A 10-year -long friendship, 10 minutes and 10 lines of code are here to set up a mechanism that will entertain and enthrall your customers into loyalists. Shoaib Mohammed brings the ‘code,’ and Vijay Krishna brings the ‘mojo’ to make sure retaining your users is their headache, so that only upgrading and scaling your product to perfection remains yours.
A repeatedly beta-tested pair
At 28, Shoaib, an electrical grad, was working with Fiorano software, a company in the enterprise tech space dealing with application integration, and was writing apps for Playstore alongside, under the screen name ItsMyLab. Vijay, his good friend and better-half at Codemojo was at a similar stage of life. At 29, he was a Mechanical engineer clocking stints at NIIT, Renault- Nissan, Magzter etc.
Having known Vijay for over ten years, as his commute-buddy on the college bus - what started as a nerdy discussion about PCs and games has now turned into a decade-long friendship and partnership. “So, now that we knew that we were very employable, it was time we took on the challenge of building something of our own together,” says Shoaib. And for them, this lightening struck twice.
“Like most other startup stories, our first started with a coffee and the question – ‘why can’t Mom-and-Pop stores have their own CRM & loyalty as easy as the big guys?’ explains Shoaib. The ‘why-not’ to that why was their first venture in early 2015- a SAAS-based CRM & loyalty solution, D-Rewards (Digital Rewards). Bootstrapped, they acquired over a hundred merchants across India.
The itch resurfaces
“Though the journey was exciting, we felt that scaling the solution would be very resource-intensive. Moreover, a similar problem existed for online players as well, where brands were relying on deep discounts to acquire customers and no proper method for retaining them,” says Shoaib. So, the plunge into the online space was the obvious trajectory.
Codemojo was an extension of D-Rewards to the online space, based on the realisation that time is of the essence for any business that deals with high volumes of customers. Thus, in under 10 lines and 10 minutes, Codemojo offers white-labelled, plug & play components like Referral, Loyalty, Gamification & Rewards wallet that can be easily integrated with existing and new mobile apps & websites. Codemojo's fully managed services ensures that you will have all the necessary tools to engage & retain your customers through multiple touchpoints. “Subscribing to our technology platform makes more business sense in terms of time and cost rather than trying to make it in-house when you have a hundred other things in the pipeline like product upgrades and bug fixes,” says Shoaib.
A running joke in the company is that Shoaib brings the “Code,” while Vijay brings the “Mojo.”
What it does
Codemojo helps companies reduce 90% of coding due to its plug-n-play nature. Developers can integrate the SDK / Rest of the API in the backend server or directly on the mobile apps, and Codemojo puts the configuration in few clicks on dashboard for the marketing team, covering app or web referrals, white-labeled ‘Rewards Wallet’, loyalty & engagement with cashback and points, and gamification of user engagement with points
“All features are production ready & can go live with online website, App or Physical & Cloud POS providing a complete engagement & retention solution within 10 minutes,” says Shoaib.
They work on a pay-as-you-grow model based on user activations, i.e., the clients pay them based on customers that actually add ROI to their businesses. In simple terms, only customers who transact with Codemojo’s clients and are eligible for reward points, are counted as an ‘activation.’ For instance, on an ecommerce website - if there are 50K registrations, but only 10K users have transacted with them - the client will fall under the 0-20K users-slab and pay accordingly.
The pricing starts as low as $49/month. “We also focus on companies that had an omni-channel presence, across platforms like POS, Mobile apps and website,” he says.
They have garnered over 150 clients both in the online and offline space, currently engaging more than five million users across multiple platforms.
“We also provide consulting to early stage companies on best practices to follow for a lean way to kick start a rewards program without burning cash. This has been our key strength to crack the market- since the loyalty and subscription market with today’s generation companies is very nascent and is catching up very fast,” he says.
David and Goliath
For example, a prominent player in the digital content space is using Codemojo to power their customer engagement using the gamification component. Codemojo Gamification allows them incentivise the content consumption be it videos watched, pages read or books purchased. They also track the pages using the inbuilt codemojo analytics and use it to reward their users. In the offline space, a multi-chain hotel brand uses Codemojo for rewarding cashback on each transaction to their users with Codemojo's closed loop wallet. This has led to increased revisits improving the customer LTV. They also use the internal notification & promotional system to stay in touch with their customers.
Having said that, being a startup, selling to an enterprise had a “David slaying Goliath” eel to it, which often disadvantaged the young team. “The strategy we took here is to make a consultative approach rather than a simple product-selling approach. We spent hours with our clients in understanding how they are planning to use the customer engagement solution and what they expect out of it. We spent time in understanding how their short term KRIs are linked with the project, and their management’s long term vision in implementing the solution,” says Shoaib, of some topnotch customer care on their end.
The customer engagement market is currently pegged over $32B globally. With established startups facing challenges in raising larger funds at one side, enterprise brick and motor giants moving online on the other, the timing is quite right for Codemojo to help power their customer engagement & retention in cloud saving thousands of dollars and man-hours without the need for each company reinventing the solution over and over again.
“Most players in the space either provide an open-loop program or address the problem with any one single component, say referrals or deep linking fpr example, but our USP is a one stop solution. Marketers today have enough dashboards to work on but what they need is a single interface for their entire customer engagement problem which can integrate and work seamlessly with their CRM, or legacy systems,” explains Shoaib.
They recently raised an angel round from the CIO angel network, led by Sanjay Mehta and Manoj Chandiramani. His advice to other entrepreneurs is - your first round of investment is very critical, and more than the money, you will need a good network to grow - especially when you are in the B2B space. “There is a reason people call it Seed round, the right nature can root you strong. So make sure you evaluate all your options before taking the call,” he says. In the months to come, their focus will be implementing the same in India and scaling across Asia & Middle east.