Chennai-based PipeCandy, an intelligent sales prospecting platform has raised $1.1 Mn (INR 7.3 Cr) in a Seed round of funding from IDG ventures, and Axilor Ventures. Emergent Ventures, Indian Angel Network along with a few more undisclosed startup investors also participated in the round.
The startup plans to utilise the raised funds to deeply verticalise its analytical models and to build tools that make sales representatives follow best practices effortlessly. Also, the goal is to touch 100 paying customers by July 2017. The company had earlier raised an undisclosed amount in February 2016.
PipeCandy was cofounded by Ashwin Ramasamy, Shrikanth Jagannathan and Murali Vivekanandan, towards the end of 2016. Shrikanth who went to graduate school with Ashwin had developed products for Fortune 10 companies that applied data science techniques to understand consumer behavior. While Ashwin has spent over eight years in selling automotive softwares, Murali is a techie at heart, along with a flair for selling.
In the early months of 2016, the three met at the borrowed conference room of a startup in Bengaluru and charted the path for what is now PipeCandy– an enterprise SaaS startup, with an aim to help companies discover very relevant prospects in their respective target industries. This further aims to provide contextual insights to sales representatives to make their sales pitches very authentic and grounded in research.
For instance, a ‘Point of Sale’ software company can use the platform to discover retailers that have omni-channel presence and filter them based on the number of SKUs (stock keeping units) they sell. A startup that helps retailers tell original luxury goods from the fake ones, can use PipeCandy to discover retailers and consignment stores around the world that sold luxury good of specific kind.
Another use case can be where a venture funded subscription payment processor can use the platform to differentiate between SaaS companies and ecommerce companies with subscription sales models, to fine tune their sales pitches.
As Ranjith Menon Executive Director, IDG Ventures India stated, “Artificial Intelligence and data science are rapidly maturing. Globally this is a very under-penetrated space with only about 3% of the companies adopting technology to reach out in a structured manner. This is the opportunity that IDGVI is very excited about.”
Axilor Venture’s Cofounder and CEO Ganapathy Venugopal further added, “Outbound prospecting, one of the most crucial steps in enterprise sales, continues to be archaic, manual and largely ‘hit-and-miss’. Pipecandy’s solutions bring the combined power of data sciences and automation to improve relevance, personalisation and ultimately conversions. It is a great addition to our enterprise SaaS portfolio.”
At present, PipeCandy tracks industry-specific nuances about retail, ecommerce, mobile and SaaS industries and provides these insights to sales reps who sell to these industries. The founders claim to track over 100 million decision makers across 40 million companies globally.
A few of its major clients include the likes of Freshdesk, Chargebee, Zarget and US-based ecommerce tech companies like Shyp, Agiliron and more. The team also boasts of getting some of their customers close to a 20% response rate to outreach campaigns sent to prospects identified by PipeCandy’s analytical models. “So, unlike traditional sales intelligence companies, with PipeCandy Sales Reps are able to target companies based on contexts that are unique to specific industries and thereby dramatically increase their response rates,” added Ashwin.
A similar startup in this space is Sagacito – a B2B, cloud-based, mobile-first enterprise products startup backed by data analytics. The team aims to maximise impact on profit margins and market shares for a range of industries like media, entertainment, healthcare, logistics, hospitality, and travel. Backed by Star India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty First Century Fox Inc., the company has, to date, raised $9.2 Mn.