SquadRun is a mobile marketplace for crowdsourced work. Started in 2014 and one of YourStory's MobileSparks, the startup has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from some of the top entrepreneurs in India such as Amit Ranjan of Slideshare, Deepinder Goyal, founder of Zomato, Zishaan Hayath, founder of Toppr and Girish Khera, cofounder at Scientific Animations. Angels from Powai Lake Ventures also participated in this round. The startup was accelerated by 91springboard which also advised them in the fundraise.
Brainchild of Apurv Agrawal, Kanika Jain and Vikas Gulati, SquadRun is a ‘gamified’ puzzle app that allows users to make money by completing simple tasks on their phone. They had initially started out with gathering tasks which were more offline but realized overtime that online tasks were getting more traction. The solution allows users to monetize "down time" while providing businesses cost effective solutions to common operational problems. SquadRun works on the principle that everyone has a certain amount of spare or “down” time every day- time spent travelling, waiting, or otherwise unengaged. SquadRun missions don’t require the players to have any specific background or education but need basic skills like comprehension, pattern recognition, data handling, grammar, etc.
A few use cases that SquadRun's mobile army is being used for Data moderation, tagging, categorization, comparision, etc all of which can be done on SquadRun at fraction of what it would have costed a business otherwise. In 6 months, SquadRun has worked with over 7000 users and 35+ diverse businesses. On the user side, the app currently has more than 1250 daily active users. Their focus now lies on data enrichment use cases such as Data Moderation, Comparison, Categorization and Tagging where SquadRun is right now working with almost all the top marketplaces and consumer apps in India.
Globally, TaskRabbit is the biggest player in the area which has raised more than $37.5 million and was founded in 2008. Talking about the competition, Apurv says, “TaskRabbit is and a few others are focusing a lot on offline tasks. We mainly compete with inhouse teams and BPOs but our high quality distributed workforce, strong algorithms and workflows enables us to be better.” The connections at SpringBoard served as their network to VCs and angels and recommendations through portfolio companies is what helped them to reach out and close the deal with entrepreneurs who have started investing now.
Apart from being one of the MobileSparks, SquadRun has been recognized on various international platforms such as the Startup Nations Summit 2014 held in Seoul, Korea and the NOAH conference in London. It is still early days but the adoption their app has been seeing is promising. "We'll be sorted with technology to a satisfactory extent by March, and from April onwards, the focus is going to be reaching out to the market with full force," says Apurv.