On 13th of Oct 2021, WebEngage turned 10. This post is a tribute to the relentless pursuit of hundreds of men and women who made it happen.
I started my entrepreneurial stint in 2011 with WebEngage. What a fascinating decade it has been for me, the company and startup ecosystem in India!
If you were an entrepreneur in India in 2011, you’d know the feeling :-)
2 pivots, 5 near death situations and 3 buyout offers later — here we are — a 200 people strong team spread across 3 countries and 5 offices, $15m in annual recurring revenue (growing 100% YoY — hell yeah, profitably), 400+ customers across IN, MENA, LATAM, EU & SEA, 50+ partners generating over $5m in revenues via our platform and a cap-table with investors having deep conviction.
All this sounds way more fulfilling when you account for the fact that all our commercial success has been achieved in the last 5 years — ever since we pivoted into becoming a full-stack retention operating system.
This post will be incomplete without the mention of my partner, Ankit. Thanks mate for everything — it’d have been terribly harder without you. Ankit is the co-founder and CTO at WebEngage. Since he is a hard to find person online, so here’s one for the album…
When I started to write this post, I wanted to reminisce. Now, as I am writing it, I don’t want to. This has been the biggest change in me in last 10 years. I talk a lot less now — thank god for small mercies! (that’s my team saying it in the background)
I feel deeply inspired by successful founders and their work. I have had the privilege to be personally acquainted with some of them. Thanks to the likes of Kunal (founder @ CRED), Girish (founder @ Freshworks), VSS (founder @ Paytm) and many others who (unknowingly) ensured that folks like me kept getting their daily dose of inspiration in the last decade. In many ways I owe it to them for showing the way.
I feel super optimistic about the future. Digital adoption all over the world is on the rise; more so in the emerging markets. At WebEngage, our mission is to help companies in these markets retain their customers forever. Our software will reshape the way consumer businesses engage with their customers. We are building for the next decade.
10 years! That sounds like a lifetime in a world where startups become unicorn in five years.
Yeah, I know that feeling too :-)
If anything, our journey is a case-study in perseverance. To anyone who needs to know, please stay put with a clear purpose and learn to seize the moment when the opportunity arrives. I say this to my team— all we have managed to do these years is to survive and grow. Just keep at it for another 10 years. Imagine what we’d become! Do it for another 10. Then, imagine…
The power of compounding is real. However, it takes a lot of time to build those engines. Also, being in the right place at the right time is massively underrated in business. Unfortunately, there’s no way to game these things. So yeah, it boils down to staying put with purpose. Good things do happen to good people. Hopefully, in due time, our journey will become a model to emulate.
From the time Rajan cut us our first cheque (it was literally a cheque which took 3 days to clear) 10 years ago, till date, we have been very fortunate to have found investors with deep conviction. Coincidently, we are also closing our Pre-Series B funding round today, led by India Quotient, Blume Ventures, IAN Fund along with participation from 9 other highly reputed family offices. More on this later.
To my team, the WebEngage alumnus, customers, partners, investors, friends, family and silent cheerleaders — thank you for believing 🙏 — there’s no stopping us.
I wish you, your team and your peers a lot of resilience. Every single day.