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How this omni-channel communication platform aims to be the answer to all businesses’ consumer woes

Sindhu Kashyap
21st Feb 2016
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One of the biggest gaps faced in the industry is streamlining conversations with customers. Today’s consumer demands quality and the best of service. With multiple available touch points and platforms, brands need to look at consumer conversations more seriously and effectively. Inquirly was established to help businesses be in front of their consumers and create conversations.

Working as a SaaS platform, Inquirly is an omni-channel communication digital marketing solution that aims to help business engage better with their customers. Inquirly works with a multi-tenant architecture with roles-based access, where one can create configurable roles for different business and industries, and the access can be managed.

With Inquirly, businesses can hold two-way campaigns and post or schedule them simultaneously on all social media, send out SMSes and emails and engage in-location channels like Beacon, QR Code, and tablets. The key part to the platform is the configuration section, where the team on-boards the clients and sets up these channels.

YourStory-Inquirly
Team @ Inquirly

Genesis of the idea

The idea for Inquirly came to Anjan Choudhary while working for Accenture and catering to Fortune 500 companies. He found that the digital ecosystems had a massive impact on businesses and came across the pain point businesses faced when it came to them.

“We launched the first version of our product and have learnt the various feature requirements after working with and meeting more than 500 customers in two years. This has helped fine-tune our offerings and services,” adds 39-year-old Anjan.

Beginning work on Inquirly while still a part of Accenture, Anjan roped in his wife, Meenakshi, to help in the business. Anjan quit his job once the MVP was ready and they had their first paying clients.

The product workings

The Inquirly technology stack consists of Android, Python, GO, RoR, Angular JS, Postgres with data science, machine learning and NLP algorithms powering the analytics. It has also created a recommendation engine, which provides businesses with curated articles relevant to their industry and helps them engage with their clientele in a better manner.

“We have built a listening engine where the business can monitor all the social and custom channels (review sites) with sentiment analytics and call to action to close the loop,” adds Anjan.

The command centre is pivotal to the business as all the leads and orders are captured in the pipeline with clear actionable stages where the consumer respective to the order receives regular alerts on the order fulfillment.

The order management pipeline system also allows to manage the deliveries where Inquirly has integrated with on-demand providers like Roadrunnr.

For marketing campaigns, the leads can be assigned to marketing/sales executives who in turn can manage the lead or sales pipeline by assigning proper stages to each lead. Inquirly monitors the brand and its online popularity across listings and social channels. Businesses also get their own dashboard to track the progress of various campaigns. The pipeline technology lets businesses track leads, orders and feedback.

However, the team found that India is not a DIY market. “Some of the businesses don’t even have a laptop/desktop. These learnings helped us to create the version two of our solution and pivot to a DIFY model,” says Anjan

Funding and future plans

Inquirly’s customers are primarily from automotive, education, retail, F&B, startups and wellness segments. It claims to be growing at 30 percent MoM. It has more than 1,000 business users on its platform across 300 clients and a pipeline of around 3,000 clients. The company raised a seed funding of $500,000

The team is looking to hire around 120 team members in the coming financial year in product, engineering, digital strategy, graphic design, customer support, sales, marketing and admin support. It plans to expand to 10 major cities in India this year.

Inquirly will be sending personalised or customised campaigns to customers based on various parameters.

It has built a consumer app Opinify, where consumers can discover businesses, chat with businesses, follow or like brand, get updates (from Inquirly campaigns) and also transact with the brand. The app will also have a built-in QR code scanner, augmented reality scanning capability, and receive updates on beacons and geo-location based alerts.

The space

With the growing concerns in the consumer reviews and reports, there is a need to build solutions that not only help brands and businesses manage their communications but also be intuitive and effective. The market share of the space is expected to touch $56 billion by 2019 with a CAGR of 17 percent.

There are several spaces in this space. Sokrati is one such funded startup, which raised a Series-B round of funding from IvyCap Ventures. Existing investor Inventus Capital also participated in the round. The funding is primarily for aggressively growing its sales and marketing efforts both within India, as well as for expanding to the US.

Another company in the space is Eywa Media, which too raised funding of $1 million from ah! Ventures, Mantra Ventures VC Fund and US-based Viktor Koenig PE Fund. The startup will utilise this fund to develop new products, strengthen tech partnerships and scale up team strength, sales, marketing operations and global expansion plans to countries including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines India, US, UAE, Qatar and Saudi.

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