With $1.5M seed funding from Accel and Matrix, what is this ex-Zoho trio trying to build?Tarush Bhalla
Starting up was always part of life's agenda for Arvind Parthiban (32). But he didn’t want to hurry it up.
Spending 10 years of his time in Zoho, he was looking after the marketing of their flagship product ServiceDesk Plus. On the other end of the floor was Naveen Venkat (32) who was the Product Manager for Zoho’s Google Integrated Solution space. Their friendship ensued over cricket and small talk.
But in 2014, Arvind hit a wall when managing the ‘Rise of the Free’ campaign for Zoho. He had to run to the product managers for everything, right from optimising texts to inserting the required content.
This made him vent out his frustrations to Naveen who put his expertise into play, trying to crack the solution.
Conversations on the topic continued and on February 18 last year they launched their conversation rate optimisation software, Zarget, with another Zoho executive Santosh Kumar (32).
The first of a kind
Calling it essential for marketers of today, the Zarget platform provides analytics and insights on increasing conversions and transactions. The trio launched it on Product Hunt in December last year. The firm received 1,500 signups with 400 companies actively using the platform instantly.
Launching the platform officially, their product’s offerings are divided into three basic functionalities:
- A/B Testing: Often while changing the look and design of a website, teams are bombarded with multiple opinions, with very little justification. Zarget’s A/B testing allows the decisions to be made through data, providing analytics on clicks and usage patterns while distributing the traffic to various versions of the website.
- Heatmap: According to Arvind, with complex elements on web properties, there needs to be newer methods to map engagement. The Heatmap report provides a comprehensive view with all elements from banners to dropdowns (advertisements) mapped and assessed.
- Funnel Analysis: Arvind says when users click on advertisements for purchases or otherwise, it becomes a multi-page process. Funnel Analysis provides exact information on user drop outs, sometimes even predicting the cause for the drop out.
The SaaS tool comes as a Google Chrome plugin, which sits on the user's browser providing them information in real time.
Zarget charges customers based on the number of active visitors on the client's website. All three functionalities are free for the first 5,000 unique visitors, post which there is a standard and professional plan with charges applicable.
The standard plan has Heatmap and Funnel Analysis as features and costs $15 for every 10,000 visitors on the client website. The professional plan comes with all three features and costs $35 for the same number of users.
The firm also offers discounts (close to 20 percent) on their monthly and annual plans.
On Wednesday, the company announced raising seed funding of $1.5 million from Accel Partners, Matrix Partners and angel investor Girish Mathrubootham. The funds will be used for product development and R&D, says Arvind.
For Tarun Davda, Managing Director of Matrix India, it was the founding team’s prior experience and vision that made them come on board. He says,
Zarget has developed a good product in the field of conversion rate optimisation and aims to help companies enhance their customer experience online. We were impressed with the founding team’s prior experience in building and scaling products globally and it is our privilege to partner with Arvind, Naveen and Santosh to help them realise their vision.
In the coming months, the firm plans to release one more product around marketing automation. They are also actively looking to close a Series A round by the end of this year and also expanding their 24-member team.
In India, the top 30 SaaS startups employ over 21,000 and crossed over $10 billion in valuation, according to iSPIRT's iSPIx report.
At present, India has over 500 SaaS startups earning a revenue of $600 million. Much of this can be attributed to the cost advantage that Indian SaaS companies offer.
The same report identifies relationship management, data visualisation, and marketing to be among the sectors with the largest opportunities in the near future. Therefore, making it an optimum time for marketing automation and conversion rate optimisation startups like Zarget to hit the market.
Tarush is driven towards delivering unbiased and accurate reportage while engaging with as many mediums as possible to narrate a fresh perspective. Working for the past few years in the digital space with YourStory, he has covered the Indian technology ecosystem extensively, focusing on new age Fintech companies, while building strong connects within the industry.