[Startup Bharat] How Jugnoo founder Samar Singla aims to empower a million on-demand businesses with Jungleworks
After graduating from IIT Delhi in 2009, Samar Singla went to the US to pursue PhD in applied physics. But he realised that PhD was not something he enjoyed, and he returned to India in 2010.
Samar soon started helping his father, a poultry farmer, and realised what he enjoyed most was helping businesses. This resulted in the birth of tech services company Click Labs in 2011, followed by, a hyperlocal startup, in 2014.
In 2017, Samar started, a Chandigarh-based SaaS startup making on-demand business an easy approach for all.
“Jungleworks helps in delivering mobility solutions to entrepreneurs and enterprises looking to provide an omnichannel experience to their customers. It has been an eventual pivot,” says Samar. He adds that Jungleworks is a separate entity from Jugnoo, but is a revival of his first startup, Click Labs.
Speaking about why he chose Chandigarh as a base for his startups, Samar says that small cities have their own perks. He adds that the distractions are less, and the quality of life is better, hence the focus on the startup. The only challenge, he says, is hiring young talent, “but if I train some college graduates for six months, we are able to retain them.”
When Samar started Click Labs, he was building apps for businesses as a service, and he grew the company to 100 people within three years. By 2016, he got along with other IITians and started Jugnoo, a ride aggregator, which was into grocery delivery as well.
But eventually, Samar decided to exit from Jugnoo and go back to Click Labs as he always believed in the power of technology. He went back to the drawing board and decided to pivot Click Labs from a service company to a SaaS company to help thousands of ‘on-demand’ delivery businesses growing in India.
“Sadly, since we were dealing with sizable organisations with deep pockets like Ola and Uber as our competitors, and Jugnoo collapsed. This led to the organisation's focus being shifted to B2B SaaS, and the moment that happened, Click Labs services also shifted its direction towards a new-found, much bigger market and opportunity, considering the ‘world was going on-demand’ as I like to think,” says Samar.
He adds that this realisation was a game changer, which resulted in starting an end-to-end SaaS organisation catering to businesses of all sizes across 180 countries.
He adds that the idea was to build a platform like Shopify for on-demand. Samar explains there are so many on-demand businesses that are growing, and they don't want to list on the platform like Swiggy or Zomato for certain reasons, including commission. They also realised that there is a huge B2B opportunity in the market right now.
“These businesses need their own style, and nothing of that sort exists to cater to them, and this is where Jungleworks steps in,” adds Samar.
Learnings from Jugnoo
Jugnoo was backed by the likes of Snow Leopard and Paytm, but with the rise of the likes of Grofers, Bigbasket, Ola, and Uber, the startup could scale only to a certain level, says Samar.
While Jugnoo is still a profitable startup, Samar says what made him focus on Click Labs was the fact that Jugnoo was not a first player in the space, and he wanted to build a billion dollar company.
“It is still a profitable business with a team of 150 people, but we can't swing for the fences with Jugnoo,” says Samar. This had him go back to his first business Click Labs, and pivot it to a SaaS company in 2017.
Since then, Click Labs has worked with 10,000 on-demand businesses with a team of 1,000 employees, and has become a tech giant, which aims to enable one million hyperlocal players.
Speaking about his learnings, Samar says, don't be a second player, and their mission is to be a leader with Jungleworks. “With Jugnoo, we were the third player, and with Jungleworks we are actually the first player,” says Samar.
Competition and market
A joint study titled 'Indian SaaS Revolution: Rising Trillion Dollar Global Opportunity', conducted by venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures and management consultancy firm Zinnov, states that over the last five years, there has been a 5x revenue growth and 2x growth in the number of SaaS companies.
According to the report, Indian SaaS players are poised to fulfill 19 percent of the global SaaS demand by 2025. The global SaaS market is estimated to reach a size of $400 billion by 2025.
Speaking about competition, Samar says that big ERP players like SAP, AWS or Shopify can be considered as Jungleworks’s competition, but the startup stands out for its focus on hyperlocal businesses.
“We are building something completely original and unique,” adds Samar.
“At Jungleworks, we are trying to be the market leaders in delivering best-in-class tech solutions to entrepreneurs and enterprises to provide an omni-channel experience to their customers. The idea is to make on-demand business approachable for all. We believe in giving life to the on-demand dream business projects and providing a hassle free experience. We have been successful in offering an extensive online platform for any business genre from starting to running and to reaching new growth parameters,” says Samar.
He adds that a business can be a food delivery service, grocery delivery, home services, or any other on-demand service, it can use Junglework’s stack to do entire end-to-end operations - from managing the delivery to all the communication between drivers and merchants and so on.
Business model and growth
Jungleworks follows a SaaS-based business model. “We power over a million transactions a day, and we take a small cut on every transaction. We operate globally and are currently working with over 10,000 businesses across the globe, helping them streamline their business processes while creating SaaS revenue for the organisation,” says Samar.
He adds that Jungleworks’s annual recurring rate (ARR) is to the tune of $15 million, which is growing at the rate of 100 percent year-on-year.
Funding and plans ahead
Bootstrapped since day one, the startup wants to continue to do so. Samar says that it is the “growth mindset that we have always focused on. The idea is to just keep growing and double our revenue year-on-year. Perhaps, the next five years would witness us going public, you never know, just a thought.”
He says the mission is to foster entrepreneurship and make it very easy for people to have an on-demand channel. “It could be a new business or a large company starting this as a new distribution strategy. We want to empower a million entrepreneurs through our platform,” he adds.
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