San Francisco-headquartered SaaS startup Slintel has announced that it has raised $1.5 Mn in seed funding. The investment has reportedly been led by Stellaris Ventures with participation from Accel Partners, Engage.social founder Anand Jagannathan and Helion Ventures’ senior managing director Ashish Gupta.
The company plans to use the funds to grow its own marketing and sales operations, including some key sales hires in the US. The company has graduated from tech accelerator GSF’s deeptech cohort in December 2018.
Founded in 2016 by Deepak Anchala, Rahul Bhattacharya and Ranjana TN, Slintel offers predictive sales insights to B2B tech and software product firms and focuses largely on the US market, given the larger addressable base in terms of tech businesses. But the company does most development at its Bengaluru centre. It tracks 16 Mn customers and 40K software products, offering insights through its market analysis to marketers.
It is now looking to bring these products to other regions as well in its future expansion plans. Slintel caters to small and medium businesses, mid-market firms, as well as large enterprises.
“Every software company requires a way to prioritize their sales and marketing efforts. We were impressed by the roster of clients the company has – from startups to Fortune 500 corporations. Slintel is a powerful and necessary tool in any VP sales / marketing arsenal,” said Prayank Swaroop, Partner at Accel.
Building SaaS From India, For The World
According to DataLabs by Inc42, in the first quarter of 2019, the deeptech sector recorded a total investment of $9.58 Mn, a mere 1% compared to ecommerce, which received $958 Mn. In fact, the deeptech was the only startup sector in India to receive lower funding than the quarterly average.
However, as Slintel tries to focus on the US market while developing in India, this highlights one of the major issues with India’s SaaS industry.
Despite unicorn level valuations, SaaS startups such as Zoho, Freshworks, Druva and Icertis are relying on clients outside India and international sales for their business, even though they built the products in India. Speaking to Inc42 about challenges in selling SaaS in India, Icertis CEO Samir Bodas recently said that one thing that should change in India is the regulation and the process of doing business in India, especially for a company of its size or even larger companies.
Most recently, a panel discussion on deeptech and enterprise tech ecosystem highlighted thoughts of several players of the industry. Many of the panellists said they see no institutional support for the players in the deeptech sector. Ajay Agrawal, cofounder and CEO, Sirion Labs further added that deeptech hasn’t been a primary focus area for investments either, who have focussed largely on ecommerce, fintech and consumer services.
In its analysis earlier this year, DataLabs by Inc42 noted that the slow growth of India’s deeptech sector is primarily due to the lack of monitoring and regulation, which, in turn, leads to poor or failed execution of the government schemes. Expected to reach $1 Bn by 2020, the Indian SaaS and enterprise software market currently accounts for 9% of all software sales.