I met Rishi Kumar, Chief Technology Officer of TenCube – a 5 year old startup headquartered at Singapore – a few days back and had a small chit chat about his product and business in general. Their offering WaveSecure is a mobile security app for smart-phones which helps in protecting both device and data of the phone owner. Rishi shared a nice exhaustive entrepreneurial journey that TenCube has had in last few years, that hints us at only remaining open to challenges, investments and changing technology as ever.
TenCube was founded by Rishi Kumar, Varun Chatterji and Darius Cheung while studying at NUS, and their first offering was for the Singapore Government & Police network. That didn’t take off well however. Over the years, they matured into a wholesome business model selling WaveSecure to end consumers through direct downloads or bulk deals with telecos and with mobile manufacturers such as Nokia too.
An interesting experience that they shared was an increase in the number of downloads-per-day after increasing the price of their app from $3 to $10. Is it price to quality connotation?
Interestingly, TenCube is focused on the Indian market quite closely. They opened their India office back in 2008, and now sit at One 97’s premises with an approx. team size of twenty. As you must be aware, TenCube was invested into by One 97 recently but have not disclosed the details of the deal. Of course, on being asked on the face of it, there was a smiling hush-hush during the conversation 🙂
Apart from this there seemed a strong vibe about TenCube coming out with a new or an upgraded product. But that’s purely extrapolation. Because from strategy point of view, there ain’t much differentiation left for WaveSecure over other competitive products available on the net. And it is quite likely that TenCube will ramp up for growth either through a new offering or a radical upgrade of WaveSecure.
There is one more valuable input that I got from Rishi about Singapore.
The Singapore Government matches the investments by private equity firms/angel investors to push entrepreneurship in their country. As in, for every SGD invested by your VC, there is an equal sponsorship provided by the Government. Department of Science & Technology, India are you listening?
Why shouldn’t the Indian Government do something to encourage more such products like WaveSecure happening from India itself? Is not mobile growth story ours after all?