“The good you do comes back to you.”
SaaS-based web optimisation and marketing platform Zarget has had a dream year in 2016. While May 2016 saw it raising $1.5 Mn in seed funding from Accel Partners, Matrix Partners, and angel investors such as Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshdesk; November saw it adding another $6 Mn to its coffers as a part of its Series A round of funding led by Sequoia India. This wave was followed in 2017 with shifting to a new office last month.
However, amongst all these milestones, the startup’s founders have not lost sight of the journey, so far, and the hardships entailed in their bootstrapped phase. One of them was their struggle to buy licensed tools and softwares.
Zarget’s CEO and co-founder, Arvind Parthiban, remembers it all clearly,
“The initial days were tough for us and bootstrapping meant we had to cut corners to keep pushing on with the dream of building an all-in-one CRO suite. We did not have access to paid tools and had to make compromises which hurt productivity. With funding, things changed but memories of the early struggle are still afresh in our minds.”
It is with these memories in mind that it has launched the #RespectStartups initiative to help startups that often struggle with funds to buy licensed software products. Under the initiative, companies can showcase offers for startups and, they in turn, can pick the ones that would make their journey easier through the RespectStartups platform. These could be anything – from offering trials, free access to services, products, office space or even coupons.
Many startup players such as Chargebee, Cloudcherry, Freshdesk, CanvasFlip, and others have come on board to support the initiative. For instance, Freshdesk is offering six months of Freshsales Estate Plan free on annual subscription to any startup that has under $1 Mn in annual revenues and funding. Similarly, Cloudcherry is offering startup free seating for a maximum of 30 days while Zarget itself is offering an additional 6 months license to Zarget website optimisation tools for free, along with the purchase of an half-yearly license.
Other companies that wish to make a difference can now lend a helping hand to fellow startups by listing their offers or coupon codes on the #RespectStartups site. They can also pick the offers that they like. Zarget believes that this exchange of offers inside the community will make way for a strong ecosystem of startups.
Giving Back To The Startup Community
Arvind further elaborated in a Medium blogpost about the idea behind RespectStartups:
“Somewhere amidst the mad rush of shifting to our new office and redesigning our logo, I realised that it’s time I gave back to the startup community. The easiest option was to provide a free trial extension for startups but it rather made sense to initiate a change!
Every solution, product or service a startup requires is most likely what another startup is working on and if we are able to set up a mutual sharing, we can surge ahead as a single startup ecosystem!
This is the idea behind #RespectStartups, powered by Zarget, for the startup community. It is an opportunity for every startup, no matter how small, to make an impact and reach out in a big way. I personally urge every entrepreneur to look at this as an opportune moment to give back to the community.”
Arvind also told Inc42 that, as of now, Zarget is not expecting any business impact out of this move – it is purely a pay back to the community initiative. However, when the startups grow, there is always an opportunity for all the participants of RespectStartups to grow with them.
Interested startups and companies can share offers and claim the ones they need at www.respectstartups.com