Ozonetel was started in 2007. Ozonetel are the pioneers of cloud telephony in India and launched India’s first cloud telephony platform Kookoo in August 2010. It provides communication solutions on the cloud for businesses to reach, engage, support and retain their customers.
It got its first customer at an Unplugged event in 2010. Initial two years start-up did not have any sales team & would undertake business development activities themselves. Once the start-up started gaining traction and on boarded first 100 customers, it brought in Head of Sales, who comes with a rich experience of the IT & Telecom space.
Ozonetel have been awarded by Nasscom, iSpirit, Deloitte, Frost &Sulliven at various points of their journey.
The start-up faced challenges related to handling telcos, whose lead times to deliver telco sources are too slow for the team to operate as a Cloud Provider – on demand resources/services to the customers. That means team had to plan ahead and invest upfront huge capacities, that too at multiple locations across India. Start-up took that bet and worked out. In fact, Ozonetel is the only player in this segment to have 18 POPs (Points of Presence) with the ability to enable their customers like Zomato, Shaadi with local numbers, that too in tier-2 cities like Indore, Lucknow etc. Team had to make sure that they build redundancies at each POP with Disaster Recovery mechanisms backed by 24 x 7 NOC ( Network Operating Center) in place to make sure the customers don’t face down times. Some of their customers can’t even afford 5 minutes downtime as they run critical customer support& sales processes.
Idea behind the start-up
When founder looked millions of SMBs and SMEs they were not in a position to afford these solutions. Team built a VXML based hosted platform to address their needs. Then team figured out that there is an opportunity to build an open platform with APIs and allow others to come and build their own apps with voice resources integrated from their platform.
August 2010 was the turning point when the start-up launched KooKoo, the first cloud telephony platform in India with APIs and launched it at Unplugged event.
At the same time, start-up built couple of apps using the same APIs and launched Cloud Agent, the first cloud based contact center offering in India.
Start-up solved a real pain point for these kind of SMEs as they have 10-15 outlets within Bangalore and management is not able to get a view of customer conversations with their sales and service executives. They got a plug & play solution without investing lakhs of rupees upfront. They management was able to track all calls in real time and getting MIS reports online and into their email inbox without having to depend on any one.
This was the Eureka moment for the start-up as there are millions of such SMB/SMEs looking for similar platform to address their customer engagement.
Start-up got another Eureka moment a year later when HUL used their platform to launch a world record campaign – “Kan Khajura Teshan”(KKT) which has helped other start-ups reach more than 50 million consumers till date.. KKT campaign also won the Golden Lion at the Cannes festival.
Team behind the Ozonetel
The core team knew each other for few years through other common initiatives. The team was doing prior work in Speech recognition and that motivated them to look at building voice solutions for Indian market as India is predominantly a voice market with vernacular languages and dialects to add to the complexity.
Murthy Chintalapati (CEO & Founder) – has more than 25 years of experience in embedded system, Networking Telecom, Semiconductor& Cloud solution. His first venture was Intoto , which was acquired by Freescale Semiconductor in 2008.
Atul Sharma (Cofounder& CTO) – He is the catalyst behind the Kookoo platform, having over 15 years of experience building telecom solutions with reputed companies like Avaya,Cisco & Nortel
Chaitanya Chokkareddy (Chief Innovation Officer) – as the designation suggests he is responsible to figure out new technologies & products in the cloud telephony space which can be of use to Ozonetel/.He is an open source specialist and a speaker at various startup forums.
Revenue, traction and growth
Start-up has grown exponentially over the years with more than 100% YoY growth. It has achieved 4m ARR purely out of India customer base which is a rare in SaaS space. Start-up has more than 1000+ enterprise customers and 5000+ developers on the platform cutting across 20+ verticals. Team sees very serious adoption from enterprise customers like HDFC Life, SBI, HDFC Bank, Intuit, Monsanto, HUL.
USP and revenue model
Most of the competitors cater only to the SMB segment. Ozonetel has solutions spanning the entire spectrum of business communications, whether its for an SME, for an enterprise or for a custom telephony solution. According to the founder Ozonetel is the only one start-up to have robust cloud telephony platform with APIs and having coverage of 18 telecom circles. CloudAgent, is the only cloud based contact centre solution which enables a distributed call/contact center needs and Ozonetel can scale from 5 agents to 1000 agents through a combinations of Cloud & Hybrid deployments which competitors can’t. Their customers selected them for their deep domain knowledge in telecom backed deep solutioning expertise backed with 24×7 support to keep their Ops up and running 24×7.
They are a bootstrapped company with a bit of angel money coming in from Singapore investors.
The solution is completely cloud based, one just needs an internet connection and a chrome browser to get your call center started. It’s delivered in a simple pay-per-use model on a plug & play basis.
Ozonetel recently integrated facebook & twitter into their call center solution giving their customers more channels to interact with the consumers. Start-up’s investment in speech technology also has brought them dividends – HUL’s speech enabled “Lo kar lo baat” campaign won a Media lion for its impact. Most of the start-up’s revenue comes from India as of now and team would like to expand aggressively to other countries in near future.
Start-up has tasted good traction from Europe and APAC in the form of inbound enquiries. Having established themselves as leading cloud communications provider, team sees an opportunity to launch globally and address the huge matured markets like USA, Europe and Australia. Start-up would be going live with their international offering by end of this year. Read more Startup Stories.