In any business, customer acquisition is an inherent, ongoing process, indispensable for the organisation for several reasons. The business boom in the country has created huge demand for companies providing customer-acquisition solutions. In a broad term, this Bengaluru-based company seems to be working in customer acquisition. However, it claims to differ itself from others on various technological grounds.
Launched in 2012, LeadSquared is a customer-acquisition platform for various businesses. It includes lead capture automation, marketing automation, sales acceleration, marketing and sales analytics and other benefits.
Nilesh Patel, Founder and CEO, LeadSquared, “Lead capture automation is defined as capturing lead from various sources such as inbound mail, online campaigns, phone calls, lead generation, websites and others. Marketing automation engages with drip marketing and trigger-based emails. It uses SMS to drive online inquiries, inbound calls and walk-ins. Sales acceleration leads across various stages in sales cycle and monitors lead engagement at various stages. In other benefits, we offer LeadSquared mobile app to search and view activity and lead details”.
Road to LeadSquared
Before launching LeadSquared, Nilesh worked with several B2B and B2C businesses over a period of 15 months, helping them generate leads via several inbound and outbound campaigns.
During the phase, he realised that businesses had certain practical problems and the marketing tools used weren’t capable enough to address the existing issues. Scattered leads caused massive lead leakages. Owing to lack of automation, leads were not being followed up on time. Sales and marketing did not have a common view of lead data. Besides, due to lack of technology, it was hard and tedious to get meaningful and actionable insights. In a nutshell, businesses were struggling to get all this to work together with different tools.
LeadSquared was the result of an effort to address the existing problem in the industry and offer a complete automated acquisition solution.
“There are several platforms trying to address different problems in the process. However, in my opinion we stand ourselves apart on various counts. We are offering software to meet the unique needs of Indian businesses. We have combined marketing automation with the most-used components of CRM. Our customer support team helps the customers get the maximum benefit out of LeadSquared, and making it a part of their business process is extremely important for us,” says Nilesh.
LeadSquared beta was released in March of 2013. Since then, it has managed to show around 20 per cent month on month growth. It works on SAAS-based model and charges based on the number of contacts people want to manage and the number of users.
With over 250 clients in India, including Flipkart, Byju’s, Vedantu, Deltin, Randstad, TimesPro and many more, the company is looking forward to generating over USD 1.5 million in revenue in 2015-16.
The company was bootstrapped initially, and later managed to raise a round of USD 1.1 million from individuals. The capital was utilised to build, market and sell the product, and cloud infrastructure. The venture is planning to raise USD 10 million to expand and build the business.
Market opportunity with existing competition
The market opportunity for marketing technology is huge and is identified to be north of USD 20 billion worldwide. According to LeadSquared, the opportunity in India alone is worth USD 500 million.
The company targets B2C segments such as education, real estate, travel and hospitality, and health and wellness etc. It believes that the adoption of marketing technology across these segments is still nascent, so there’s a lot of opportunity in the market.
LeadSquared competes with CRM providers like Zoho and Salesforce when the customer is looking for a CRM solution. Its competition is with HubSpot, Infusionsoft in marketing automation. It competes with both CRM and automation providers.
The segment has multitude of players which offer similar value propositions. It’s challenging for the venture to become a favourite choice for potential buyers.
Talking about his strategy to stay relevant in the market, Nilesh says, “We aim to solve important cases of certain segments of the market much better than others. We already see that working for us and have been able to dislodge incumbents and are becoming the top go-to choice for businesses in B2C segment.”