Remember Color app? The famous Silicon Valley startup that raised $41mn and ”is now pivoting”. While we don’t have such ambitious product startups in India, the IT services sector is still one of the most favourite and sort of “cash cow” for investors.
What would you call a 3 month old company, that was launched in August 1st 2011 and went on to raise $45mn within 3 months of the launch?
Red hot startup, I’d say.
And the startup I am talking about is Happiest Minds Technologies, a venture started by Ashok Soota, who earlier cofounded MindTree and sold half of his 11.5% MindTree stake (for Rs. 94 Cr) to launch Happiest Minds. The company is targeting $100 million revenue in six years and will work on emerging technologies such as cloud computing, social media, mobility solutions, unified communications, business intelligence and analytics.
– The company was founded on April 1st and launched on August 1st.
– Raised Series A round ($45 million from Intel Capital, Canaan Partners and company’s founders) within 3 months of ‘being in the business’.
– Ashok Soota has brought 11 more cofounders in the company. That is 12 cofounders in a 6-months old outfit.
For any product company, it takes a while to reach the $100mn revenue numbers, as product launch is in itself a big step towards the company launch (involves several iterations before you get lucky). As far as HappiestMinds is concerned, its riding on senior management’s customer contacts which directly translates to sales.
And while we are talking about sales and services business, let me also share that a Senior Sales VP of Infosys has quit the company and has launched his product startup. You know what’s cool? Well, he has assurance from his investors on their investments till he files IPO (he is targeting $1Bn revenue in 3 years)!
While the rest of us have been caught up in world-changing-products (and apps), is it not a viable option to look at services as well?
Services Vs. Product startup? You decide.