Russian service Keycaptcha earned 3 million rubles in 2014

    According to RBC, a new Russian service for protection against spam - keycaptcha. Users are invited not to solve examples or enter text, as is the case with the standard captcha, but to assemble a puzzle. Since 2010, the creators of the service Nikolai Price and Maxim Vladykin have invested $ 300,000 of their own funds in it. And in 2014, the project became operationally profitable with a revenue of 3 million rubles.

    The standard captcha has long shown its low efficiency and now does not present great difficulties for crackers. An entrepreneur from Novosibirsk, Nikolai Price, decided to offer a more reliable solution. In 2010, together with Maxim Vladykin, they created the Keycaptcha service. The experiment showed that the idea of ​​solving the puzzle is successful: more than 98% of users assembled the puzzle correctly the first time.

    In addition, the service solves another urgent problem. “Imagine that a visitor wrote a long comment or filled out a form with more than ten fields. With the wrong decision of almost all captcha, visitors should choose: either re-fill the form, or click on the “cross” and leave the site, ”explains Vladykin. In the case of Keycaptcha, if the solution is incorrect, the entered data is not lost, and only the puzzle itself is updated.

    Keycaptcha is currently used by more than 20,000 sites around the world. The share of customers from the CIS and Russia is about 20%.


    The share of paid service users is less than 5%, and the income from a paid subscription is about $ 2.5–3 thousand per month (about 100 thousand rubles at the average exchange rate for 2014).

    Most of the service’s revenue is advertising, which is placed directly in puzzles. Over 75% of sites using Keycaptcha show this kind of advertising. Advertising captcha can be created on the basis of logos of advertising companies. The puzzle can contain a phone number and a link to the advertiser's website. The price for the assembled puzzle is in the range from $ 0.02 per impression and up to $ 0.08 per click link.

    According to Vladykin, the CTR (click-through rate, the “click-through rate” for measuring the effectiveness of online advertising) advertising in Keycaptcha is much higher than regular banner advertising - 10% versus 0.1-0.2%. Last year, monthly advertising revenue was about 600,000 rubles ($ 16,000 at the average exchange rate for 2014), half of which went to owners of sites on which Keycaptcha was installed.

    In addition to his own investments, in March 2014, the start-up received a grant of $ 25,000 from the Start Fellows project by Yuri Milner and Pavel Durov, and also passed the IIDF acceleration program, receiving 600,000 rubles (about $ 15,000) from the fund. In September 2014, the project reached a break-even level with an annual income of 3 million rubles.

    Keycaptcha's main source of advertising is Google AdSense. “We tried to attract direct advertisers, but due to the fact that 80% of our traffic is from abroad, it is difficult to do this,” explains Maxim Vladykin.

    At the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, the number of Keycaptcha hits was 40 million. In 2015, the creators of the project plan to increase traffic by 10 times and occupy 15% of the Russian market.

    “Based on 280 million correct captcha decisions per day around the world, 70-100 billion rubles a year can be considered the top estimate of the world market. Our share in the world market is still less than 1%, ”says Vladykin.

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