Here's What Motivated Three Zoho Employees to Launch Their Own SaaS Startup
Three enthusiastic and experienced executives from Sridhar Vembu's Zoho Corp decided to graduate as entrepreneurs in 2015 and got together to form Zarget – which is a SaaS-based web optimization and marketing platform that provides comprehensive solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses.
The Chennai-based startup has recently raised $6 million Series A round of funding, led by Sequoia India, with participation from current investors Accel and Matrix Partners. Zarget also counts Freshdesk's Girish Mathrubootham as one of its angel investors.
In a telephone conversation with Entrepreneur Media from California, co-founder Arvind Parthiban took us through the team's steadfast journey and experience as entrepreneurs.
The triggering point for Zarget was at a cricket ground!
"As a marketer in Zoho we did a campaign for one of the products I was handling. So basically to market a product we already had I had to completely depend on my product manager for every single thing. We happened to then discuss about a product with the existing tools on a cricket ground with my co-founder Naveen Venkat at that time. In the process this discussion of how to handle the project became serious and then he said we can achieve this with a Chrome plugin. We then started to look at this solution (plugin) very seriously as it could address many problems. That was the triggering point for the whole idea of starting Zarget," he said.
With Zarget's all-in-one platform, any business owner has an easy and affordable way to become an effective digital marketer and improve performance of their websites instantly, without learning how to code or hiring an expensive IT department.
The best part being, businesses gain access to the industry's first Chrome plugin that lets you make changes instantly from within the browser. This eliminates the kind of complexity and costs that are typically only available for large enterprise teams.
Convincing investors from the word go
In a very short period of time, Zarget has managed to win some of the best investors in the business. Arvind said that this was mainly due a decade's experience the founding members had in the SaaS industry wherein they were aware of the business model, strong market opportunity and started out with the right team. Within a very short period of time, Zarget has managed to clock in more than 1000 customers, 200 percent growth month-on-month and win some big, international customers.
The Zoho Exposure
Zarget was founded by three SMB entrepreneurs, Arvind, Naveen and Santhosh Kumar, who spent a decade at Zoho building business productivity tools and customer relationship management software.
Speaking about the founding team's experience Zoho said, "Zoho is definitely a reason for where we are today. One thing that Zoho definitely added value was the exposure it gave us in the product management category...For the past 20 years, Zoho has been building products in India. We were fortunate enough to be a part of Zoho's product journey to learn how to build a world class product from India for international markets," Arvind said.
As per Arvind at Zarget, the team was very clear on not going to the market in a hurry and not try to get revenue out of the product without figuring out the sole purpose of the product. "One thing we were very sure of was not to build yet another tool wherein the market was crowded with plenty of other competitors. We wanted to solve a real point!" he said
Internal target is to onboard 20,000 customers in the near term. 60 percent of its customers come from North America, while India being its second biggest market. Brazil is another important market for the company.