edocr: Manoj Ranaweera’s two decade long roller coaster rideTeam YS
Manoj Ranaweera is a Sri Lankan who moved to the UK for college. Graduating from the University of Brighton and then later undergoing a course in management, Manoj has worked with a lot of multinationals and entered the startup world post his MBA. Manoj used to manage contracts in power, water and transport sectors in the UK and the Middle East before his MBA and then joined a tech startup as an investor and manager but things didn’t pan out very well.
He then raised some capital to refine the value proposition and build the product but had to take the decision to shut down in two years due to financial reasons and also the poor performance of the outsourced product development team. Manoj realized that he knew nothing about starting a business nor had a network of entrepreneurs to call upon and addressed the latter by founding Techcelerate in 2006, which has now grown to over 2,300 tech entrepreneurs, senior managers of tech companies, investors, deal makers and service providers.Alongside, in 2007, Manoj had founded edocr.com as well. “edocr was founded to address a problem I had at the time. I was heavily into blogging on Electronic Invoicing and Supply Chain Finance. I started to produce analyst reports, and was looking for a site where I can gain maximum exposure. At the same time, I was looking for a site where I can research all of the companies in the sector without having to regularly visit their individual sites. Out of this need, edocr.com was born,” says Manoj. Today, edocr.comhas evolved to deliver value from existing document assets, a significant change from the initial concept.
edocr had a great start and within a year, was declared as one of the 20 hottest startups in the UK but soon after, some of the key members of the team had to leave and the company was knee deep in technology problems. But Manoj was able to see out the day and build a team to deliver on edocr. edocr has a rather interesting problem it solved.
Businesses from small to large continue to produce documents of which 5 to 7% could be made public. Most of these documents remain trapped in filing servers. A very small proportion of these are uploaded to corporate websites. In most cases, these uploaded documents cannot be easily found and impossible to be interacted with. Distribution channels are limited to handing out or posting, and there are no statistics on ROI of these documents.
edocr is solving this problem by providing an interactive environment for unlimited document publishing by any employee and making it easy to share across the web by anyone who come across the document. edocr claims to have helped over 700,000+ prospects from 202 countries to discover 35,000+ professionals and businesses through documents.
edocr has settled on a pricing modeland has grown by 250% in 2012 increasing total user accounts to 70,000. The number reached 100,000 user accounts at the end of May 2013 with the main base being in US, UK and India.
edocr missed the bus when it was the apt time to raise some seed money because of founder issues but has been able to sustain and is back in talk with a bit late stage investors to see through the next stage of growth. edocr plans to focus more on manufacturing companies going forward and is working with a vision to liberate non-commercially sensitive documents from file servers and then deliver value from those documents.