Why Anand Jain and CleverTap are unfazed by funding winter

Anand Jain, Co-founder and CPO of California-headquartered CleverTap, is “not new to cyclical funding winters” and had anticipated and prepared for the capital squeeze.

Why Anand Jain and CleverTap are unfazed by funding winter

Friday March 24, 2023,

2 min Read

The funding winter had little to no impact on customer engagement and user retention software platform, CleverTap. The company closed a $105 million Series D round in August last year in August, a time when funding in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) had hit a two-year low of $2.7 billion during Q3CY22, according to estimates by PwC.

Anand Jain, Co-founder and CPO, CleverTap, who is “not new to cyclical funding winters”, had anticipated the funding squeeze and prepared for the same.

“We knew that something is up. I have been through a few tough cycles, and if that (market turmoil) happens, you know it (capital crunch) is going to come sooner or later. We locked the capital in so we don’t have to worry during these times,” said Jain during a fireside chat with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma at TechSparks Mumbai 2023.

Such was the capital accumulation that when the SaaS startup closed its Series D round, it already had almost half of the total capital raised since inception intact in the banks.

“One of our biggest muscles is being resourceful. It's not a substitute for being stingy or thrifty,” he added.

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During times like these, the CPO encouraged companies to work with customers, who are going through an equally tough phase, by helping them reduce spends and figure out ways they can get more out of the product despite lower spending.

The conversation revolved around the importance of customer feedback and engagement, and revisiting the business models for higher retention.

Advising early-stage startups, Jain said they must communicate with initial customers, listen to their needs, meet them in the middle, and take them along in their journey.

He drew on instances from the firm’s early days when CleverTap refused to charge customers “unless they drew value out of it”.

“How can you monetise unless someone gets value out of your product. In a lot of cases, we asked customers to try our product, get analytics, monitor all usages and then talk. Until then, our product is free to use,” he said.

Founded in 2013 by Anand Jain, Sunil Thomas, and Suresh Kondamudi, California-headquartered CleverTap is an AI-based business-to-business (B2B) platform that helps firms analyse user behaviour and accordingly, sends customised notifications to their users.

To date, it claims to have served over 2,000 customers across 100 countries.

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