Revolutionising Access to Instant and Secure Data
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
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“You don’t really think about it while starting something, but the ability of the founding team to handle the ups and downs of a startup are one of the biggest make or break ingredients for a startup to get from 0 to 1,” says Rajoshi Ghosh.
The National University of Singapore alumna learnt this lesson while building her first venture Dokbuk, an appointment booking system for doctors, which was shut down within ten months after its launch. “We had a solid idea, but the founding team did not get along well.”
Soon after, Ghosh along with an acquaintance from IIT-Madras, Tanmai Gopal started a consulting firm and also a laboratory for some product ideas that they wanted to build and take to the market. Building the second venture, as Ghosh describes, was a hands-on journey to understand the trade-offs between building a product company versus a services company.
“This company was entirely bootstrapped and we reached a stage where we were making solid revenue with great margins, as a services company. For me, this journey was critical in understanding the value of capital and cash flow.”
In 2017, Ghosh and Gopal founded their current (and Ghosh’s third) venture Hasura, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company focused on building tools for software developers and programmers, that came out of the technology developed at the duo's first venture together.
“We raised VC capital, wound down our consulting practice and started our journey of “riding the tiger,” says the co-founder and COO Ghosh.
Possessing the key entrepreneurial skill to continuously learn and grow, Ghosh attributes the to date success of Hasura to her learnings from the previous ventures. “Without my previous experiences, both those that achieved success and didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to start Hasura and scale it to where it is today,” says the 34-year-old serial entrepreneur.
Hasura has raised a total of USD 36.5 million in external funding from some of the marquee investors like Lightspeed Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.
Journey So Far
“One of the biggest bottlenecks to building web and mobile applications today is being able to access data. Between 50 and 80 per cent of the backend code that is written is to get the apps to access data in a fast and secure manner,” says Ghosh.
Hasura solves this problem by making access to data easier for application developers struggling with outdated approaches to API development. The startup claims to have made instant data access possible by auto-generating modern GraphQL APIs with in-built security, governance and scalability.
“The Hasura GraphQL engine, also just called Hasura by our user community, is a product that software developers can just point to their databases and data services and Hasura provides an instant API. This allows developers to rapidly work on their application and business logic and not worry about the repetitive, but mission critical, task of getting the data access plumbing to work,” Ghosh explains.
What more? Users can save that 50-80 per cent of their time that has a tremendous impact on both the bottom line and the top line for teams using the product, while allowing them to build on a modern, scalable and extensible stack.
Hasura launched and started monetising its two commercial products--on-premises software for enterprises and managed cloud infrastructure service--in 2020.
On being asked about the road to breaking-even, Ghosh says that the company can pull the lever whenever it wants.
“We’re at a stage where break-even is a choice for us,” she explains. “Since we started monetising last year, it’s been great to see good progress on the commercial front, and we realised we could achieve profitability immediately. We decided to continue focusing on product-led growth and so we’ve deferred our break-even and point of profitability by a few years so that we can reach our key milestones in company and product building first.”
The Bengaluru and Silicon Valley based company boasts of over 100 million downloads from open-source repositories. “We went from 0 to 2 million downloads the first year, and from 2 million to 100 million in the second year,” says Rajoshi. Several Fortune 10/100/500 companies make up Hasura's user base.
The company’s name comes from the Hindi word Asura, which means demons in English. “Demon is a play on word ‘daemons’ that refer to background processes and servers that are the foundation of the web technology stack. We added a H in front, because most of our stack is written in a language called Haskell,” says Ghosh.