We have been blessed to have received great support from all sections of the startup & technology community in India. We sent an email to our friends thanking them for their support and updating about our progress with PriceBaba. Since a lot of our communication happens via startup communities, we consider ourselves responsible to send this update
Thank you for being a support to PriceBaba. We have loved the support and encouragement that the Startup community has provided us over the past two years. As 2013 draws to a close, we wanted to reach out to you and acknowledge you for your contribution to PriceBaba. At the same time give you some updates on how we are doing.
One of our core values as a company is ‘Integrity’. We define Integrity as doing what we say by the time we said we would do it. If for any reason we are not able to do it, we would acknowledge it and do whatever we can to correct it. All throughout our communications with you we have ensured that we throw out numbers that are 100% true, even as some direct & indirect advices came our way to exaggerate our numbers. You know already that you can count on us to tell things as they are!
We had set out two bold promises (targets) in our communication to you throughout 2013. i) To be in 10 cities ii) To get 1 million users a month. As I regroup my team for a year end review and pull my scorecard out, I see that we have fallen short.We are in 6 cities and over half million users a month (but not a million, yet!). While we grew more than 1000% this year, I really believed that we could achieve our target numbers. Our internal targets were always the same. No excuses, we failed at that!
The year has been a roller-coaster ride for us. We have made our share of mistakes in all departments. Be it hiring, technology, processes or managing ourselves. Close to 60 days off work, a surgery and multiple complications later, I have now learnt to respect my health much more.
We spent four months away from our team with awesome Geeks @ 500 Startups in Silicon Valley. The greatest takeaway was certainly realizing the fact that we are as good as anyone else solving a tough problem across the globe. That has boosted our confidence so much more.
For a consumer facing business like ours, funding hasn’t been easy. We have found some great partners in our investors & mentors. I can’t thank them enough for their support. We raised a small angel round in 2012 (announced early 2013) and then joined 500 Startups in April 2013. We also raised some money from 500 StartupWallah (500’s India focussed fund) in November 2013.
We believe that we are going after a large problem and something that is very unique to India. Our learnings about our market and our customers has been great. We have a perspective on how this industry shaped globally and our own hypothesis on where India is heading. See: http://pricebaba.com/blog/how-
We are still lean with a burn rate of less than Rs 2 lacs a month. If we choose to, we would be profitable by just switching on a few easy revenue models.
Our team is constantly innovating. In December alone we have pushed over a 120+ changes to the platform. There have been several product upgrades that we haven’t been able to keep you updated about. Just take a look at the site and you will see so many changes since you last saw it. A clean and simple choice engine on the homepage, a compare feature that doesn’t take your energy away on first look, sms alerts (our users love these), a completely redone geo-coder to find stores near you and dozens of UX upgrades over the past few months. And this is just online, our team on the ground is also doing great. You have seen some of it (http://pricebaba.com/blog/
Over the past two years as I transacted (i.e. communicated for business purpose) with all my friends in startup media, I have realised that the Indian community is blessed to have some kind hearted journalists. I recommend young startups to be more open to the media and keep interacting regularly. At times I also make introductions for them.
To our friends in startup community, I try and use their products, send feedback and make introductions as much as I can. We have also got our share of undiluted feedback and much needed help from you. This is perhaps the best time to struggle as a startup.
Annkur P Agarwal, Clerk-2-CEO, PriceBaba.com