Prashanth BN was working in Babajob as tech lead handling the product, marketing and sales teams. Two years ago, when the company was on the edge of growth, the need for integration of several marketing and sales applications with product became the need of the hour.
During the process of integration, factors like time, expertise and developer efforts collectively posed multiple problems. However, Prashanth recalled that the process really helped to acquire new users and engage with existing users.
Concomitantly, the episode also alerted him to the fact that these problems are faced by businesses across the globe. It impelled Prashanth into thinking of starting a venture to address the problem. He then quit his job in Babajob and roped in two of his friend Sandeep Danta. An IIT alumnus, Sandeep also worked at Babajob, and Kabir, an economics graduate, has experience in the areas of digital health, analytics and livelihoods.
Automating the marketing campaign
Leado helps startups and SMEs scale their business by automating and integrating all the marketing channels on a single platform. In other words, the startup allows optimisation of workflows in simple ‘If this, then that’ format.
The startup integrates the company’s product and the marketing and sales apps that the business uses like Facebook Biz manager, Google Adwords, LeadSquared and Salesforce. Leado also steamrolled the flow of acquiring data from channels like Facebook Lead Ads and re-engaging with customers through email and SMS.
One needs to first register on Leado.io, and can then go ahead and set some rules which can be used to categorise the leads and trigger a marketing campaign.
Unifying data and flows across applications is expensive and difficult to maintain, especially for startups and SMEs. Leado is a web platform that lets businesses accelerate growth and engage with customers without any coding required. The benefits of the platform are lower customer acquisition costs, faster turnaround times and improved sales conversions,” says Prashanth.
Since inception, the founding team has put their own hard-earned money into the venture without any external funding. They are also working on a product named SocioStorm (still in the prototype stage) that will help businesses acquire new customers, foster existing customers and generate leads.
We showed this to potential clients and we were lucky to be able to land a deal with Byju's and 1mg. Once we started generating revenue, we increased our developer base to six,” says Prashanth.
Making money and spreading wings
Customers pay an access fee for monthly installments and accessing Leado’s products and services. The fee per integration per month is $100.
The startup has so far earned a revenue of Rs one crore. According to Prashanth, the product is in a beta stage of development and has not been marketed so far. The final version of the product is scheduled to be launched on October 15th this year.
Bootstrapped so far, Leado is planning to raise $1 million in the near future. Understanding that customer feedback always helps towards product enhancement, Leado is currently focusing on getting lots of insights from customers to make its products suitable for every business need. It has a team of 10 people.
We were so thrilled to be accepted as a part of Tech30. As I said, we haven't done any PR or launches and we feel that businesses need to know that there's Leado - which can solve the Time, Effort and Expertise problems faced by them when they are at the brink of growth. And we love the theme - Let's learn to build real businesses. We are out here to do just that,” says Prashant.
According to a report released by Google and early-stage investor Accel Partners, Indian SaaS companies are expected to reach the $10 billion revenue mark in 2025. At present, India has over 500 SaaS startups earning a combined revenue of $600 million. The report also identifies relationship management, data visualisation and marketing to be among the sectors with the largest opportunities in the near future.
Even marquee investors have come forward to validate some of these startups. Delhi-based customer intelligence and marketing automation platform for e-commerce Betaout has raised $1.5 million in pre-Series A funding, led by Beenext, Stanford Angels, Letsventure, Chennai Angels, Hyderabad Angels and Mumbai Angels.
Blueshift, a provider of ‘segment-of-one marketing automation’ solutions for consumer marketing companies has raised $8 million in a Series-A round led by Storm Ventures, along with existing investor Nexus Venture Partners (NVP).
The space plays host to another bootstrapped startup called Clusterzap, which helps companies streamline their marketing activities, build web portals, user experience, campaigns and demand generation, improve sales performance, and measure results and Return on Investment (ROI) on the go.
Bootstrapped and at a break-even stage, Leado competes in a crowded space, but keeping things lean gives them an edge. The team has a good mix of skills and strengths, along with some startup experience, which gives Leado a network to leverage as well.