Silicon Valley-based SaaS startup Hiver today in a report has announced that they have secured around $4 million in a fresh funding round which is led by venture capital firms Kalaari Capital and Kae Capital. The news funds which the company has raised will be used to develop the product, along with expanding the global customer base.
Niraj Ranjan Rout, Founder of Hiver, said, “With this investment, we will fuel our efforts to realize our vision of making Gmail a powerful collaboration platform that businesses can use for sales, support and their internal functions.”
As part of the funding deal, Gaurav Chaturvedi, Venture Partner at Kae Capital, and Rajesh Raju, Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, will be going to join as the Board of Director of the Hiver.
Hiver, owned and operated by GrexIt was founded by two IIT Kharagpur alumni Niraj Ranjan Rout and Nitesh Nandy in the year 2011. The startup provides a Gmail-based email collaboration platform, enabling businesses to manage emails sent to shared inboxes like support@, sales@, and finance@.
NR Rout, said, “We have been profitable and growing rapidly, and we see a huge product and business opportunity in enhancing Gmail to make it work better for businesses.”
The startup as of now has claims to have more than 2,000 clients in more than 30 countries, which is also managing more than 1 million emails every day. The startup further claims to have doubled its revenue from the last 10 months in the market.
Hiver last raised $130,000 in seed funding from the Citrix Startup Accelerator and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in the year 2012.
Some of the other players competing with Hiver in the international market are Salesforce, HelpScout, and Microsoft Dynamics, while on the other hand some of its local rivals include Zoho, and Freshworks, among others.
Earlier in July 2018, Freshworks raised $100 million in series Ground led by Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital, along with participation from CapitalG. The latest funding valued the SaaS-based startup at $1.5 billion, making it a unicorn.
Eight Success Tips Will You Increase Your Freelancing Income
For individuals who prefer being self-employed and use their skills to solve other business’s needs, freelancing is the best option. Freelancing holds lots of potentials as far as income is concerned. It might take some time to prove your worth, but once you succeed in impressing your employers through your work, there will be no looking back. How much you earn through freelancing, totally depends on you. More the hard work and working hours you put in, more would be the earnings.
Many new freelancers struggle to set their income goals, as the earnings are not fixed. This does create stressful situations for them. Many freelancers end up taking hasty decisions like charging more money, etc. the world of freelancing is very competitive. For any single job, there are hundreds of freelancers available in the market. One hasty decision may not only result in losing the job but might also cost you your loyal and regular employers. Be patient, and remember freelancing offers lots of opportunities as far as good projects are concerned.
Some strategies that might help you in boosting your earnings as a freelancer are discussed in this article. Adopting them would help you increase your income without taking much stress.
Focus on your business first
Freelancing is a kind of self-employment which makes it a business. Like any other business, you need to invest some hours daily into it. This includes planning new marketing strategies, updating your website, planning new services, connecting with new employers or employees, etc., One of the biggest and most common mistakes committed by freelancers is ignoring the marketing of their business.
The fundamental rule of any business is “people buy what they see.” Hence to attract more clients, you need to increase your visibility. You can achieve this via marketing your business in the best possible way. You can always start by building an attractive website for your business. Keep updating the content on your website especially about your finished and in hand projects, etc. if you are a freelancer with marketing skills, then maybe it’s time to use your services for your own business.
Re-evaluate your pricing
The fee you charged for your services would determine your income. Hence, pricing needs lots of attention. While billing your customer, you need to check whether you have taken all kinds of expenses in consideration or not. If you are not careful, you may end up cutting on your revenue margins. While billing your clients, be sure you don’t miss on any of the related aspects, this may include those extra hours you have to spend on planning or performing researches.
Increasing rates for your services is a very good option to increase your earnings. Sometimes this may also help in boosting your image as a premium service provider. Pricing is a very strategic decision. You need to consider various factors- price offered by competitors, your experience in the field, quality of service provided, etc.
Boost your reputation
Freelancing has become quite popular in the past few years. Sustenance itself becomes a questionable element. You can only sustain the competition if you hold a good reputation. Hence boosting your reputation is very important. In would not only help you in attracting more clients but would also help you in retaining the existing ones. Most of the clients check the status, track record, reviews and feedback of the freelancers before considering them for their project. In fact, many clients don’t even mind paying some extra fees if you provide them with good quality services.
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Eliminate frivolous expenses
Another approach to increase your earnings is to look on the other side of your financial statement ‘the expenses.’ Study your expenses, both professional and personal expenses, and try to find ways to reduce them. Many freelancers depend completely on freelancing as their source of income. Hence their personal expenses also start cutting out their profits. Try to identify expenses which you can live without and increase your profit margins without making extra efforts like increasing working hours, etc.
Stick to your schedule
Freelancing gives freedom of working as per your own terms. Without discipline, this freedom turns out to be a punishment. Having a strict schedule is very important if you increase your earnings as a freelancer. For example, if you are a late sleeper, try to plan your day in a way that you can work late nights. One of the easiest ways to increase your earnings is to take more work. However, for this, you need to set a target income which you want to achieve. Take work accordingly and work out a feasible time schedule in which you can complete that job. Try to stick to that schedule and complete the work in the decided time frame.
Ruthlessly budget the time you’ll spend on a project
In order to give their best, sometimes freelancers end up spending more time on the project against what was planned. Spending a few extra hours is acceptable, but if the number of hours increases beyond what you have budgeted, then there might be some problem which needs your immediate attention. Sometimes its need for being a perfectionist that results in those extra hours. If this is the case, then it’s time to bring a change in yourself and stick to your planned schedule. In many cases, your client turns out to the reason behind those extra hours. Check if your client is demanding more services than what was decided at the time of contract. If your answer is yes, then either ask your employer to pay you for those additional services or just say no to additional work.
In freelancing, time is money. Every extra hour you spend on the project would cost you, your time, your effort and hard work. So, sticking to the set timelines is very important.
Believe in the power of social media
Promotion and networking are very important for the growth of a freelance business. In this digital world, the best way to achieve this is through social media channels. The best part is that if used properly, social media may help you in getting works from local as well as international clients. Use social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Forums, etc. to promote your services. You may even join groups with same interests. Another way of promoting your business is by engaging yourself in discussions. Use these platforms to tell people about your services and how your services would help them to achieve their goal.
If you are looking forward to increasing your income, maybe the time has come to start thinking bigger. If you have started as a part-time freelancer, but with the time you have succeeded in forming a place for yourself in this competitive freelancing market. Then maybe it’s time to spread your wings and start working towards taking as a full-time job. Similarly, you may have started as an independent freelance writer but with time if you have succeeded in establishing your own network and gained enough experience, then maybe you should think about taking a step further and open your own company. Establishing business goals would keep you motivated. So, set up new and high goals and try your best to achieve them.
As per the “dmb financial reviews“, your actions play a very important role in your income. While working on the freelancing projects, always take out time to market your business. Hence keep updating your profile and portfolios, teaming up with other freelancers and use technology to promote your business. You may even look for learning new skills as this would help you in getting new projects. Success in freelancing is quite addictive, and once you get the taste of it, you would always desire for more. Be focussed and work smartly.
8 Step Guide to Transform a Startup Business to a Successful Venture
There are no limits and not set rules as to who can become a successful entrepreneur and who cannot. The doors are open to all, and it is not necessary for someone to have a college degree or to be rich by birth to get into the business. However, on the other hand, you may need a strong plan, bright ideas, will to win, and a strategic approach to business in order to make it successful.
As per Wikipedia, A startup is an entrepreneurial venture that is newly emerged and fast-growing by effectively meeting the marketplace needs by developing a more viable and sustainable business model around an innovative product or service.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur and wants to enjoy business success, here we will go through some essential steps which will help convert your big idea into a sustainable business.
Step #1. Do a self-evaluation
A startup businessman needs to start with the most basic question. Why do you like to start a new business? This simple question has the power of guiding you through the entire business planning process. Some need extra money, some want to enjoy more freedom, some others want to boast of their success. Once if you have the reasons by answering this question, start asking more subsidiary questions to define yourself like:
- What are your skills?
- What is your passion?
- Which area you have expertise in?
- How much can you afford to invest, knowing that there is a chance of failure?
- What is your lifestyle?
- Are you prepared to be an entrepreneur?
Don’t be biased while answering these questions. Writing down all these answers genuinely will put the foundation for your business built up.
Step #2. Do proper market research
Once if you are set with your business ideal, check if anyone else is offering the same product or service. If so, what different you are going to make?
Do a proper market researching as to who your rivals are and what they do in the market. Doing this will help break down your business objectives to complete and strategize your business delivery. You may conduct some interviews with the potential customers face to face or through telephone. In fact, there are many agencies also now helping with market research, which you can make use of if needed.
Step #3. Understand startup database
There are various types of startup databases exist out there, and all of these boils down to what you need for a startup database. Say, for example, some of the startup databases are best for the retail businesses whereas some others are ideal for investment professionals. There are some others which are ideal for B2B sales, and some can be used as a combination of all these.
Setting up a database
While considering database set-up for a startup business, you need to consider the long-term requirements in mind than just taking care of the minimal existing requirement of the times. As we can see, data is considered to be one of the most sic asset of any business organization now, which is not only a collection of customers and transactional informational but being used to do a critical analysis of the business performance and also to take strategic business decisions.
Relational vs. non-relational
From the beginning onwards, databases always remained relational as in case of MySQL or SQL server, which is known as a relational database management system. However, in the time of big data and machine learning, the database is now changing to non-relational DBs too like MongoDB, etc., which can handle a huge volume of unstructured data from various sources and offer optimum analytical capabilities.
Even when the initial requirement of database management is limited for a startup business, it is ideal for taking the service of an expert DBA like RemoteDBA.com if possible, to properly structure and manage database administration, which will help achieve optimal performance over time.
Step #4. Make it official
Once if the basics are ready, next get all the legal aspects cleared and make your business legal. With this, you can avoid any future complications of a business partnership or get sued personally from anything which you never expected coming. A baseline checklist is:
- Nature of business entity as LLC, corporation, or partnership
- Registering business name
- Getting Federal tax ID and
- Getting all permits
- Operational license
- Starting a business bank account
- Registering all trademarks, patents, and copyrights
It is ideal for getting the assistance of a legal and taxation expert in order to get these things set right.
Step #5. Prepare a good business plan
A proper business plan will help you approach the investors and present your business ideas in front of the stakeholders.
A good business plan consists of:
- Title page.
- Executive summary.
- Business description.
- Market strategies.
- Competitive analysis.
- Design and development plan.
- Operations and management plan.
- Financial factors and projections.
Step #6. Finance your startup
There are many different ways to find resources to start a business. You can get a bank loan, support of angel investors, to public fundraising as one of the latest avenues for business investments. Based on your business plans and requirement of funds, you may explore various options and get an adequate resource which may work the best for you.
If there a scope, then the best approach is to fund your business by yourself. Bootstrapping may take a lot of time, but the good part is that you will have full control of your destiny by owning all equities. You may also try to pitch your needs to the immediate circle of friends and family who trusts you.
Step #7. Build your team
In order to scale up your business, you may need some responsible people with you. Build a strong team. In fact, it is not mandatory that you need to hire everyone as employees but look for partners, freelancers, and associates who can work with you. Make sure that the pilot team you set up share the same dream with you.
Step #8. Start generating sales
No matters which product or service in whatever industry, the future of your business is fully based on the revenue through sales. There are plenty of sale strategies you can employ, but the primary rules are:
- Listen to the customers
- Ask for commitments
- Don’t be fearful about hearing a ‘no.’
Learn how to generate leads and figure out the right sales funnel and the apt strategy to convert those leads into revenue.
You can call yourself as an established business once you reach up to this level, but further need to plan for growth and make appropriate moves. You may think of expanding, acquire another established business, expand your range of products and services, or start to target newer markets to grow exponentially over time.
Top 10 Portfolio Investments By India Quotient in India
Mumbai-based early-stage venture capital firm India Quotient was founded by two IIMgraduates Anand Lunia and Madhukar Sinha in 2012. The firm invests in Indian startups working at the intersection of smartphones, big data, and design in changing the lives of the Indian consumers.
India Quotient has invested in over 40 Indian startups across fintech, e-commerce, social network, SaaS, and B2B domains. It enables Indian startups through its funding, experience, and a vast network.
Top 10 Portfolio Investments By India Quotient in India
Here is a list of top 10 investments by India Quotient in India:
Ahmedabad-based fintech startup Lendingkart was founded by Harshvardhan Lunia and Mukul Sachan in 2014. India Quotient first invested $32 million in Lendingkart’s series B round, along with Bertelsmann India Investments, Darrin Capital Management, Saama Capital, and Mayfield Fund, in June 2016.
Pune-based digital lending startup LoanTap was founded by Satyam Kumar and Vikas Kumar in 2016. It provides a technology platform to offer various flexible loan products to salaried professionals through its NBFC and banking partners.
LoanTap first secured $4 million in a funding round from India Quotient, along with Kae Capital and Northern Arc in June 2017.
Mumbai-based microlending startup Upwards Fintech was founded by IIT Delhi graduates Abhishek Soni and Nimesh Verma in 2017. It provides a platform to offer quick and hassle-free loans up to ₹50,000 to salaried employees.
Last month, Upwards Fintech raised $5 million in series A round from India Quotient, along with Shunwei Capital and Mayfield Fund.
Mumbai-based online lingerie brand PrettySecrets was founded by Karan Behal in 2012. It offers a wide range of lingerie, nightwear, shapers, and swimwear on its platform. It also sells its products through other online marketplaces like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, Jabong, Nykaa, and Limeroad, along with offline stores.
PrettySecrets was first discovered by India Quotient in September 2014, when it invested $2 million along with Orios Venture Partners.
Mumbai-based food tech startup Holachef was founded by Saurabh Saxena and Anil Gelra in 2014. It delivers ready-to-eat food prepared by its chefs, offering a wide variety of cuisines. The startup is only operational in Mumbai and allows users to order through its online platform, as well as the mobile app.
India Quotient has backed the food delivery startup from its early days, investing $320,000 in seed funding in February 2015.
6- Clip App
Bengaluru-based vernacular video sharing startup Clip App was founded by Nav Agrawal, Ashish Gupta, and Swapnil Upadhyay in March 2017. It provides a platform to enable users to create, edit, and watch funny videos in their preferred local language. It also allows users to share the videos on platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.
In July 2017, Clip App raised $1 million in seed funding from India Quotient, along with Shunwei Capital.
Mumbai-based healthcare startup Care24 was founded by IIT alumni Vipin Pathak, Abhishek Tiwari, and Garima Tripathi in December 2014. The startup offers healthcare services like cancer care, elderly care, physiotherapy, and palliative care from trained caregivers to help patients recuperate at home. It is currently operational in Mumbai and Delhi NCR.
India Quotient has been a part of this healthcare startup’s journey since it invested $350,000 in seed funding, along with SAIF Partners in October 2015.
Gurugram-based social media startup Roposo was founded by three IIT Delhi alumni, Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena and Kaushal Shubhank in 2012. It provides a platform for Indian users to express themselves visually through videos and photos using their own local language. It also provides a business platform, enabling people to sell their products, reaching over 7 million users.
In July 2014, Roposo first raised $1 million from Indian Quotient and Binny Bansal, co-founder and Group CEO of Flipkart.
Bengaluru-based vernacular social networking startup ShareChat was founded by three IIT Kanpur alumni, Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh and Ankush Sachdeva in 2015. It provides a social networking platform for users to share videos, songs, photos, and other content, along with discovering trending content in their local language.
ShareChat is one of the most successful investments by India Quotient. The startup first raised an undisclosed amount of funds from the venture capital firm in March 2015.
Noida-based home automation startup Oakter was founded by three IIT alumni Shishir K Gupta, Nithin K David and Varun Gupta. The startup designs and manufactures a wide range of home automation products like smart switches, smart locks, smart plugs, and smart remotes, to provide smart home solutions.
In March 2016, Oakter first raised ₹25 lakh in seed funding from India Quotient.
Must Read: Blume Ventures in India portfolio in India
Blume Ventures in India portfolio in India
Mumbai-based seed stage venture capital fund Blume Ventures was founded by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath in 2010. It invests across retail, media, Fintech, Edtech, consumer services, analytics, and cleantech startups.
Blume Ventures has been actively investing in seed, angel, and pre-series A stage Indian startups since 2011. The fund has more than 60 blooming startups in its portfolio.
Blume Ventures in India portfolio in India
Here is a comprehensive list of top 10 investments by Blume Ventures in India:
Bengaluru-based vernacular knowledge sharing startup Vokal was founded by former TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishnan and Mayank Bidawatka in 2017.
Bengaluru-based hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo was founded by Ankur Aggarwal, Dalvir Suri, Kabeer Biswas and Mukund Jha in 2015. The startup provides an app platform to enable users to create different tasks, track progress of the tasks, including easy payment method. Blume Ventures first invested $650,000 in Dunzo’s seed funding round, along with Aspada, and Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director, Google India in March 2016.
Mumbai-based personal device assistant provider Servify was founded by Pravin Jadhav and Sreevathsa Prabhakar in 2015. It further offers an app that enables consumers to store their bills and warranty on the cloud, also connecting the consumers with brand authorized service centers. Blume Ventures has backed Servify, since April 2016, helping it raise seed funding and supporting its growth.
Bengaluru-based edtech startup Unacademy was founded by Gaurav Munjal, ex-founder and CEO of Flatchat, along with Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Sachin Gupta. The edtech startup provides various study materials, including video lectures from experienced educators to help students prepare for various competitive exams. It has over 50,000 online lessons along with 1.3 million registered users taught by around 4,000 educators.
Bengaluru-based health tech startup HealthifyMe was founded by Sachin Shenoy and Tushar Vashisht in 2012. It provides an online health and fitness community, enabling users to seek advice regarding diets, weight loss, weight gain, and muscle gains. It further leverages artificial intelligence to offer an AI-enabled fitness coach to help users in their fitness journey. Healthify first raised $6 million in series A round from Blume Ventures, along with IDG Ventures India, and Inventus Capital Partners in May 2016.
Mumbai-based marketing automation startup WebEngage was founded by Ankit Utreja and Avlesh Singh in 2011. It provides cloud-based marketing automation solutions enhancing user engagement across multiple channels, in order to boost sales and grow consumer base for its clients. In January 2016, Blume Ventures first invested $1.3 million in WebEngage, along with GTI Capital Group.
7- Little Black Book
New Delhi-based search and discovery platform Little Black Book was founded by Dhruv Mathur and Suchita Salwan in 2012. It provides a platform for users to discover a wide range of events, places, restaurants, experiences, stores, and home decor, among many others. The startup has expanded its operations to eight cities across India, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Goa. Little Black Book first raised ₹6.5 crores in a funding round led by Blume Ventures, along with participation from IDG Ventures and Indian Angel Network in October 2017.
Bengaluru-based fintech startup SlicePay was founded by Deepak Malhotra and Rajan Bajaj in 2015. It provides a digital platform to offer instant credit to millennial to help them fulfill their needs on a tight budget. The startup offers loans up to ₹60,000 to students, across 500 colleges through its partner NBFC’s.
9- BHIVE Workspace
Bengaluru-based coworking space provider BHIVE Workspace was founded by Shesh Paplikar in 2014. The startup provides an ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs to enable them to grow and take their ideas to the next level. It offers state of the art facilities to provide a creative and productive environment for entrepreneurs. Blume Ventures has been an early investor in the startup, investing $1 million in seed funding in May 2016.
Bengaluru-based on-demand payments platform Instamojo was founded by Sampad Swain, Akash Gehani and Aditya Sengupta in 2012. It provides a multi-channel payment gateway to enable SMEs to manage and grow their business. Instamojo first raised $500,000 in seed funding from Blume Ventures in May 2013.
Apart from the above-mentioned startups, Blume Ventures has invested in many more Indian startups, enabling them to grow by providing them access to funds and expertise in various sectors.
Norwest, Kalaari invest more into logistics tech startup ElasticRun
Pune-based logistics tech startup ElasticRun has raised around ₹60 crores in a fresh funding round led by existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital, as reported by VCCircle.
Post investment, the startup’s valuation is pegged at around ₹440-480 crores ($60-65 million).
It has not yet been ascertained if the fundraising is part of a larger round. The development has not yet been confirmed by either of the involved parties.
ElasticRun, operated by Ntex Transportation Services, was founded by Sandeep Deshmukh, Saurabh Nigam, and Shitiz Bansal in 2015. Sandeep Deshmukh, is an alumnus of IIM-A, with previous stints at Amazon and Apple. Other co-founders Saurabh Nigam, a civil graduate from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE), has previously worked at EdgeVerve and Infosys, while Shitiz Bansal is an IIT-BHU graduate.
The logistics startup provides an asset light, variable capacity transportation network. It leverages technology to build aggregate transportation capacity precisely in tune with variations in demand.
ElasticRun eliminates high fixed set up costs by aggregating resources across channels while reducing transportation expenses for customers by eliminating wastage in transportation capacity.
The startup last raised $7 million in a series A funding round from Norwest Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital in April 2017. Other players in the logistics space competing with ElasticRun include Rivigo, BlackBuck, 4tigo, TruckEasy, and GoBOLT, among many others.
Earlier this week, New Delhi-based B2B logistics startup GoBOLT raised ₹40 crores in series A funding round from impact fund advisory firm Aavishkaar. It was also reported that e-commerce logistics startup Delhivery is in talks with Softbank to raise ₹1,800 crores. In August 2018, logistics tech startup WheelsEye raised ₹7 crores in a funding round led by Prime Venture Partners. Another logistics startup LEAP India raised ₹200 crores in debt funding.
According to the Economic Survey 2017-18, Indian logistics sector, which is currently worth $160 billion, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% to reach $215 billion by 2020, owing to the implementation of GST. With other sectors like agriculture and e-commerce, dependent on logistics for growth, will further propel logistics startups towards a growth trajectory.
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