Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Be self-aware

BeLive Technology provider of live streaming solutions in Southeast Asia

Please introduce yourself and BeLive Technology to our readers!

My name is Kenneth Tan. I am the CEO and one of three co-founders of BeLive Technology. The other co-founders are Ken Ang, COO, and Hassan Abid, CTO. Prior to building BeLive, I was a Director of Gaming for TYO listed DeNA where I was first introduced to live streaming.

How did you get the idea of BeLive Technology and why did you decide to start the company?

My time with DeNA provided the spark for BeLive Technology when I came across something revolutionary. It was a website where entertainers, influencers and individuals could broadcast live video, singing and “busking” online – and their fans could give them “virtual tips” directly.

The platform was Showroom, and it rapidly became the most popular live video platform in Japan. 

It was so simple yet so effective – a whole new “virtual busking” experience.

This got me thinking, why isn’t live video streaming being used by more people around the world? Getting more brands and industries to adopt live streaming became my passion and mission, and I left DeNA in 2016 to pursue my hypothesis: that the adoption of live streaming will be inevitable globally.

What is the vision behind BeLive Technology?

The adoption of live video streaming is rapid and inevitable, accelerated by the need for companies to transform digitally due to the pandemic.

Live video streaming is the fastest growing video medium in the world, and BeLive Technology’s aim is to provide the highest quality engagement tools that help businesses acquire users, monetize their products, and even deliver after-purchase service.

We have been fortunate enough to partner with the largest enterprises in the world, helping them connect with their users via live video and driving real business growth.

How difficult was the start and which challenges have you had to overcome?

Being one of the pioneers in the live video space in Southeast Asia, we had the daunting task of educating our customers. We needed to demonstrate that live video streaming was a medium that could help generate highly engaged, loyal users who were willing to spend to support their favourite brands.

This proved to be an incredibly difficult ask in 2016-2019, as live streaming was seen as a tool that potentially only worked in China. The inception of Facebook Live/Instagram Live did generate some inbound interest, but it was our partnership with customers like Rakuten, Trendyol and most recently, Grab that really drove interest in our solutions.

Who is your target audience?

Our solutions are sector agnostic, and we drive business impact in the retail, e-commerce, and entertainment industries. We are also experiencing high demand for live video streaming solutions in multiple industries that are transforming digitally.

What is the USP of your startup?

We have invested deeply into our team and our technology, and have had great success providing infrastructure, engagement, and analysis solutions to over 100 million users across the globe.

On the infrastructure layer, we have supported high-traffic live streams with cost-efficiency and high performance.

On the engagement layer, our features like Live Shopping, Virtual Gifting, and Live Trivia drives conversions of up to 30 percent add-to-cart, 72 percent stream completion rate, and 18 percent increase in user acquisition for our customers.

On the analysis layer, our AI and ML (Machine Learning)-powered, live video specific engines provide actionable insights that help our customers stream, engage and convert better.

Can you describe your typical workday?

As I usually put my son to sleep at 9 pm and go to bed at a similar time, I start my day at 5 am.

This is when I am most productive, and I look at the main initiatives that the departments are driving for the week. I schedule messages (to be sent at 9 am) to the initiative owners for pulse checks, facilitating discussions between departments, and offering suggestions/introductions to third parties if necessary.

Lunch is usually set aside for catch-ups with partners, friends, fellow entrepreneurs.

I also set aside 40 to 50 percent of my time each week for one-on-ones with my core team to align, check in on their personal wellbeing, and most importantly – understand their professional growth and clear any blockers.

At the end of the day, I do a quick review of the initiatives and set reminders for the next day before going home to have dinner with my family.

I play with my son, put him to bed, and watch an episode or two on Netflix with my wife before retiring for the day.

Where do you see yourself and BeLive Technology in five years?

We are in a privileged position to influence the way live video is being consumed over the next decade. Whatever products we build will inevitably reach millions of users due to the sheer reach of our partners.

We have to wield this power with responsibility and build the future of engagement for the next billion users that will watch a live video stream.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

Be self-aware. Look at the way you lead from a third-person point of view. Would you be proud of the actions that you are taking if you were viewing yourself from a third person?

Never be the smartest person in the room. Surround yourself with people who inspire you in every interaction you have.

Always be receptive to feedback. You create a culture of fear for every idea or feedback you dismiss with mockery. Be straightforward and blunt with your assessments and hold firm to your beliefs, but always thank the suggester and encourage a culture of sharing.

Thank you Kenneth Tan for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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