Anand Jain, Co-Founder, CleverTap,
previously, he was the founding CTO of Mumbai-based Burrp - a reviews and recommendations platform which was acquired in 2009 by the publicly traded yellow pages company, Infomedia 18 Ltd (now merged with Network 18).
Prior to Burrp, Anand Jain was based out of the US - in Seattle and San Francisco, where he has worked with Motorola, AT&T and Brience. Jain has more than two decades of experience architecting and building software. He's a management professional with significant experience leading engineering, design, quality and IT teams.
CleverTap was founded with the goal of making mobile app engagement relevant, contextual and personal.CleverTap is backed by Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital. The CleverTap platform allows app analytics at incredible speeds, provides ready answers, and engages with users via push notifications, in-app messages, emails or web notifications. It helps figure out app and website usage pattern and allowing marketers engage with their customers more personally. The technology is built for today and it scales up as the company grows – whether it has millions of app users, or is a small startup.
The startup has raised $ 8 million from Sequoia Capital India and Accel Partners in Series A funding. Today, thousands of marketers, agencies, and developers worldwide use CleverTap to get deep user insights, to personalise app experiences, and to improve user loyalty. The CleverTap team is spread across Sunnyvale, Los Angeles and New York in the US, and Mumbai in India. Its domestic clients include BookMyShow, Craftsvilla, Voonik, Ixigo, Zoomcar, Club Mahindra, Faasos, BillBachao, Via.com, Times Now, ZeeTV, and India TV. Among its global customers are DealsPlus, Totspot, Disqus, InstantTV, MTV, Arabsat, TopFan, Shuggr, LoseIt, CastOff, SeenStream, and History TV.
Jain told IIFL's Priyanka Sharma
that it is imperative that businesses use modern, world-class tools to engage their users and that they should allocate about 25% to 40% of their budgets for such tools. Excerpts of the full interview are as follows:
In your opinion, how has Clevertap's need to connect with its customers evolved over the years?
We're a B2B product, and we sell to other businesses. In the last three years, we've grown from strength to strength. As a part of our client onboarding process, our Customer Success team handholds them through product integration. Once the SDK (Software Development Kit) has been integrated, we help the clients figure out what product and marketing campaigns to run.
What in your view are the biggest challenges of engaging the customer online?
One of the biggest challenges marketers face is engaging the user in a meaningful, and timely way. Historically they've reached users on offline mediums like newspapers, TV and radio. However, these days as you reach out to your users online, you need to do it in a meaningful, contextual and timely way. Online users have a very short attention span, so you have to catch them when they're in the "mobile moment". Platforms like CleverTap help you achieve this easily.
What percentage of the budget should be ideally set aside for tools to connect with consumers?
As users are increasingly interacting with your product/service online, it's imperative that businesses use modern, world-class tools to engage their users. Businesses should allocate about 25% to 40% of their budgets for such tools.
Share with us data-analytic trends in today’s business environment.
Big data is the flavor of the season these days. Most importantly, businesses are using this data to derive intelligent insights, and make their marketing data driven.
How did the recent demonetisation drive affect the company?
We weren't affected by it since we deal with B2B clients.
In your opinion, what new technologies can help an organisation in retaining customers?
Tools like CleverTap can help your business get behavioral insights, and run retention campaigns. With our Live User Segmentation technology a business can get a pulse of their business in real-time.
What are the expectations of your company from the budget?
We're hoping for startup friendly policies, specially around compliance and taxation.
Take us through the entrepreneurial journey of Clevertap and some of its key milestones.
CleverTap was founded in 2013 by Sunil Thomas, Suresh Kondamudi and me. In 2014, we picked up $1.6 million in Series Seed from Accel Partners. In 2015 we picked up $8 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.
Today, we work globally with 3500 brands like Reliance Jio, Freecharge, Cleartrip, BookMyShow, McDonalds, Sony, Faasos, Curiosity, Denver Broncos and DC Comics. We have clients in Entertainment, Travel, Event ticketing, Ecommerce, Fintech and Edutech.
Tell us about your headcount and offices across the globe?
We're about 40 people globally, with 27 located in Mumbai. Our team is spread globally across San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Sunnyvale, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.
What are your future expansion plans?
In India, we're going to expand our footprint across the BFSI segment, and in the US we're targeting Fortune 1000 companies.