B2B SaaS startup Nitrogen aims to disrupt two multi-billion dollar markets - ecommerce and CDN
The Software as a Service (SaaS) ecosystem has greatly evolved in India. Companies offering SaaS products are driving rapid changes in how enterprises and small & medium businesses adopt technology to make decisions faster, at relatively low cost, and at low security risk.
Nitrogen Co-founders (left to right): Biren Shah, Gautam Gurtoo, Manoj Bubna.
According to a joint report by Google and Accel Partners, by 2025, India will become a $50 billion SaaS market. And a number of B2B startups are making this market more vibrant in India.
Two years ago, Manoj Bubna, Gautam Gurtoo, and Biren Shah came together to set up Nitrogen or N7.io, a bootstrapped SaaS startup. Their aim was to disrupt the online retail experience with its technology where web and mobile application performance is faster along with advanced security and scalability.
Passion for digital commerce
Operating from different locations across the globe, all three co-founders have been passionate about digital commerce and had started their journeys way back in the early 2000 working for the first digital commerce product company in the US.
After going through 15 years of industry experience and understanding that “user experience is the need of the hour and how it matters more than ever before”, they created a solution like Nitrogen.
Speaking to YourStory, Manoj explains how his award-winning deep tech company is disrupting the Content Delivery Network (CDN) marketplace. There are already heavyweights like Akamai, Cloudflare, etc with a market size of more than $5 billion in this sector. How then are they equipping themselves to face this competition?
Likening themselves to the Davids of the Greek mythology, Manoj says the CDN marketplace mostly consists of old Goliaths, but his startup is slowly making an impact with its agile process and AI/ML driven architecture.
Disrupting the game
Manoj adds that while these companies saw the product from a telco angle 20 years ago, which meant having more servers and talking the language of bandwidth, when they came into the arena, they changed the game dramatically.
“Now there is nothing like a static website. Everything is dynamic & personalised. What is shown to me is very different from what gets shown to you. Competitors have put investment and effort in the hardware reducing the turn-around time but that is only 20 percent of the solution. Eighty percent of the issue is on the frontend and has to be tackled by transformations and optimisations and that was a shift that had to happen,” says Manoj.
Elaborating how they bypassed the legacy product which is capital intensive because it requires servers all over the world, Manoj says, “Our product idea is to move away from the commoditised network optimisation layer and lease the best telecom pipes in different Geos but then provide the value add at the application layer.”
Biren, a golf fanatic, has named a module ‘bad coding forgiveness module’ after the forgiving clubs that on the fly corrects bad coding and converts it into an efficiently performing application.
Deep math, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are built into their security layer to detect and block threats, but at the same time reduce false positives.
New skill sets
Manoj adds that the kind of capability required to do that is very unique and hence the kind of skill set needed is different too. “We have a workforce that is dispersed across the globe,” he says.
The Nitrogen team.
A US citizen himself, Manoj relocated to India, while Biren works out of the US, and Gautum from the UK. They have a total of approximately 30 employees working from all these three locations. Says Manoj,
“Our work culture and system is location independent. It is a new-age culture that focuses on smooth communication without the need to monitor anyone.”
According to him, Nitrogen is a completely global company with offices in the US, the UK, and India. The startup is bootstrapped and already boasts of marquee clients across the world, including Barney’s in the US to Croma and Shoppers Stop in India.
Testifying to Nitrogen’s product, Maneesh Mittal, Chief of Omnichannel at Shoppers Stop, says, “Speed, scale, and user experience with the right security is the critical need of the business today.”
For etailers getting the insights on the cross functional layer of server and traffic is huge and helps them monetise the long tail.
Co-founder Gautam Gurtoo says that they are “confident about the value add their product brings and the speed advantage it has over its competition.” He adds,
“This is the age of millennials, and they don’t want to waste a second longer than they have to. Every one second delay on a site will result in cart abandonment and unhappy user experience.”
Founder-Director at Elbrus Capital Ramanjenaya Sharaph believes that Nitrogen is perfectly positioned at the intersection of the two rapidly growing multi-billion dollar markets -- digital commerce and CDN.
And for the three co-founders, who came together with the objective of making a difference in the ecommerce industry, this is motivation enough to take the company to the next level.