Happy 11th, WebEngage

Today WebEngage turns 11, and our dream run continues.

I am a first generation entrepreneur from a humble Indian middle class family. I lost my father at the age of 9. Me and my sisters grew up under the supervision of two women — our mother and grandmother. Both of them worked as public servants in healthcare in their relentless pursuit to give us the life they wanted for us. Everything I know about compassion and hard work — I have learnt from them. My 11 year journey in building this company is a tribute to their lifelong dedication.

Like all startups, we had very modest beginnings. The thrill of building things from nothing, assembling an early team of go-getters, raising capital, launching a product, scaling— we had all the ingredients of a textbook definition of any “successful startup”.

And then, fortunately, it dawned upon me and Ankit that we have a real task at hand — we gotta build a business, not a startup. If you haven’t been there yet, let me tell you that these are two different things. There will come a time in your journey, when you’ll cease being a startup and graduate to become an organisation. Our moment came in 2016.

Once we decided to pivot 5 years into our journey, we had to unlearn almost everything we knew. We were building an SMB SaaS product in that phase. Then we decided to transition to a Mid-market and Enterprise SaaS product suite. Unlearning what you know best is extremely hard — especially if an entire organisation needs to unlearn. It is precisely for these reasons, pivots are hard.

Hear me in this podcast with my investors at IndiaQuotient on why we chose to pivot (despite doing well + getting all the VC interest one can get) and how we managed to survive the hardships that came along with it..

Fast forward to today — we have more than 600 customers across India, Middle East, Europe and Latin America — we are growing faster than ever. We raised a $20m Series B recently to accelerate our growth and invest further in our product-cum-R&D with the mission of building the first credible DIY alternative to enterprise marketing cloud softwares.

We are at an inflection point in our journey.

  1. Google and Facebook style retargeting is set to suffer serious setbacks because of restrictions on third party cookie/device based tracking.
  2. A strong pool of experienced user retention practitioners is emerging across product and marketing functions in companies across APAC.
  3. It’s now common wisdom that marketing automation and orchestration, when done right, will not only lead to better user engagement but will also be a key revenue/growth driver.

First party data led marketing will become mainstream in years to come.

Recently, I spoke to Forbes Tech about this rapidly changing landscape, and how it puts the spotlight on first party data led marketing — thereby placing WebEngage in a sweet spot.

My second startup is also 11 year old now and growing :-)

WebEngage is now a 300+ people team spread across India, MENA and LATAM. We take immense pride in building a culture first company.

We are celebrating our 11th anniversary in grand style — by opening up our next port in Indonesia!!

Yes, you heard that right. We are launching in Jakarta this November and you should join us in our flagship launch event, EngageMint Jakarta. We are also onboarding 50 startups from Indonesia and South East Asia into our legendary Startup Program.

Thanks to my team, customers, partners, investors, friends, family and all well wishers. Here’s my message to the team…

Until next..
Avlesh

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