Thursday, March 16, 2017

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 a startups that can provide the base in Hyderabad.

1. Agile CRM: Founded by Manohar Chapalamadugu, the team from Agile have been doing SaaS from the time before SaaS was sexy. They have had success with Invox and Clickdesk and now are very successful with Agile CRM. With revenues over $5 million ARR they are a force to reckon with in the CRM space.

2. Zenoti: Founded by Sudheer Konneru, Zenoti's product Managemyspa has taken over the spa and gym industry. More than 80% spas in India use their product and they have also started their expansion in the US market. With over $10 million in revenue, Zenoti has already made a mark in SaaS space. Sudheer is also very active in the startup community and has helped conduct Product Nation roundtables in Hyderabad.

3. Ozonetel: Even though its our blog, guess I can nominate my company :). But I wont talk too much about us here and just say that we also love to work with startups and are trying to make a mark in the SaaS space from Hyderabad.

There are obviously a lot more SaaS startups in Hyderabad and I have not covered them all(if there are any notable mentions I missed, please leave a message in the comments and I will update)

So yeah, though Chennai is a good place to be for SaaS startups, the other cities are also catching up. Bangalore is also home to a lot of SaaS startups. In fact for this years edition of SaaSx I think there are more startups from Bangalore attending than even Chennai though the event is held in Chennai. Delhi and Mumbai are also slowly building up their SaaS credentials.

Overall, I think we are in a good space with regards to SaaS products and hopefully in the next couple of years we will have a lot more success stories from India.