- 28 Feb, 23
Kaan Kayabali 101: The Entrepreneur Behind Onedio’s Success
Kaan Kayabali is one of the co-founders of Onedio, which is considered one of Turkey’s most successful startups. Together with his partner Turku Eginoglu, Kayabali brought Onedio to life. While Kayabali assumed the role of CEO at Onedio, Eginoglu became the president. In this guide on Zatrun.com, you can find everything you need to know about Kaan Kayabali.
Table of Contents
Who is Kaan Kayabali?
Kaan Kayabali, the co-founder and CEO of Onedio, was born on October 17, 1983, in the capital city of Ankara. He was born into a middle-class family, where his parents worked as civil servants. Kayabali had a successful academic life, attending excellent schools and excelling in mathematics. Although he does not describe himself as a hardworking person, he managed to rank among the top 250 students in the university entrance exam (OSS) at the time.
Kayabali began his university life in Ankara, where he was born, and graduated from the Middle East Technical University’s Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2005. Kayabali still lives in Ankara, and he explained in an interview with Ayse Arman that he feels safe and productive in the city. “There is no hustle and bustle of Istanbul here. You can focus better,” he said.
His Early Ventures
After graduating from the Middle East Technical University, Kaan Kayabali worked for Turkey’s largest defence industry firms. He had already gained multiple internship experiences during summer breaks. Based on his experiences, Kayabali decided that he did not want a corporate working life and chose to start his own business.
Kaan Kayabali had been making money online since childhood. He bought his first computer in 1994 and had a knack for designing simple websites. Although his family wanted him to work in a corporate firm, Kayabali, excited to be a recent graduate, thought that he had nothing to lose and founded his first company in 2005.
Kaan Kayabali’s first company was an electronic design company, where he and his team developed artificial intelligence software. They created automation systems that analysed images captured by cameras. The company’s first project was an automatic camera system that recorded indoor soccer matches. The system recognized that the moving object was a “ball” because the company trained it to do so. Kayabali and his team even won an award in the “New Ideas, New Businesses” competition with this project.
The company’s first customer was the Kemer Country Club, which had tennis courts. The system was also sold to the Acarkent tennis court. However, the system did not have many customers afterward. Therefore, Kayabali decided to use the system in the defence sector instead of the sports sector. The system was transformed into a “terrorist tracking system from thermal cameras.”
Kaan Kayabali and Onedio
When Kaan Kayabali’s office was at the Middle East Technical University Technopark, a group of 13 journalists visited the office. Kaan Kayabali spoke about what they were doing and their projects. However, the next day, the newspaper published something that Kayabali did not say as if he had said it.
Kayabali talked about license plate recognition systems and camera systems that observe the roads, but what he said was not reflected correctly in the news. This incident made Kayabali consider starting a website where people could write what they wanted, and this led to the birth of Onedio. Onedio was established in 2013 and became Turkey’s largest content and social media platform with more than 45 million unique visitors per month.
What is Onedio?
Onedio is a new media platform that formulates the dynamics of social networks in the modern era. Users can access the most popular news, photos, galleries, and videos on the internet from one single point on Onedio, while also contributing to its content and solving fun tests. Users can write their own news and express their thoughts on the site, but the content is subject to approval by editors before being published. Additionally, the site features polls and tests that have a significant impact on site traffic.
With over 4.5 million unique monthly visitors and more than 2 million Google index entries, Onedio received a $1.2 million investment from investment company Revo Capital. In a 2020 study conducted by Fast Company, Onedio’s revenue was found to be between 30 and 40 million Turkish Liras, and the site was listed as the 93rd highest-earning website in Turkey.