Now, Asia’s third largest economic system is prepared for the next big frontier in tech: Coming up with a brand new era of software program corporations like Zoom or Slack.
There are practically a thousand such corporations in India, of which 10 are unicorns, or startups worth at the very least $1 billion, the report stated.
Freshworks was based greater than a decade in the past in the southern Indian metropolis of Chennai. Like Salesforce, it supplies software program to assist corporations handle relations with their prospects. It’s additionally India’s oldest unicorn in the sector, having raised funds from buyers corresponding to Tiger Global and Accel, and has greater than 50,000 prospects. The firm was final valued at $3.5 billion in a 2019 funding spherical, in response to knowledge agency Tracxn.
Of India’s 10 SaaS unicorns, six reached that milestone in 2020, and buyers round the world are paying consideration. Last yr, buyers pumped $1.5 billion into Indian SaaS corporations, 4 occasions greater than in 2018 or 2019, in response to the SaaSBoomi report.
Investors are enthusiastic about SaaS due to the “massive adoption” of software program over the final decade, in response to Mohit Bhatnagar, managing director of Sequoia Capital India.
“India actually has one of the largest developer communities in the world,” Bhatnagar advised CNN Business. Many of them have labored at a few of the greatest international tech corporations.
Abhinav Asthana, the co-founder of Postman, pointed to his expertise working as an intern at Yahoo in Bengaluru as instrumental in the choice to construct his product.
He got here up with the concept to construct a instrument that might simplify the API (Application Programming Interface) testing course of. An API is a programming code that defines how two purposes talk with one another, and Postman says it has made it simpler for engineers to work collectively as they design and construct their APIs.
“We saw how software was created at these global companies, and we saw API was a key problem,” Asthana advised CNN Business.
Now, Postman is India’s most beneficial SaaS unicorn, with a valuation of $5.6 billion.
International shoppers, Indian engineers
“If you are building a SaaS company in the US, it is better to have a million-dollar client rather than a $10,000-client because you need to pay for sales and marketing in that country,” stated Prasanna Krishnamoorthy, managing companion at SaaS accelerator Upekkha. “When you are serving customers from India, you can have these small and mid-sized companies, as well as large ones.”
Almost 98% of Fortune 500 corporations use Postman’s merchandise, in response to Asthana, whereas Freshworks’ first shopper was based mostly in Australia.
SaaS corporations are a lot better positioned to go international than e-commerce corporations like India’s Flipkart, for instance. They write software program as soon as, and then are in a position to make use of it a number of occasions.
“For a Flipkart you need billions of dollars [to grow internationally], but for a Freshwork you need much less capital to go global,” stated Mathrubootham, who can also be an investor in Postman. This is as a result of e-commerce corporations require a ton of cash to arrange bodily operations elsewhere — they’ve to rent supply drivers, hire warehouses and purchase stock.
Bhatnagar of Sequoia Capital stated that Indian software program entrepreneurs “mastered” the artwork of “remote sales” pretty early. “Honestly, in this last two years, the whole world has had to understand how to do better remote sales,” he added.
Despite the euphoria, there are some hurdles Indian corporations have to beat earlier than they will ship on the $1 trillion promise.
Indian engineers skilled in the IT providers trade might discover it onerous to develop the self-discipline required to construct a product-focused firm.
In IT providers, “you are selling bodies and you say yes to everything the customer says,” stated Krishnamoorthy. SaaS corporations, on the different hand, should say no to 99% of [potential] prospects, he added.
And India’s startup ecosytem remains to be comparatively immature when in comparison with Silicon Valley. Despite the huge measurement of some homegrown unicorns, Mathrubootham stated that the nation doesn’t have a “global tech powerhouse product brand.”
But he hoped that future SaaS corporations can change that.
“It is my personal dream to see India as a product nation,” he added.