How two university buddies constructed a startup that grew to become worthwhile in beneath a year, raised $2M.
Hyderabad-based WhatsApp-integrated service provider ecommerce startup Bikayi launched in April 2019, became worthwhile by using January 2020
Raipur-girl Sonakshi Nathani and Karnal-boy Ashutosh Singla met as classmates at IIIT (International Institute of Information Technology), Hyderabad, in 2011. Working on a number initiatives together, proper from their first yr of college, the two laptop science engineers made a desirable group and grew to be quick friends.
After college, Sonakshi went on to work for Microsoft in Hyderabad as a software program engineer for three years. Ashutosh, on the different hand, moved to Canada and had a stint every with US-headquartered HR startup Zenefits and Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey’s repayments startup Square.
The duo knew they desired to set up their personal tech corporation and had a few startup ideas, however weren’t precisely positive of which trouble to zero in on. In a instead daring move, each give up their jobs through October 2018, due to the fact they felt that if they persevered with the day jobs, the concept of beginning up would probable in no way come to fruition.
Around 2018-end, Sonakshi used to be lower back in her homeland of Raipur — the place her household has its actual property enterprise of constructing residential colonies and additionally runs a grocery shop — when the ‘Eureka’ second happened.
That grocery save is essential to this story due to the fact that is the place the seeds of Sonakshi (26) and Ashutosh’s (25) startup Bikayi — which has managed to flip worthwhile and increase $2 million in funding, all in about a year’s time — have been sown. Unlike Sonakshi, Ashutosh does now not come from a commercial enterprise family. His mom was once a teacher, whilst his father labored in the kingdom irrigation branch in Haryana.
She referred to as up Ashutosh and advised him about the problem. They commenced searching for options and observed Shopify. The Canadian ecommerce organisation helps entrepreneurs create, scale, and control their personal on-line stores.
There had been some different preferences too however none of them “very easy” to get retailers on board, Sonakshi says. “In March 2019, we stated why now not we assist and construct it.
Order administration and catalog administration had been what we particularly desired to assist out with. We stated let’s shortly construct an app the place retailers can put their items. We started out posting on wholesaler organizations on Facebook about the app,” Sonakshi says.
On April 1, 2019, the duo formally launched their startup, Bikayi, which lets in small groups to shortly and definitely create their on-line stores, powered with all the indispensable equipment wanted to control e-commerce on WhatsApp.
The Bikayi app has each free and top class subscription-based choices that begin from Rs 1,999 and go up to Rs 7,999 per year. The subscriptions encompass advantages such as the potential to generate bargain promo codes, special themes, analytics get right of entry to etc.
Turning worthwhile with simply two personnel The startup used to be firstly bootstrapped with the co-founders’ non-public financial savings of round Rs 7 lakh. Till July 2020, the agency used to be being run via a group of 4 — the two co-founders, a younger purchaser care executive, and a sparkling engineer from IIT Kharagpur.
By January the foursome had managed to make the Hyderabad-based startup profitable. Last month, it introduced its seed funding spherical of $2 million from a crew of global investors, consisting of Grammy award-winning American digital DJ and song producer duo Chainsmokers’ early-stage fund Mantis Ventures, Y Combinator, and Pioneer Fund
The Hyderabad-based B2B (business-to-business) agency used to be a phase of famed startup accelerator Y Combinator’s first digital summer season batch of 2020, alongside with thirteen different startups from India. Interestingly, Bikayi had solely utilized for the program due to the fact it went ‘remote’ this yr as the duo was once sure that they desired to remain in India to the center of attention on their startup and now not tour to the US, pandemic or not.
The California-based accelerator conducts two batches annually– iciness (January via March) and summertime (June thru August). This is the first time it went faraway owing to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Merchants on the Bikayi platform are doing each day transactions really worth over Rs two crore, throughout 3,000 cities in India, in accordance to Sonakshi. While the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on most corporations throughout industries, the Hyderabad-based startup has clearly managed to thrive thru the crisis.
From 25,000 retailers on its platform in July, as of September it has 85,000; the startup expects that quantity to attain a million through December. The company’s revenues have additionally grown exponentially for the duration of this period– from round 25 per cent month-on-month growth, the startup has been clocking round one hundred twenty five per cent month-on-month income boom because July, in accordance to the 26-year-old entrepreneur.
The startup additionally beefed up its crew in July with 10 new members. It is now searching to fortify the group similarly through taking up the headcount to forty five via October. By January 2021, it plans to take the platform international, with a important focal point on rising markets.
The Bikayi app which is handy for download on the Google Play Store, has been witnessing 60 per cent natural downloads. As many 3.5 million clients go to the platform each month, in accordance to the company.