How and why former Myntra and Hoopos co-founders started NudgeSpot
Raveen Sastry has had the good fortune of having been involved in startups working on technologies and businesses ahead of their time. Back in 2001, he was in the US with Xora, working on GPS technology at a time when Google Maps were not even around. He was with the company for three years before coming to Bengaluru to setup a Xora office here. This was, again, a time before the tech scene in Bangalore flowered. Post Xora, he earned an MBA from Canada, which happens to be his birthplace. On his return to Bengaluru, he began to look around for his next challenge.
He did a few odd jobs before he chanced upon a meeting with Mukesh Bansal, who had just started Myntra. “At that time, we used to have branded shops and personalized clothing. We brought in machines, would print most of the things, and tied up bulk deals,” recollects Raveen. It was only in 2010, when Tiger Global came in as an investor, that the focus shifted towards online and fashion. Raveen stuck around for a while till the company grew to 300-odd people; but then his urge to move to a smaller setup got him thinking again.
There are emails, SMSs, apps and many other channels via which customers are notified. But for an online business, it becomes very difficult to maintain all these channels. Thinking about it, the duo decided to pursue solving this problem, and thus started NudgeSpot along with two others, Alok Shankar and Suresh Harikrishnan.
The market is huge. There is a large set of SMEs growing online that are facing problems with their outbound communications. The key is to have a unified dashboard, and the ability to monitor all activities. This is the vision towards which NudgeSpot wants to work, and according to Raveen, they’re only 25% there, currently. Globally, Intercom is the company NudgeSpot would want to be competing with. Intercom raised a $6 million series A funding in 2013, followed by a $23 million series B in 2014 and is growing very rapidly.
Back home in India though, NudgeSpot pretty much has an open playing field. The startup already has more than 50 customers onboard, out of which 50% are paying customers. “We have the likes of Ola, Bluestone, and Zivame already using us. For e-commerce, we target players which have high-touch products. Apart from that, we are mainly looking at enterprise companies,” says Raveen. Enterprise companies are a segment which are not talked of too often; but there are some global companies of this type being built from various parts of India. Here’s a list of 30+ upcoming ones; and with more seasoned professionals entering the space, this number will only go up.
Nudgespot is a team of about 15, based in Bangalore. It is currently expanding both its technology and business teams. Its intention is to get more and more paying customers, not chase investments. Their $650k seed round of funding closed in a week,meaning they could easily look for another round, but Raveen is a bit wary and wants the business to prove itself before raising more.