Pranjal KshirsagarJul 26, 2016 09:00:31 IST
'What if there was a product that could take care of marketing promotions on your own website, in real-time', thought WebEngage co-founders Avlesh Singh and Ankit Utreja. And this led to WebEngage being formed which was an on-site engagement platform that led businesses engage with their users on their website. “We improvised and sold it for four years and eventually managed to get onboard nearly 90 percent of the Indian e-commerce players. You could name an e-commerce store, except PayTM and Amazon, and chances are that it would be our customer already,” says Singh who also dons the CEO hat at WebEngage.
Moving ahead, they fundamentally upgraded their product to a multi-channel engagement suite that could help companies engage with their users holistically on both mobile and web. “We essentially built a virtual manifestation of an intelligent-24-hours-on-job salesperson for online businesses,” explains Singh.
Co-founders Singh and Utreja come in with experience working with startups, products and technology. Singh says he started WebEngage to build 'an amazing consumer product and a kickass engineering team'. Along with being CEO, he is also salesperson, designer, developer and marketer. Singh was part of the core team that founded burrp.com and his work experience includes stints with Infomedia18, OnYoMo and HCL. Co-founder Utreja, who is also the CTO at WebEngage, is responsible for delivery operations, research and innovation. He also oversees technologies and creates relevant policy at WebEngage. Utreja has been part of burrp.com and TCS in the past. “This is our most ambitious offering till date and receiving incredible response from existing and new customers alike,” shares Singh.
WebEngage currently works with a team of around 60 people. Engineering and design forms majority of the workforce and the rest is split between sales, marketing and customer success. Singh adds that from a product standpoint, they have more than 35,000 websites and mobile apps using their product. “We have thousands of paying customers in more than 50 countries. We license the product to customers on recurring subscription basis, which is priced based on the volume of usage. We grow as the customer grows, that’s the key to sustenance,” says Singh talking about their business model.
In terms of technology, WebEngage invests heavily in data science. Singh explains, “Given the nature of our product, we collect billions of data points every month. As on date, we track over 250 million active users every month across 35,000 websites and mobile apps. That’s a lot of users and their footprints. The key value proposition of WebEngage is letting companies seamlessly use this data to design communication strategy for their users. Data is the backbone of all the intelligence we have to offer to our customers.”
WebEngage has raised capital from Indian Angel Network, GTI Capital and Blume Ventures. Rajan Anandan is an angel investor. Recently, Capillary Technologies picked up a minority stake in WebEngage in a strategic investment. Singh reveals they are well capitalised now and are profitable and not looking to raise money actively.
Speaking about their path ahead, Singh says they aim to expand their reach to 100,000 websites and apps (currently at 35,000) in another 6 quarters. “Figuratively, we are striving to clock an annual revenue of $10 million in FY 17,” adds Singh.
Singh stresses on the feature called ‘Journey Designer’ inside WebEngage as one that sets the platform apart from competitors in the market. “In a normal setting what happens is that a normal user does 10 different activities on the website and app and exits leaving behind lots of data in the form of digital footprints. What the current set of SMBs out there lack is the ability to record, analyse and act on that data which is everyday becoming important than yesterday. If they intend to so then they have to spend beyond half a million dollars to purchase such solution from the likes of Oracle and Adobe,” explains Singh. “Our product ‘Journey Designer’ would enable these businesses to glean user data from both mobile and web and then automate their marketing communication, based on that data, in the form of a Journey. They would be able to create this 'Journey' through a simple drag and drop builder. The level of capability is incredible for any SMB and is something that is done-by-none in India at least,” adds Singh.
Singh says that the fundamental principle beneath their growth approach has always been the same - organic and sustainable with the intent to expand geographically. Their focus markets are countries in the S.E. Asia and EMEA regions.
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