Pradeep, Nishanth, and Nandan, co-founders of Appachhi have resorted to being Uber drivers in Bengaluru to fund their startup.
Funding the expenses of a startup has always been the biggest concern of any new entrepreneur. We have read and heard stories about founders getting funded and making it big. But some prefer bootstrapping and they always have a great story to tell.
Pradeep Soundararajan, co-founder at Appachhi & Founder Managing Director at Moolya drives Uber to be able to pay a star programmer of his team his salary. But driving Uber doesn’t only help him fund their startup but gives them an opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs and VCs too. Pradeep’s co-founders Nishanth, the geek with coffee in hand all time, and Nandan Pujar, the bearded grizzly product guy, are fellow Uber Drivers too. The drive to the destination which is mostly to Bengaluru International Airport gives them enough time to give their ‘car’ pitch (Uber version of ‘elevator pitches’)
At times, Pradeep had met their prospective customers too during such rides. How? This is what Pradeep says,
After becoming an Uber Driver – we hear entrepreneurs and their pain points. They come, sit in our car, don’t talk to us but are on phone all the time. They talk about all sorts of things thinking that the driver is the dumb guy or they become oblivious to where they are. What happens when you are traveling in a car and you are on the phone? Network drops off. So, they stop talking and stop making calls. Today’s entrepreneurs are quite restless. So, they need some high adrenaline talks. That is the opportunity we seize. By the time we drop them – our sale is done. We pick the pain points they discussed in the car with someone on the phone and show them that our product exactly solves that problem. Sold.
Appachhi built an analytics-driven automated performance testing and bench-marking for mobile apps. They bootstrapped with friends, families, ex-colleagues, school mates, testers from India and college mates contributing to close to a crore. Currently, they are doing beta with a few top customers and looking to get seed funding from VC firms. Their work has been mentioned by the world’s first book on Analytics Driven Testing – by Julian Harty and Antonie Aymer – The Mobile Analytics Playbook. Pradeep and team are looking for support from those who think that hitting a like or commenting would actually make them win. They are on a look out for the ones who are willing to sponsor their patent filing charges in the US in exchange of convertible notes for that money.