From Rs 4 lakh to Rs 1 Cr, how SaaS startup Emitrr scaled up in one year

Emitrr is building a human-like smart assistant for small businesses in the local service industry. The fully-automated assistant can handle customer queries like service appointments, quotes, FAQs, and more.

How many times have you called a BPO only to be greeted by an unintelligent voice response telling you to wait in queue for minutes on end? Then there are credit card companies which only call to collect, but otherwise ignore your multiple SMS messages.

While senior management of financial institutions keep saying they need to improve customer satisfaction, it often becomes a quest. To make corporate honchos truly achieve customer satisfaction, Emitrr, a Bengaluru-based startup, uses its intelligent software to process those SMS messages.

Founded by Anmol Oberoi and Pulkit Gambhir, Emitrr is building a human-like smart assistant for small businesses in the local service industry. The assistant is fully automated and works 24x7 and handles customer queries like service appointments, quotes, FAQs and more.

Founders of Emitrr

The founders

Anmol Oberoi was at Wingify (makers of VWO) and Pulkit Gambhir was working at Anaek when they first met in Delhi through a common friend in 2018.

Emitrr's idea was born out of an experience Anmol faced during his stay in the US in 2019. He was staying alone on a modest budget, and would get his home cleaned once every two weeks. But getting through to the home cleaners and other local businesses was becoming a challenge. They would not answer his calls. This was very frustrating, and that's when Pulkit and Anmol realised that there is a pattern.

"Local businesses have small teams and are unable to answer customer calls because they are busy serving other customers. This is how we came across the idea to solve the problem of businesses missing calls. The person with the bigger loss in most cases is always the business owner because they lose the customer," Anmol tells YourStory.

Anmol Oberoi has five years of experience scaling marketing efforts of two multi-million dollar SaaS products like Tracxn and VWO. Anmol was the first member of Tracxn's marketing team and scaled it to 40 people in two years with 25 direct reportees. At VWO, he experienced its journey from $16M to $20M ARR.

Pulkit Gambhir has had five years of experience in scaling backend tech for SaaS brands such as Anaek and HeyMojo. Prior to his stint in the SaaS space, he founded two startups in the B2C industry.

The product

"Our product works on top of SMS. As soon as a business misses a call, our human-like SMS assistant gets activated to answer the user queries or even book a service. We use natural language processing to understand customer queries and map the queries to data from multiple sources to fetch the best possible response. This ensures customers getting the right answer and their queries are being handled," says Pulkit.

Distribution is going to be the biggest moat companies have to face in the future. Given this learning, Emitrr has taken a very unique approach to acquire customers and build their distribution networks. They are solving the distribution and customer acquisition with a B2C approach.

"At Emitrr, we’ve created a community of local business owners where we help local businesses regularly through growth resources, answering their questions about business in general. That has been our strategy to acquire customers. We launch capabilities/features and even acquire beta users from our own community as the community members trust us and our offerings," says Anmol.

The market

The duo believes that their approach can capture the market faster. They have invested Rs 4 lakh so far and have received a seed round from Axilor Ventures.

"The fact that we are trying to create a new category has been slightly difficult. We are building for customers in the US and getting access to primary hand data/research is definitely a tough task sitting here in India. Had we been building a product in a category that already existed, it might have been easier to learn from others mistakes and build something but since we are building bottoms up, we need to talk to customers and understand their problems very well to be able to provide a solution that actually works," say both the founders.

Emitrr is a SaaS platform, and it charges a monthly subscription fee from all their customers. The most challenging transaction so far for them has been an enterprise client with well over $15 million in revenue. It was challenging because it took them over two months of conversation with that company and with multiple stakeholders whom they had to convince about the validity of the product.

"Eventually, we signed the deal. Hence there is a lot of detail and work going into it our sales. But the good part is that we’ve matured a lot during the process by getting a lot of collateral, processes and answers as a business," says Pulkit.

Future plans

In the next 18 months, the startup hopes to achieve 500-plus paying customers, and add more capabilities to the product through vertical integrations.

They currently have over 20 customers. What makes the startup unique is that it lets small businesses focus on the most important aspect of their business, and let Emitrr technology handle their calls to answer repetitive questions, customer queries, and also let customers book a service.

"Businesses don't have to worry about missing a customer call. They can continue to grow their business, while our platform converts missed calls to paying opportunities," says Pulkit.

The company is still going after a product market fit, and is testing out various business models.  Hence, their revenues are not significant, but one enterprise client has paid them $100,000, and there are 20 paying customers. By the end of the year, the startup hopes to achieve more than five million dollars in revenues.

The product is being widely used during the coronavirus pandemic as most SMBs are working from home and yet can answer queries thanks to Emitrr.

Other SaaS companies trying to approach customer service include Zoho, Freshworks, and Helpshift.

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)