Traction, profitability and dickheads

Image credit Spreadshirt.com

Image credit Spreadshirt.com

Our friends (and investors) @BlumeVentures heard this 2 days ago at the #GOAP geeks event which they hosted in Mumbai [We sponsored the dinner ;)]. You hear it now – WebEngage is a profitable company. Oh yes, we have hit that milestone which all companies wait for; and some, unfortunately, die long before their wait comes to an end. I wanted to share this with you in a far more emotional way but this is how it was destined to be.

A dickhead thinks we are making up numbers (oh, I am not taking his name though).

It took us almost 15 months since launch to get there. Acceptable? Maybe not. We should have worked harder to get to this milestone sooner. And trust me, we are working real hard – to better ourselves everyday. We had 6000+ customers and we were still not profitable? Yes, we weren’t until last month. Sounds weird? Why? Facebook needed hundreds of millions of users to generate meaningful revenues, Quora still doesn’t have an answer with millions of users. For us, it was similar. Just that we refer our users as customers because of the b2b nature of the tool.

We needed visibility. A lot of it. And, we had no money. How did we do it then? By giving away a free version of the product. Free? Why? Because, in there, we got the luxury of adding a “powered by WebEngage” logo in all the three products that we offer. This logo is the single biggest source of discovery for us accounting for over 40% sign-ups; till date. And you thought we were lameducks? Maybe, we are. But not because a dickhead thinks so.

From my experience, I can tell you for sure that it takes a lot of hard work and time to get hundreds of customers to pay you $15/month. If you do the maths, you need several hundreds of them to make the total sum meaningful. That’s what we have been doing for the last 15 months – making sure that we deliver enough value so that customers think the tool is worth their money (whatever little it is).

Talking about traction, what we also did, was to make pretty much every large e-commerce and travel company our customer. Take a look at this. In the process of doing so we realized the enterprise potential of our product and unlocked value that is being delivered to such customers. Marketing and product teams in these companies swear by our product.

Oh, did I tell you that we are not fundraising yet? Why? Because we are twice funded already and now we are profitable too. We are exploring opportunities in other markets and will soon come up with a plan to make our presence strongly felt in those geographies. Until then, we’ll continue to tell you our growth story the way we do today. I’d advice dickheads to use cotton plugs.

We have goals bigger than just being profitable
Wanna know? Hear me – to power in-site marketing and customer engagement on 100,000 online businesses worldwide. I am working on it; just with a few engineers. Think I am nuts? Maybe, I am. But not because a dickhead thinks so.

My advice to you, dear fellow startup:
Please don’t listen to this dickhead or any other gyani baba. They are pissed off with their own lives. Take it from people who have a point to prove by their deeds – not by their words. If you can build traction around your product, go ahead and do it. Who the hell on earth would not like you for it; ah, well, except for dickheads.

– Avlesh

Latest Comments

  1. Chandan says:

    Many many congratulation sirji. Wish you and WebEngage to achieve many more such feat in times to come.

  2. Neil says:

    After going through your post, I tried to find the dickhead. And I found one 🙂

    [Link removed] .. this? Who’s the guy? Why is he pissed of? I saw his shitty product too.

    Ignore Avlesh. You are an inspiration and a role model for many, including me.

    And yes, congratulations on that milestone! I like the 100k mission. All the best. I am sure you’ll get there.

  3. Shoonya says:

    Bahut khoob .. bahut khoob ..

  4. Sumit Jain says:

    Congrats buddy… Way to go…

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