Businesses across verticals — mainly in e-commerce (buyer-seller), healthcare (doctor-patient), e-learning (teacher-student), dating (male-female) and gaming (game players) — help people connect with each other. But the problem with most of these platforms is that they lack a proper communication channel.
These days, businesses have started to integrate separate chat platforms (including bots) to communicate with their users in real time. However, there is none for the end users to communicate with each other within the website/app of enterprises.
And left with no options, customers often come out of these platforms and use channels like WhatsApp to take the communication further, causing a significant loss for enterprises in terms of data.
“This is where our solution comes into play,” Devashish Datt Mamgain, Co-founder and CEO of Applozic, told e27. “We offer a cloud-based white-label custom messaging platform. Users can not only connect but also communicate with each other within your platform and this creates a better UX and consequent rise in user engagement. Plus, you as a business get full control of the user data.”
The company was launched in December 2015 by Mamgain, Adarsh Kumar Mishra (CTO), Satya Krishna Ganni (Adviser), and Guna Kakulapati (Adviser). Mamgain and Mishra are also co-founders of MobiTexter, which allows individuals and SMEs manage and work on their SMS marketing from any device.
Applozic is essentially a chat and in-app messaging SDK, which works right within enterprises’ mobile apps and websites. It can be customised to suit the needs of any type of business. “A good analogy of our platform capabilities can be that we offer ‘white-label WhatsApp’ for our customers to offer chat and messaging capabilities to their users,” he explained.
The solution can also be considered a cross-app chat platform that can connect users on separate apps within a single communication platform. Applozic also offers SMS or email fallback to notify offline users.
The Bangalore-based company targets all kinds of businesses that have the scope of real-time communication between any set of users — be it B2C or C2C. Its clientle includes customers from online marketplaces, project management solutions, social enterprises, edtech, on-demand service providers, classifieds portals, concierge services, gaming apps, dating apps, and online events.
Currently, it is working with 152 companies, including Temasek-funded CarTrade (online marketplace for buying and selling cars), Ryde (real-time carpooling), The 8 App (social network that pays you back), Waseet (classifieds portal in the Middle East), and Zimmber (on-demand home services).
“Ours is a developer-centric communication platform that includes backend and client SDKs. We offer native SDKs with UI kits from GitHub, so developers can integrate and build messaging just the way they want,” he explained.
When it comes to monetisation, the firm offers four different types of subscription plans, starting from a free plan for development and testing, followed by two intermediary plans for 25,000 and 100,000 monthly active users, respectively, with shared hosting.
2016 was touted as the year of conversational commerce and in the future, it is expected that chat bots will be playing a major role in various business operations. Also relentless internet penetration has replaced SMS with IP messaging and phone calls with IP-based audio, video calls. “Hence we expect to see more and more apps embracing the same and switching to messaging for their customer engagement strategy,” he said.
In the near future, the company is looking to add its own bot capabilities and advanced analytics framework.
But these opportunities do not come without challenges. Mamgain told e27: “The problem that we often face is differentiating ourselves from the traditional live chat solutions. We often find customers confusing Applozic with typical support chat solutions, whereas our platform capabilities extend much beyond that and can suit use cases of various business types.”
A serial entrepreneur, Mamgain and the team faced their own set of challenges along the entrepreneurial path. “The initial challenge was to get the first customer because everyone wants to see the existing customers list first, but we overcame it with our product excellence during the free beta version.”
His advice to budding entrepreneurs:
“Release product as soon as possible, don’t delay it to make perfect. Even if the first version is not perfect, it is fine. Until you release and get feedback from actual users who are going to use it, you wouldn’t know what to build to make it perfect. Launch early and keep innovating and improving it with every release.”
Mamgain and team live by Reid Hoffman’s quote:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”