[Startup Bharat] Jaipur-based NeoDove aims to be the go-to lead generator for SMEs

Backed by India Quotient, NeoDove currently works with 250 SMEs, a number that it expects to scale to 1,000 by the end of FY22. The startup is also looking to enter South East and West Asian countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with restrictions on public movement and lockdowns, pushed several businesses online in 2020. For small and medium enterprises (SMEs), this meant rethinking their business models to try and fit into a digital world. 

But, how does one find customers online? With several communications channels to choose from, small businesses often struggle with step one of entrepreneurship — lead generation. 

This is the problem that Jaipur-based NeoDove trying to solve. The startup, founded in January 2020, is a tele-calling CRM (customer relationship management) and sales engagement platform. In other words, it helps companies find and track potential customers to drive sales. 

“For many small businesses lead generation is very important,” Co-founder Arpit Khandelwal tells YourStory

With people talking with friends over WhatsApp and discovering products via YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media channels, calling is no longer a viable way of finding the right customer. 

In other words, how many times have you got a call from a marketer and thought to yourself, “Yes! That’s the product I was looking for!” Our guess would be about zero. 

“To get customers to showrooms the sales team makes many calls and similar is the case with many other sectors including edtech startups. The team calls people up for lead generation. But we all know cold calling is not the most optimal way to reach out to customers especially in this tech-driven world,” says Arpit. 

The Eureka moment

A BTech graduate from IIT-Bombay, Arpit previously worked with Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.) for a brief period. He then moved to running a car dealership in Jaipur and realised there was a lack of digitisation when it comes to sales. 

To solve this problem of lead generation in the SME space, Arpit launched NeoDove with Ankit Kumar Agrawal, who earlier led tech for CarDekho, the car leasing platform which is on its way to becoming a unicorn. 

The right match

Run by NeoDove Technologies Pvt. Ltd., the startup provides an end-to-end communication solution to a customer base of 250, a number that it plans to scale to 1,000 by the end of FY22.

The firm claims its clients, including the likes of car leasing platform Pumpumpum, Jaipur-based pharmacy platform Dawa Dost, and loan provider FlexiLoan, spend more than six hours on its app. 

NeoDove also provides integration with communication channels including WhatsApp, JustDial, IndiaMart, emails, and chats, among other platforms, to increase efficiency. 

To target SMEs, the firm has plans ranging from Rs 199 per month to Rs 1999 for a year. Arpit claims the prices are kept lower than other platforms to attract SMEs. 

NeoDove also operates in five regional languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada. In the future, the firm plans to add Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi. 

As for its funding, NeoDove secured $1.5 million in a seed round in March this year. The round was led by India Quotient and saw participation from angel investors such as Sumit Agarwal, Founder, Vyapar App, and Ankit Garg, Founder, Wakefit

India Quotient, a Mumbai-based venture capital firm, was one of the earliest backers of unicorn social media platform ShareChat and omnichannel makeup brand SUGAR Cosmetics

NeoDove competes with 25-year-old SaaS (software-as-a-service) behemoth Zoho, and Bengaluru-based sales execution CRM LeadSquare, among other SaaS-based startups. 

The startup, which currently has a team of 40 people, is also looking to add 20 more in the coming months. The company is looking to enter international markets such as Indonesia, UAE, and Qatar. 

With small businesses in India adopting digital tools in the post-pandemic era, SaaS providers are increasingly tapping into the local market. 

Reliance Industries-backed Fynd, where businesses can create websites at affordable rates, accounting solutions providers KhataBook and Vyapaar, apart from other software solutions providers such as FreshDesk, have found newer growth opportunities. 

A report by Nasscom says that the domestic market for SaaS is likely to expand 6X to $13-15 billion by 2025. Additionally, Indian SaaS startups are expected to capture 7-9 percent global market share by 2022, according to a recent study by Bain and Co.

YourStory’s flagship startup-tech and leadership conference will return virtually for its 13th edition on October 25-30, 2021. Sign up for updates on TechSparks or to express your interest in partnerships and speaker opportunities here.

For more on TechSparks 2021, click here.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti


Updates from around the world