Avlesh Singh, Founder , Webklipper : a social collaboration platform and a research assistant
Looking for a tool to collaborate on a project ? Wanted to share information on a webpage with your friends? Here is the product you are looking for. Webklipper is a must have for any researcher, market research companies, KPO's, people in the academia etc. You can highlight text, comment, extract text into a separate URL and share it with people. YourStory spoke to Avlesh Singh, the technology entrepreneur behind Webklipper.Tell us more about yourself.
I am Avlesh Singh, Founder of Webklipper; a Mumbai based startup. I was a member of the founding team behind burrp.com, which was acquired by Infomedia18 (a Network18 company) in 2009. I led the engineering team at burrp. Prior to this, I worked for an IIT-Delhi incubated startup called onyomo.com. Most recently I was leading a team at Infomedia18 for building one of the largest local search application (on web and voice) at askme.in. I am a 2005 batch engineering graduate from ISM,
Dhanbad, an active open source contributor (http://code.google.com/u/avlesh/) and a great company over beers.
What does Webklipper do?
Webklipper aims to be a social collaboration platform and a research assistant which enables conversation on web-pages, images and pdf documents by means of annotation. It lets researches leave their footprint on documents and share/collaborate with friends or teammates.
There are similar products available what differentiates Webklipper?
There are many. Unlike all other web annotation tools, Webklipper doesn't need a browser plugin in the first place. Second, WK is all out being collaborative in nature, it lets its users and his/her friends engage in a conversation on any webpage, image or document. Third, WK will also be releasing a lightweight desktop version for ease of adoption.
We'd be following a "freemium" approach to the business - by having a free disruptive offering and a paid SaaS application which will be aimed at prolific researches and research enterprises.
How do you want to take this to the next level?Technology these days has made life simpler as what it used to be a few years ago. We'll address this question when scale becomes an issue. Right now our focus is to build a compelling offering.
Are you a techie at heart? How did you get into entrepreneurship?
In my case it just happened. I always had this knack of building consumer facing applications and throwing it to people for using them. WK was one such idea. When a lot of people started using it and sending in their feedback I got serious about the offering. And being in a day job made it difficult to do justice to both. So, I decided to quit. And 4 months into my startup, I am now building a business out of an idea which was supposed to be no better than a humble Firefox plugin.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Hiring and raising funds.
I am lucky enough to have a partner (as CTO) whom I have known and worked with in the past. For the rest of the team, hiring talented folks for startups is a big challenge. I tried all tricks in the book but none of those work. What finally worked out were references. People in my own network helped me find out the team that I am working with.
I'll bitch about my fundraising exercise at a later date on my blog. It is a painful and tiring exercise.
Thankfully, I met the angel investor who has not only funded my venture but also been a mentor and guide all this while. As I said, details coming soon on my blog (avlesh.wordpress.com).