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Showing posts from March, 2017

US cloud contact center market on fire

Well, was planning on writing this blog for sometime and before I published, we have a new player, Amazon connect :) We started designing our US product 8 months back and have been tracking the market closely for the right product fit. When we started we were following some of the established cloud players like Incontact, Five9,Interactive intelligence,8x8,Genesys Cloud,Mitel,Vocalcom etc And there were the new ones like Talkdesk Then there were CRM vendors integrationg third party API (Twilio mostly) to offer bundled services. Some examples were Zendesk,Freshdesk,Agile etc. While in India we cater to medium to large enterprise, offering a full features multi channel contact center . But US with existing options for SME and enterprise, we wanted to cater to specific segment that is not served by contact center provider and rather use cloud PBX like ringcentral, grasshopper for the their business needs.  We decided to go with SMBs which are a typical 2-10 people business.

Lookout Chennai,here come the Hyderabad SaaS startups

First a disclaimer. The title is just for fun and a good competition never hurt anyone :) This post has been inspired by Avinash Raghava's post . As Avinash mentions, Chennai is certainly the place to be for SaaS startups. An ecosystem builds due to some unquantifiable things and things seem to be happening for Chennai SaaS startups. The main advantage they have is that they are already home to a critical mass of SaaS startups. As every startup founder knows, getting your first 10 customers is the hardest. And when you have an ecosystem in your city, getting those logos on your home page becomes easier. Want proof? Visit any SaaS startups from Chennai and you will find logos of 4-5 other SaaS startups from Chennai :) This is how the ecosystem feeds itself and the startups grow. And as the startups grow, getting mentorship or advise also becomes easier and the cycle continues. So, with the theory that a good base is needed for an ecosystem to be built, I will mention a couple

How we calculate gross margins for our cloud telephony startup

In my previous post on gross margins , I discussed on what is a good gross margin for a SaaS startup. In this post I will detail the line items we use for calculating our gross margins. Not every startup needs to follow this. Every startup has their own way of calculating gross margins. This is just our way. Gross margin line items Bandwidth charges Data center charges Physical server costs Telco costs PRI charges SIP trunk charges SMS costs Toll free costs  Software costs CRM costs Support software NOC team costs Training costs  When compared with other SaaS products, we have an extra line item of telco costs. This is because we run on top of telco networks. Other products will not have this line item. Also, since one of our products is an enterprise product, we also include training costs while calculating our gross margins. Our new product for the US market, will have lesser costs and higher margins because of its DIY nature.

Finding minimum revenue of SaaS startups in India

Update 1: Updated the title to reflect my idea more. All startups mentioned below must be doing much more revenue than predicted. The idea was to come out with a good revenue per employee for SaaS startups in India with mostly employees in India. Update 2: Added the correct link for Jason Lemkin's blog If only there was some formulaic way of finding out the revenue of a SaaS startup in India. Can we say if a SaaS startup is performing optimally or not? The reason I love SaaS so much is that almost all good SaaS businesses are like well oiled machines. And machines are predictable. So I was sure there must be a formula. I had seen Jason Lemkin come up with a formula for predicting the competitors' revenue So inspired by that the following is my formula for predicting revenues of SaaS companies from India. Revenue = Number of employees * $50,000(or Rs.30 lakhs) (Update 2021: Multiply by $70,000 given the increase in salaries) Turns out you can get a pretty good idea