Hyderabad-based UrbanDart connects companies with freelance sales professionals, and promises to turbo-charge sales and accelerate growth.
At a glance:
Year it was founded: 2017
Founders: Nithin Balaay
Based out of: Hyderabad
Problem it solves: Sales team management
Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. There are multiple challenges for every founder, sales being one them. Customer acquisition and managing a sales team take up significant time and effort, and even after hiring an employee, expanding a sales team across multiple cities can be a time-consuming and costly affair.
“I personally faced this issue in our earlier startup as well. And in India, customers prefer to meet real people for sales than a do-it-yourself solution, especially in the B2B segment,” says Nithin Balaay, who had co-founded the Tech30 company TruckSumo.
It was then that Nithin thought how great it would be if one could activate “people campaigns” as easily as “digital campaigns”. The idea was to target and get the right people for the right roles.
And the idea of UrbanDart was born.
A marketplace connecting companies with freelance sales professionals, Hyderabad-based UrbanDart helps companies track and measure sales results in real time. Companies can start/pause/ stop sales campaigns just like adwords campaigns. They can create local and global sales campaigns, and connect with the right people with a click. They can also filter and reach the right resources by location, industry, or demography.
What does the platform do?
“The aim is to build a platform that makes it ridiculously easy for companies to start people campaigns anywhere in the world within a few hours, sitting in their office. Not just start campaigns, but offer all the tools to scale them,” Nithin says.
The platform is automated and built to operate at scale, and evolving smart algorithms keep a tab on sales processes across campaigns. UrbanDart works as an outsourced sales and marketing partner, which uses the power of technology and people to help companies increase sales.
On the companies’ side, UrbanDart follows an outcome-based pricing model where companies only pay per conversion. “The app and technology are intuitive and simple to use,” Nithin says.
UrbanDart also has an offering for sales professionals, who it calls “Ambassadors”. These could be sales executives who work full time or part time on sales projects on a commission basis, using the UrbanDart app. These Ambassadors are vetted by UrbanDart before they start work for companies.
Nithin adds UrbanDart provides companies with the flexibility to adjust their sales force based on requirements, and avoid fixed costs and the hassles of maintaining a sales team. Companies with existing sales teams can use UrbanDart for an additional sales channel.
Nithin says the startup is working with companies from various verticals like SaaS, digital products, customer acquisition, supply onboarding, FMCG, financial products, and more. Its client list includes companies like Uber, Amazon, Flipkart, Shopify, Mahindra, Thyrocare, and others.
Working on the supply side
“The Ambassadors are required to download our app from the app store and can start working immediately. The app has training modules for every company. Further, payments are automated, and directly deposited to the Ambassador's bank account,” Nithin says.
Ambassadors can access the “University” (portal with informational courses), which they can use to grow professionally. The app also features an integrated pipeline and lead management tool to help them to keep track of their customers.
“Ambassadors undergo training on the product via the UrbanDart app and, once certified, start working on campaigns. They seek to learn new skills, work on different products, and increase not just their earning potential, but also knowledge. The biggest asset for a salesperson is his/her network of customers and contacts,” Nithin says.
Ambassadors leverage their personal network, built over the years, to sell products of other companies.
“We also offer hourly and tele-calling freelancing jobs on the platform. Ambassadors can earn up to Rs 30,000 by spending two to three hours a day working with UrbanDart. That is just a start,” Nithin says.
The team follows a conversion, which is an outcome-based pricing model, where the conversion could be a sale, lead, or sales activity depending on the company and product. There also is a Payout model, which starts at Rs 200 per conversion, to campaigns that pay up to Rs 12,000. For enterprise products, companies pay anywhere between 15-30 percent commission depending on the complexity of the sale.
“Our sales design for every campaign not only makes it scalable, but also reduces the average time to close a deal by 30 percent,” says Nithin.
The market and future plans
Currently a team of nine, the core UrbanDart team comprises professionals with over 10 years of experience in building and managing scalable products and processes.
The gig economy is fast growing across the world, and according to a report by PayPal, India contributes one out of four freelancers. There is a strong and growing market for HR tech in India. Over $69 million has been pumped into the sector between 2015 and 2016. The prominent players include GreyHR, Better Place, Niyo Solutions, and Quikr-acquired Hiree. The video interviewing space globally has key players like Montage Interview, InterviewStream, Interview Air, Talocity, and Jobvite, to name a few.
But UrbanDart is keen to take on the competition.
“We are aiming at building a global product in the sales and marketing domain. UrbanDart is operational with 22,000-plus Ambassadors in India, and will be operational in the US/Europe in the next few months. We plan to raise money to expand our team. We also want to bring in some exciting features in our technology stack, which would be a game-changer,” Nithin says.
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