Virtual network startup CloudConnect looks at ARR of Rs 10 Cr as businesses go digital
Cloud telephony changes the way SMBs sell their products to customers. Sales become faster and data is stored to make organisations reap benefits of quick meetings and closure of deals. Helping organisations achieve this is, a DOT Licenced Virtual Network Operator that gives a comprehensive, and secure mobile-first Business Communication Systems which include cloud PBX system, Business IP phone service, and Unified Communications and Collaboration for small businesses.
Simply put, they are a business telecom provider that offers everything from virtual mobile and fixed-line, full EPABX feature-rich telephony, secured instant messaging, multi-file attachment, video conferencing, and remote collaboration.
The startup was founded in 2018 by Raman Singh, Gokul Tandan, Anil Pande, Rajendra V Kulkarni and Vidhu Nautiyal.
“The cloud stack is proving to be a critical tool for business continuity for startups and corporates. Businesses are looking for effective remote working solutions that help them ensure that their business runs as usual, even amid the COVID-19 crisis. CloudConnect’s services ensure that businesses run seamlessly with the same level of security even when the employees are working from the safety of their homes,” says Gokul Tandan, executive chairman of CloudConnect.
The founding team members have known each other for almost 20 years and have worked closely in earlier corporate ventures. Some of them have been instrumental in seeding and scaling India’s IT and telecom revolution by contributing in the growth of major groups like HCL Technologies, Reliance Communications, as well as a bunch of tech startups. The co-founders and senior management team bring with them vast and deep global telecom and technology industry experience after also having worked with companies such as British Telecom, Blackberry, as well as leading Big 4 Consulting practices.
In 2016-17, the founders analysed the global and Indian information and communications technology (ICT) market with a specific focus on B2B Mobile-First Cloud Communications, and realised that there was a critical regulatory liberalisation opportunity in India, and progressively in South Asia, ASEAN and Middle East countries for Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) to unleash disruptive SaaS-based business models and innovative services, based on a comprehensive VOIP–PSTN blended Unified Communication and Teleworking Stack.
“Market research established that India was ripe for these services and an upstream digital transformation, especially in the SMB sector and contact centre industry. With over 200 years of combined experience, we got to work on developing the solution stack and eco-system and commenced Proof of Concepts and Pilots in early 2018 that led to refining and augmenting the solution stack,” says Gokul Tandan.
While the initial idea was to bring enterprise connectivity suite of solutions in a much more agile environment, with the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the cloud stack is proving to be a critical tool for business continuity.
The company offers remote working tools that ensure that their business runs as usual, even amid the global crisis. “CloudConnect enables the same level of security and productivity even when the employees are working from home,” claims Gokul Tandan.
The startup offers hosted telephony, unified communications, and remote collaboration. CloudConnect is a cloud-hosted PBX solution in India. They have licences to converge VoIP with PSTN, which gives them a first-mover advantage in terms of technological disruption.
CloudConnect Communications is an end-to-end cloud and mobile app-based PBX and digital unified communication (UCaaS) services pioneer. It offers solutions that ensure seamless business communication. These include:
Hosted or Virtual Phone System: A unified communications suite for organisations that can manage business identity and response quality and productivity of calls to and from employees, anytime and anywhere. The startup offers a complete hosted or virtual phone system for businesses of any size.
Cloud Video Conferencing: The startup has its own cloud-based video conferencing. A simple yet powerful interface.
Hosted IVR with Voice Mail: With this feature, all incoming calls are pushed to a greeting message. Customers can reach any employee across any location through a single number.
Cloud Contact Centre: “We have the technology of delivering India’s first fully cloud-based contact centre. We make sure that an organisation’s sales, customer service or technical support teams can always work from wherever they are. In the present times of COVID-19, this serves as a complete solution to manage calls,
queues and full analytics in the cloud with CloudConnect contact centre,” says Raman Singh.
The founders say they have a cost-competitive service, coupled with the ability for an organisation to have a secure communications suite for the increasing mobile workforce. They have around 50 customers.
Gokul Tandan, Executive Chairman, CloudConnect Communications, and Rajendra V. Kulkarni, Director, Finance, CloudConnect Communications, have put in the initial seed capital of $2 million into the company.
Given the type of business and the investments required to have the regulatory licences and scale across top 10 cities of India, the startup will be looking to raise the next round of investment in a year’s time. Remote Teleworking has increased the requirement for mobile-first enterprise communications and this startup is trying to keep up with the demand that is scaling rapidly. The startup has seen some interest coming from regional and global telcos to partner and license the platform.
The business model
“We are service providers. We offer cost-effective, scalable end-to-end cloud and mobile-based PBX services on SaaS or UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) to organisations that are looking to upgrade their internal and external communication solutions,” says Raman Singh. They offer this on a yearly subscription model or pay per user type of service.
Currently, their services are available only in the Delhi-NCR region and they are soon looking to expand to other top cities of India.
The founders say they are planning to scale services in 10 more circles. Also, the focus would be to keep innovating and helping customers to increase the productivity of their workforce. By the end of this year, they plan to acquire 600 to 700 enterprise customers in the Delhi-NCR circle. Some notable clients include Trade India, Berkowitz, Panacea Biotech, Timbl, EconStra, AIPL, Indian Cyber Army, and Aurven, among others.
Exotel and Ozonetel are the other players who have been in this race longer.
Cloud Connect’s ARR is at Rs 10 crore revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to realise the importance of remote and collaborative working which is what CloudConnect offers.