iWeb Technology Solutions is the first Deal Radar profile of a series of companies that have been chosen for the NASSCOM Emerge 50 for 2010. NASSCOM is the primary trade body and chamber of commerce of the Indian software and BPO industries, and every year it names 50 startups and growing companies to watch. iWeb Technologies is the creator of iWeb Enterprise Suite, an enterprise resource management (ERM) product that consists of modules, allowing companies to chose the combination of applications that best suits them.
The Mumbai-based company was founded in 2005 by Akshay Shah and Ketan Trivedi. Trevedi is a qualified chartered accountant with more than 20 years of corporate and startup experience. Shah has been involved with startups from the age of 16 and describes himself as more of a hands-on technology person. The duo got the idea for the iWeb Enterprise Suite after seeing how difficult it was to implement and customize blue-chip business apps.
The iWeb Enterprise Suite is built on Agilewiz, a business process management tool, a knowledge base, and an application generator that creates vertical and horizontal module applications for enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), HR, payroll, finance, quality, production, e-commerce, e-governance, education management, hotel management, hospital management, and others. The architecture of Agilewiz has been designed to be technology agnostic. It can be used to build applications on the fly and works across databases. The suite is offered in three ways: as licensed software, through a SaaS model, and joint product or solution marketing, where the company builds solutions, using its framework, with the help of certified partners. The license model with all modules costs about $860 per user and the SaaS model from about $4.50 to $25 per user per month depending on the modules needed.
iWeb Technology estimates the Indian domestic software and services market at $927 billion, with a total addressable market of about $460 billion for iWeb by 2013. Further, the company estimates its top target segment, all verticals of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), at $1.1 billion. Targeted segments are financial services, auto ancillary, textiles, training, medical devices, telecom, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Clients are a mix of large enterprises and SMEs and include Maxtech Sintered Products, RBA Textiles, World Health Partners (an NGO funded by the Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations), India Infoline, and Bharti Airtel.
There is competition from international (SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce) and local (Ramco, ICICI Orion) product vendors. Shah believes that the Agilewiz framework is what sets iWeb apart. “Even software giants and branded enterprise products cannot re-create and expand their products on-the-fly due to use of rigid technologies and an embedded hard-wired knowledge base,” he says. Agilewiz’s technology-independent architecture, and non-wired, structured knowledge base make it truly on-demand.
iWeb Technology has been cash flow positive since its founding, and revenues are about $1 million. The founders have used their own money and taken some funds from friends and family and small private investors, but iWeb Technology has generally been bootstrapped to date. To take the company to the next level, Trivedi and Shah have been talking to investors. They are seeking about $1.1 million in funding (debt and equity), ideally from an angel group or a VC who takes this size deal exposure and has secured about a fifth of this amount thus far.
The company is also on the verge of forming a U.S. 60/40 joint venture in its favor with Sand Hill Angel Group for global SaaS marketing and launch of its products. iWeb expects this entity to take over the Indian company, which could be one of the proposed exit routes for the Indian investors in iWeb. And, of course, the Indian investors will have a stake in the new entity.
The growth strategy is to create an ecosystem of partners and marketing channels and to continue to promote the company’s license and SaaS models. The U.S. subsidiary for SaaS products is one step toward a global growth strategy.
This segment is a part in the series : The 1M1M Deal Radar 2010