knows is already aware of that. I’m not employed by any company but my own, and I’m not currently drawing a salary from it for tax reasons. Lol. Feel free to ignore the details of that ‘deal’ you were talking about, just like so many other promises made by businesses like cVidya…
I encourage you to leave more creepy stalky anonymous comments that make cVidya employees sound like nutjobs, as talkRA’s readers just love stuff like this. Unlike cVidya’s vapid attempts at promotion, this is entertaining, which brings in many more eyeballs to my website. Of course, I wouldn’t expect cVidya to understand how the internet works. Or people either. Or software. Or marketing. Remind me, what are you guys good at?
So zero revenues, zero eyeballs.
Remind me eric what are you exactly good at?
@nobody, I’m good at two things. First, I’m good at being retired and enjoying my life. That’s what comes from good, honest, hard work. You should try it. Second, I’m good at having a name. You should try that too.
But seriously, keep commenting. The more you write, the more you damage cVidya’s reputation. I was finding it hard to imagine how their reputation could be worse, but you found a way.
ericThe one thing you’re not good at is the truth.
You haven’t retired – you just can’t find any work at any Telco in the UK (or in the world?)
Based on alexa : http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/talkra.com
1.No one is reading your blog, your current position is 4,000,000 and it’s the best position you got ever. Your site is popular as smellyfeet.com
2.Based on Alexa the third most common keyword is “Eric hates cvidya”
So zero eyeballs, zero income, zero customers, and zero friends in the industry.Remind me again Eric, What are you exactly good at?
Let’s check the Alexa ranking of another ‘popular’ blogger about revenue assurance… Dr. Gadi Solotorevsky, CTO of cVidya, who spent 6 years blogging at the cleverly-named ra-blog.org. His Alexa ranking is: “we don’t have enough data to rank this website.” After 6 years, so few people visited his site that Alexa couldn’t be bothered to give it a ranking.
When I invited Gadi to blog at talkRA.com, in 2007, he snootily told me that he didn’t want to be seen on the same site as his competitors. Perhaps he should have, as being seen next to your competitors is better than not being seen at all. I see his site was so popular that cVidya recently decided to close it down.
And yet, you say I’ve got a problem with cVidya. So why didn’t cVidya’s biggest showman agree to join talkRA at the very beginning, when he had the opportunity? Is it because cVidya are really stupid at marketing? Or is it because cVidya’s people think they’re inherently superior to everybody else? Is that the reason why they become so angry so quickly, whenever they’re criticized?
Of course, Gadi feels he is too important and too good to write for talkRA.com. But that didn’t stop him having the cheek to ask if his blog could republish talkRA’s RSS feed. I said no. It’s unbelievable hypocrisy to first say you don’t want your marketing crap to sit alongside blog posts written by rivals for another website, but you don’t mind taking your rivals’ words and republishing them on a marketing site you control.
Now let’s check out the Alexa ranking of the official website of the Global RA Professional Association. You know, the people who keep saying how popular they are, because they have so very very many members. The people that impressed Gadi Solotorevsky so much, he naively asked them to join his TMF team, under his leadership, and join his endless imperial reign at the TM Forum. Yup, GRAPA’s Alexa ranking is below that of talkRA. How strange. So the global association for RA, and the blog of the double-award-winning leader of the TMF’s RA group, both rank below talkRA, according to Alexa. You’d think a global association might be more popular than my crappy site, which doesn’t claim to be a global association. I mean look at this site – the crappy design hasn’t been changed since it was first quickly thrown together by a pair of amateurs. Yet it outranks GRAPA and Gadi’s blog, which was developed by cVidya’s marketing staff. And everybody loves Gadi, don’t they? That’s why his name gets mentioned every time Alon Aginsky wins an award for being so powerful. Maybe RA just isn’t that big a field, when it comes to the vast scale of the internet. You might understand that, except you probably didn’t realize there were so many other websites out there. That’s because you, and other cVidya employees, spend so much time reading talkRA.
The problems with Alexa rankings are well-documented, in that they can be gamed by pushing artificial traffic through their toolbar, which is not widely used by real people. The lack of real Alexa traffic leads to strange results, like when they said that 90% of talkRA’s visitors are in Brazil. That is not true. For example, talkRA receives more traffic from Israel than from Brazil. The reason why “Eric hates cvidya” is the third most common search on Alexa is because (1) I don’t game the traffic, (2) that’s the kind of stupid search that a cVidya employee would type, and (3) cVidya employees are the kinds of stupid sod who will install Alexa toolbars on their work laptops, probably to boost their corporate website’s Alexa ranking. Perhaps you should tell your colleagues not to be so obsessive. And you should have told at least one of your colleagues to visit Gadi’s blog in the 6 years he was writing it.
Remind me, cVidya does a lot of work in Brazil, doesn’t it?
I prefer checking out the number of comments as an independent measure of a site’s popularity. After stripping out the spam, it’s a safer indicator that people are reading and are interested in the content. For example, you have left 3 comments on talkRA in the space of a month. The last 3 comments left by visitors to ra-blog.org were posted between April and July.
But you’re right, I do get fed up with this industry. I feel like people like you are always trying to push me out, because you don’t like the truth. But then, when I’m feeling fed up, I’ll usually get a surprising invite, even though I keep telling people I’m retired. So whilst you say I have zero friends in this industry, I find myself being asked to join the committee of the UK’s Revenue Assurance Group, or asked to write for BillingViews (Alexa ranking: 700,000ish), or invited to participate in the user events of WeDo and Subex, the top two software companies in RA. If I have so few eyeballs, and I’m so despicable, why do these people waste their time with me? Why do you?
What motivates me to accept those invites? That’s the question you should ask me. It’s one I often ask myself. Mostly I accept out of vanity. God knows I don’t actually enjoy doing revenue assurance, which is why I’d rather write for websites than accept the kind of low-paid thankless consulting contracts that Ronen Tanami, cVidya COO, used to tout around every freelancer, me included. I told him where to stick his cheap-ass offer. Unfortunately, at a time when people are getting laid off by the telecoms industry, not everybody enjoys the luxury of turning down work. But I don’t need to tell you this. cVidya knows all about staff cutbacks.
Some of my motivation comes from wanting to spite people like you. You don’t like what I say, and you want to shut me up. That much is obvious. That is great motivation for me to keep on writing. Like a scumbag bully, you actually hope to shut me up by directing personal attacks at me. You obviously don’t know me very well. The people who do know me can tell you the reason I retired from consulting and management work in telecoms. It’s because I want to do other things, like writing fiction.
Feel free to belittle me, because I admit that I’ve not had much success at getting my fiction published. I made a film which was shown at a festival, but not elsewhere. I’ve submitted fiction to several publishers, and been turned down every time. Feel free to have a laugh at my expense. Like a creepy stalker, you also visit the other website that I maintain for fun (Alexa ranking: it does not have one) although that site is never mentioned on talkRA. That’s a place where I practice my skills whilst I dream of being a professional writer of fiction. So go ahead, take your cheap shots, and say I’m a fool, and I’m unpopular and that I’ll always fail. I can’t stop you. I won’t try to stop you. That is why I keep publishing your comments. I encourage you to leave more comments. What you don’t understand is that everything you do is back-firing horribly. You hurt yourself much more than you hurt me. That’s always been the problem with cVidya. Big promises, small delivery. Big talk about being market leaders, when you’re way behind the top two firms. Big lies that rebound back in your company’s face. I don’t know why you’re like that. Nobody respects that kind of behaviour. Nobody is fooled. And even Rob Mattison has enough sense not to leave comments on talkRA. You keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll keep doing this, because I enjoy messing with people like you. Guys like you deserve to lose. I’m just playing a small part in helping you to destroy yourselves.
By the way, did you forget to use a proxy server this time? Or do you want everybody to know that you’re a cVidya employee working out of their Florida office?
Eric – I’m seriously concerned by these revelations…. you ranked 4 millionth!! by my estimations that puts you in the top half a percent of active websites globally
Blog on Mr E
@ A friend, thanks for your encouragement :) People like you make this feel worthwhile.