Mumbai and San Francisco-based Haptik Inc., a messaging app that connects brand experts to customers has received USD 1 million in seed funding led by Kalaari Capital. The company aims to utilize the raised funds for scaling the service in India in every aspect: user acquisition, building the chat experts team, engineering, and business development.
Founded in 2013, as a venture of Aakrit Vaish (CEO) and Swapan Rajdev (CTO). Haptik was launched in India in April 2014, now processes more than 200,000 messages each month and recently featured by Google under the “Get Things Done” category on the Play store alongside apps such as Dropbox and Gmail.
Furthermore, as per an ET report, the company has 20 agents, who answer customer queries on 180 brands across 12 categories like telecom, electronics, airlines and more. The app is currently available on iOS & Android platforms enables users to send a query related to any company and a domain expert gets back to you within four minutes.
Bangalore-based, Kalaari is a USD 160 million venture capital fund that invests in early-stage, technology-oriented companies in India. Its portfolio companies include e-commerce sites like Snapdeal, Myntra, Bluestone, Urban Ladder as well as mobile companies such as Magzter, Swipe and Apalya.
Haptik is a one-to-one, private and asynchronous solution for finding help related to different products and services. Users can send chat queries to enterprises on various service-related issues, and the enterprises will respond in about four minutes. “Haptik is aimed at users who are looking for information on flights, mobile phones or cars or have an issue with mobile operators and banks. A WhatsApp-like app, Haptik enables users to chat with experts for help with products and services,” said Vaish.
A SaaS platform, Haptik charges enterprises based on the number of messages coming via the app.
The firm is seeing huge potential in India, a big market with more than 120 million smartphone users. It is also exploring other markets, with plans to enter the US next year.
Bootstrapped to date, the startup has 18 employees, most of whom are located at its Mumbai office.
Challenges and competition
Vaish feels that the biggest challenge for Haptik is user acquisition. There are close to 2 million mobile apps out there in various app stores, with the average user using only 20 per day. “So, getting our app discovered is a big challenge. It is even hard to get users to regularly use it,” Vaish said.
There are many customer support platforms that include Freshdesk and Zendesk, among others. Vaish, however, says that Freshdesk, Zendesk, etc. are in the enterprise space selling to large companies only.
He said Haptik is not looking to compete with these companies, but rather partner with them. “We are a B2C company whereas these platforms are B2B selling directly to enterprises. We are building apps for these platforms so that anyone using say a Freshdesk can easily come on board Haptik,” he said.