Betaout an India based SAAS start-up with global footprints (SEA + Americas) assists e-commerce companies to efficiently automate the process and in turn ensures that customers remain engaged with the platform. Based out of Noida, in India, Betaout was founded by Mayank Dhingra, Raghubir Thakur, Arjun Maheshwari, Nandini Rathi, along with Ankit Maheshwari.
The start-up allows e-commerce firms to create user intelligence databases and offers tools to engage with users through email, on-site engagement, mobile push, live-chat, SMS etc.
Betaout currently works with over 150+ e-commerce companies including Paytm, Lenskart and Tokopedia (Indonesia’s largest e-commerce company). The solutions offered include Real time big-data analysis, Segmentation based on business rules and machine learning, Omni-channel personalization, reaching customers with personalized marketing via push, email, SMS. Re-targeting, in-app, in-web, etc.
Ankit Maheshwari shares with team ABT their journey so far and how they are differentiated in approach and business model and also their upcoming plans.
Tell us how did it all start?
It all started about a year & a half back when my brother and I were very excited after the successful exit of our previous startup. In order to celebrate the same we ordered an expensive coffee machine from one of India’s leading ecommerce site. It was pretty expensive and we paid the full price for it. In about a day’s time we had it delivered.
However after a week I receive an email marketing message from the same —Ecommerce Company offering a 25% discount on the same coffee machine. I was unhappy for having paid the full price for the same just a week back. I immediately sent the old coffee machine back and asked for a refund.
Amidst all this I figured out what was wrong with the marketing channels used by ecommerce companies. It was not uncommon that ecommerce companies send the same marketing messages to customers who have already purchased the same product. This did not make sense to me. Clearly there was a disconnect between the various tools used by the ecommerce companies. Sales has no insight about the tech. The tech has no insight about the customer care. The customer team has no insight about the marketing and so forth.
After this personal experience I started Betaout to offer a single platform to ecommerce companies where all their marketing channels work together to deliver a pleasant ecommerce experience to their end customers and in the process increase their sales.
Who are investors at Betaout?
Betaout has raised $2 million from marquee investors like Amit Ranjan (co-founder, Slideshare), Ankur Warikoo (CEO, Groupon India), Ashish Kashyap (CEO, Ibibo Group), Kunal Bahl (CEO and co-founder, Snapdeal), Girish Mathrubootham (CEO and founder, Freshdesk), Phanindra Sama (cofounder, Redbus), Rohit Bansal (COO and co-founder, Snapdeal), Sam Yagan (CEO, Match Group) through Corazon Capital, Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder and CEO, Paytm), Beenext Stanford AngelsLetsventure Chennai Angels, Hyderabad Angels,Mumbai Angels, Kunal Shah & Sandeep Tandon (Freecharge)Mekin Maheshwari (Ex CPO Flipkart), Arvind Gujaral (BD Head Asia-Pacific Twitter).
What is your philosophy when it comes to doing business?
At Betaout, one of our philosophies is, “Our customer’s success is our success.” We want to grow with our customers. We work with a lot of SMB’s & mid-sized businesses and this is one of the reasons that our clients love us and continue to do business with us.
What is your leadership style?
My leadership mantra is very simple. “Hire the best people and get out of their way.”
If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
Nothing. I have no regrets. Every mistake has been a learning experience and helped me grow.
Do you recall the first 90 days of Betaout?
To begin with we were a small team, and everyone was working for 16-18 hours days. We signed up our first client within a month — without having the complete product.
We asked them for four weeks to deliver the product and turned around the entire software in just three weeks. The software worked great for a few days until we signed up few more clients. With big clients coming in, the traffic hitting the API servers went 100x. Our server bill swelled, and everything went crashing down. We had to fix everything in the next few days. We changed our database, in fact, few different databases for optimizing data storage, moved from Amazon SQS to RabbitMQ, added multiple caching layers and in a way re-engineered the entire architecture.
The first month was extremely challenging, but we are going to remember it for our entire life. Every engineer and programmer developed an immense respect for each other. And I think the secret behind the great bonding of our team today is because of that first month in which we were hammered from every corner, but overcame it with great success.
If not an entrepreneur, what would you be?
I am a computer engineer by profession and have also taught engineering students back in the day. So, if not an entrepreneur, I could have been in a teaching profession.
What were some of the challenges that you face at Betaout? How do you overcome them?
Well challenges are the same as faced by all startups of funding, Getting in the right talent & of course reaching out to our business target. In our case there were also some technical challenges initially which meant hours of non-stop work by the team.
What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?
After India we have set our sights on the South East Asian market. We started by expanding to Indonesia and have similar plans for countries in the region. At the same time we also are also scaling up our team by hiring for key positions in the organisation. Our tech team is also focusing on scaling the software by seamlessly incorporating features requested by clients so as to ensure a robust experience