A not-so-mature domestic market was a blessing in disguise for many leading SaaS companies, and they took risk and went to foreign markets to script success
Till a couple of years ago, India’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies were on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, they had a huge domestic market with millions of small and medium businesses (SMB) to tap into, but these businesses were very price-conscious and not mature to adopt technology. And so convincing SMBs about the products and doing business with them was a herculean task.
On the other side of the spectrum, developed markets overseas offered them far better opportunities. These markets had millions of SMBs, who gave more important to quality than pricing of the products, and were mature enough to adopt new technology. But SaaS companies found it hard to run business here because of massive cost of operations.
However, the SaaS companies went for the second option. They set up offices in foreign countries, hired local talent, and garnered hundreds of customers. Once their product got validation from multi-national majors, there was no looking back.
Here we bring you a list of top 5 SaaS companies from India, which are scripting history, not just in the US and Europe, but across the world.
Freshdesk is probably the most popular SaaS company from India that has made huge footprints in developed markets, especially the US. Incorporated in 2010 by Girish Mathrubootham and Shan Krishnasamy, Freshdesk provides cloud-based customer support software. Its flagship product allows organisations to support customers through email, phone, websites, mobile apps, forums and social media.
A B2B company, Freshdesk has 50,000 customers around the world that include popular brands such as 3M, Honda, Hugo Boss, University of Pennsylvania, The Atlantic, and Petronas.
The Chennai- and San Francisco-based company recently acquired two Indian startups — Framebench (an online collaboration platform that enables teams to share, review, and comment on videos, images, presentations, and documents), and Konotor (a mobile-first user engagement startup).
Last week, the company opened a new office in Chennai.
On a global level, Freshdek competes with NYSE-listed Zendesk.
Freshdesk is currently a 500-people strong team. It counts among its investors high-profile VCs such as Google Capital, Tiger Global Management, Tiger Global and Accel Partners.
Unlike Freshdesk, online healthcare platform Practo is a B2C company. Started in 2008 by Shashank ND, the Bangalore-headquartered firm provides a platform that helps consumers with all their healthcare requirements – from finding the healthcare provider to booking an appointment, online doctor consultation, getting their tests done and even ordering medicines.
Practo also makes software products that help healthcare providers ranging from clinics to hospitals digitise and deliver more efficient and higher quality healthcare to millions of patients around the world every day.
The company currently has operations in over 50 cities in 15 countries in Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia and India. it currently lists over 200,000 doctors, 10,000 hospitals, 8,000 diagnostic centres and over 4,000 wellness centres globally and claims to receive over 10 million searches a month across its website and apps.
Practo also offers salon & spa and fitness services.
Recently, the company made four acquisitions, including Qikwell, Insta Health Solutions, Genii, and FitHo.
The firm is backed by the likes of Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners.
Capillary was launched in August 2008 by IIT Kharagpur alumni Aneesh Reddy, Krishna Mehra and Ajay Modani. It is a CRM company that helps retailers engage with customers through mobile, social and in-store channels.
Its Intelligent Customer Engagement) suite of products integrates everything retail marketers and operators require to engage with their customers, weaving social and mobile experiences into any point-of-sale device – from legacy terminals to the latest POS devices and mobile tablets.
Capillary has operations in Singapore, the UK, the US, the UAE, South Africa, and Caribbean. Its clients include Puma, Nike, Pizza Hut, Peter England, and Marks & Spencer, among several others.
In September last year, Capillary acquired MartJack, a digital commerce solution company.
Capillary’s backers include Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, American Express Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.
Established in 2008 by Vivek Ravisankar and Hari Karunanidhi, HackerRank offers a SaaS recruiting platform that helps people land tech jobs based on skill, not pedigree. Hackers from over 40 countries use the platform to solve programming problems in different Computer Science domains like algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and to excel in different programming paradigms like functional programming.
HackerRank has two sets of users. The social platform which is used by hackers to hone their skills. At the same time, the enterprise version enables companies to screen candidates and conduct phone interviews with analytics and insights thrown in.
The company has offices in India and the US.
In June year, HackerRank raised US$9.2 million from Khosla Ventures and US-based VC firm Battery Ventures. A month later, it garnered US$7.5 million from Japanese firm Recruit Holding’s HR Technology Fund.
Started in 2008 by Prabhash Bhatnagar and Aditya Sanghi, Hotelogix is a cloud-based property management system for hotels. It offers a unified approach to meet functions like front-desk operations, housekeeping and restaurant operations at hotels. The company targets budget and mid-market hotels as well as large hotel chains, motels, resorts, boutique hotels, service apartments, bed-and-breakfasts and hostels.
Faros Inn, located on the Ionian Islands in Greece, was the first customer that Hotelogix signed. Since then, Hotelogix has expanded into diverse geographies, as the product has adapted to fit country-specific needs, in terms of currency support, taxation, terminologies, and language capabilities. Currently, the company supports clients in 100 countries in Asia, Europe and America, including the US, the UK, Mexico, Spain, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
Hotelogix is backed by Accel Partners.
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