Flipkart Mafia: Exotel :- Cloud Telephony Platform

Shivakumar Ganesan aka Shivku is the founder and CEO of a firm known as Exotel, a Bangalore based company that provides telephony on the cloud for its consumers.

Moreover Exotel, where the main team is made up of his classmates and friends from his alma mater BITS-Pilani, crossed Rs 1 crore in revenues last financial year. 

On the whole it has raised an amount of Rs 2.5 crore in the first round of funding from Mumbai Angels, a network of affluent people who invest in and mentor start-ups, and Blume Ventures, a venture capital firm that provides seed-stage funding. 

Furthermore with business that is set to expand and explore, Exotel is getting ready to raise another round of funds.

Prior to this Shivku has worked in Yahoo!, where he looked after the functions in various roles for five years before quitting to start a venture on his own with a friend. 

That didn’t work out as planned and Shivku found himself working at Flipkart the online platform that sells a whole lot of stuff, right from books to baby-care. 

A six-month stretch at Flipkart, Shivku found that the desire in him to start something on his own had not really gone away. He then quit and got married, without a job.

Shivku was striving for a second-hand refrigerator to replace the one that had broken down. This in turn resulted in him commencing Roopit, an online C2C marketplace. Shivku said that the hunch with which he started Roopit was that the buyers and sellers in a C2C marketplace were in different mediums and channels. 

While building and developing Roopit, Shivku realised the need of a telephone number that would receive voice calls, SMS and ensure that he did not miss a call that would have resulted in a business deal.

That is how, he states, the mindset to start Exotel came up. The initial idea was to build a distributed call centre, where several people can call in or send SMS. 

Moreover, if a small venture like his needed a single telephone number that would receive calls and messages and handle various other functions such as feedbacks, voice response, Shivku realised that other start-ups too would require the same type of features.

Thus, Exotel, which was brought into existence in 2011, was transformed into something different than the original distributed call centre. It provides telephony on the cloud for its clients, mainly small and medium enterprises. It serves and provides a quick and easy way for an SME to purchase a telephone number, by-passing the  unwieldy route to get a telephone connection.

– Authored by Farheen Malik

  Content Developer, StartupMonk

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