Business big shot: Suranga Chandratillake
Position Founder and chief executive of blinkx
When Autonomy split out its consumer division during the internet video mini-boom in 2007, a running joke among the naysayers who thought the phenomenon would be shortlived was “Blinkx and you’ll miss it”.
In fact, Blinkx has not only survived but quietly gone from strength to strength. Its latest results triggered a near-50 per cent rise in the shares.
For Suranga Chandratillake, who founded the company, the surge in the site’s popularity is further proof that online video is not a fad. “We’re now the second-fastest-growing website in the UK behind Facebook,” he said. “There is massive demand for our service among people that want video content but don’t know how to find it.”
The 32-year-old was born in Sri Lanka but grew up in Manchester before studying computer science at Cambridge. He established the business within Autonomy after seeing the potential for its technology to navigate the vast amount of video that exists online. Blinkx has since indexed 35 million hours of video, ranging from academic lectures to old television shows. It has also carved out a niche in the advertising market, which helped to take the company to its first operating profit.
Mr Chandratillake will push Blinkx’s technology into mobile phones and television set-top boxes this year and has established a new e-commerce product called Cheep, its first foray outside the video sector.
He is married to a geneticist and is a keen photographer, recently winning an award for a picture he took in the Galapagos Islands. However, his travels have been curtailed by the birth of his first child in December. “A newborn is almost as demanding as a start-up,” he said.