SupportBee helps SMBs manage customer email support better

Entrepreneurs, how often have you been in a dilemma of choosing between trying to salvage and sustain a dying startup versus pivoting to a new idea that entails great new opportunities (and uncertainties at the same time)?

In the case of Indian startup, SupportBee, the founders were previously working on a music sharing site that allows musicians to broadcast to their Facebook and Twitter circle. Unlike some startups that pivot their ideas as a result of a failing first attempt, Muziboo was actually gaining pretty good traction. However, the founders identified a greater opportunity while trying to manage and keep up with the heap of email interactions. They then decided to pivot to create SupportBee, a helpdesk software for SMBs to provide customer email support.

I recently caught up with SupportBee’s Co-founder, Prateek Dayal to find out more about the company’s plans ahead.

What is the motivation behind the creation of SupportBee?

Before SupportBee, my co-founder Nithya and I were working on Muziboo, a music sharing site for musicians. We were getting hundreds of signups a day and a lot of support requests from our users. When we started looking at help desk softwares available in the market, we found everything really complicated and un-email like. We wanted something very simple to use and could not find anything. SupportBee was born out of this frustration.

The SupportBee's office in Bangalore. Photo: Prateek Dayal

Tell us about your experience at Start-Up Chile and how this has been beneficial to Supportbee?

Start-Up Chile was an interesting experience. Our entire team moved to Santiago, thus, we could avoid the distractions of having to maintain an office and just focus on product development. Apart from supporting ourselves in Chile, we used the grant for design and development work, incorporation in the US and several other activities.

Supportbee has quite a few prominent companies on board. What are some of your plans ahead for Supportbee?

We have very ambitious plans for SupportBee going forward. This is just the beginning. So far we have been focusing on getting the UX/UI of the core product right and if we go by what our customers tell us, we will be pretty successful at it. We want to continue improving the app. However, we also want to focus on evangelizing our API and launching a 3rd party app platform.
Today, most companies use a lot of different tools. And in order for them to work effectively, these tools have to talk to each other. You want to collate data about your customer from different sources (your CRM, you own database etc) and use that information to provide more intelligent responses. The app platform will allow developers to write these integrations and submit it to our appstore (for free or otherwise).

The Supportbee team. Photo: Prateek Dayal

What would you be mainly looking for at Echelon 2012 Startup Marketplace?

We are excited about connecting with potential customers and partners. Singapore (and south east asia) has tons of interesting startups and we want to get the word out about SupportBee and see if we can work with them to create better tools for our customers.

SupportBee will be exhibiting at Echelon 2012 Startup Marketplace. The team pitched their product at the Vietnam Satellite in April.

Joanna Yeo

Joanna comes from a unique background mix of Life Sciences and Technopreneurship at NUS. Having gone through more than half a year of internship with a local startup under NUS Overseas College's innovative Local Enterprise Achiever Development (iLEAD) programme, she developed a keen interest in the tech scene. Joanna is also running N-House, an entrepreneurial residence at NUS. The geek girl at heart loves her dog, travelling and learning new things everyday!

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