FloBiz, India's first neobanking solution for SMB's across India. FloBiz, aims to accelerate the growth of S&M business enterprises through their technology support. FloBiz offers banking services for SMBs through its Smart Collect feature on its flagship GST invoicing and accounting product myBillBook.
Rahul Raj is the co-founder & CEO of FloBiz that he started with - Aditya Naik & Rakesh Yadav in 2019. As CEO, he has a hands-on role in the company’s compliance, marketing & growth strategies. He believes that despite being a significant contributor to the nation’s economy, SMBs are deprived of growth opportunities, advancements, and encouragement. SMBs in India have immense potential to grow, flourish, expand and sustain. We can together unlock this potential by solving crucial problems through technology.
Speaking to CIOL, Rahul Raj, Co-Founder & CEO of FloBiz, has shared his views on how FloBiz aims to accelerate the growth of S&M business enterprises through their technology support. He talked about his startup journey and also, and he speaks about the growth plans he has for FloBiz.
Tell us about FloBiz and your offerings. Tell us about the team.
FloBiz is a leading neobank for small and medium businesses that aims to accelerate their growth through technology. After extensive research to understand the pain points of SMBs, FloBiz launched its flagship SaaS product myBillBook which helps businesses digitize all types of invoicing, manage inventory, collect payments, track accounts payables and receivables, generate smart reports and automate workflows to improve business productivity. Our core mission is to enable SMBs through technology to help them digitise their day-to-day business processes which in turn will improve productivity and hence accelerate their business growth.
FloBiz has a passionate team of first principle thinkers with a product-driven and fintech approach. Our team is a healthy mix of people coming from start-ups as well as established companies. It helps FloBiz have best of both the worlds – a hustler as well as a specialist mindset. We’ve team members from Koinex, Bizongo, LimeTray, MoveInSync, Ola, Credit Suisse, Barclays, India mart and many more well-known organizations.
Do share your journey into the world of SaaS?
As technologists and graduates from top-tier engineering universities, we come from a product-first approach to everything. We have been using several SaaS products for both personal and professional use across categories and we fundamentally believe that SaaS will power the evolution of consumer behaviors, expectations, and interactions with digital interfaces in the coming decades.
myBillBook’s first version was launched in January 2020. Since then, we’ve successfully crossed multiple stages of a typical SaaS roadmap. We started with building the top-of-the-funnel to get a substantial chunk of users to install and try myBillBook. We achieved our PMF very soon and went on to start paid subscriptions within 6 months. We continuously are evolving our product with new features & capabilities to use across different platforms in a seamless manner. We are present on android, iOS, web and as a native desktop application. We’ve seen very healthy renewals and have also observed many users upgrading to higher tier plans and opt in for add-on feature purchases.
What is FloBiz go-to marketing strategy and how they attract SMBs/MSMEs to use the services.
Our marketing approach has been quite simple – know the audience and understand their pain points. Once we have done that, we build the features that will impact the largest user subset. We ensure that we highlight this iterative and experime ntative approach through multiple channels like social, digital, and offline. We also focus on enhancing the user experience for both free and paid users and working through the funnels to improve conversions.
We are present on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Koo, ShareChat. YouTube for us doubles as a knowledge repository for product marketing as well as for content on business & industry information. Twitter & LinkedIn are used for enhancing our corporate identity and features a little more official and serious content. Other platforms are used for engagement with our audiences and beyond to improve our TOFU awareness. Our media mix depends on the nature of the campaign and the narrative. We’ve used OTT platforms, print, radio, offline BTL activities, digital branding, social media influencers all in the past.
What are Customer-friendly tools that make SMBs become digitized?
Small business owners work with limited manpower and often do multiple business operations on their own ranging from creating invoices to managing inventory to collecting and reconciling payments. This many a times require them to be physically present in different locations and hence the need for a seamless solution between mobile and laptop/desktop becomes imperative. Cloud solutions being mobile-first and having no infrastructure requirements are best suited for SMBs. They having limited technical/financial knowledge makes it important for such tools to be user-friendly and to have a very simple user interface. myBillBook has been designed with the same approach of being seamless across platform, cloud based and being devoid of any technical jargons to facilitate easy use by the end customer.
Could you share how FloBiz has evolved since its inception?
We started with very comprehensive research involving speaking to about a thousand business owners, many financial institutions, tax experts and consuming multiple industry reports to understand the whitespaces and pain points. The empathy developed during this phase still forms the bedrock of our business. We launched myBillBook, the flagship brand under FloBiz umbrella in January 2020 and since then the team size has grown from just 35 to 450+ as on date. We have evolved into a mature organization with various business functions like sales, marketing, growth, HR, finance, engineering, product, admin, retention, customer success, founder’s office and have experienced leaders at the helm of it.
There is deep focus on scaling up the business efficiently to ensure the best use of our funds. Strategically planned and positive ROI driven growth with the right set of experiments, measurements and processes at the back of every action is deeply imbibed in the culture of FloBiz.
The appetite to go digital among SMBs has rapidly grown in the last couple of years, further fueled by the pandemic. Because of our product offerings, capabilities, and features, we have also witnessed a tremendous rise in adoption in the last 1.5 years. More than 65 lakh businesses across the country have tried myBillBook, and we record average monthly trade volume of $1.5 Bn on the platform. A major chunk of this user base has been acquired during the pandemic when digitalization became indispensable.
Tell us any new things that you are working on?
myBillBook has recently introduced multiple new features clubbed under ‘Feature Festival’ property for accounting and enabling our users to better engage with their customers. In addition, myBillBook has a slew of developments in the pipeline for the future to simplify the lives of our SMB partners further. We’re building more industry-specific product modules and features on the product that can add value to SMB owners. Our steady foray into neobanking is also happening in parallel to complement our SaaS offering.
We have recently started a new YouTube channel ‘All About Business’ as a part of our long-term content strategy. The channel is envisioned to become a knowledge repository for any type of new or old business and will feature topics on new business ideas, tips to grow business, motivational stories, business case studies, and interview with experts. Our aim is to create education and awareness and add value through deeply researched content made available in a digest and easy-to-understand manner.
What are your growth priorities for 2022-2023?
We will continue growing our revenue streams with a deep focus on efficiency. Continuous enhancement of myBillBook’s capabilities and strong peer recommendation and positive word of mouth from our users is helping us drive a lot of organic growth. Adoption of our e-Invoicing feature will be a key focus area as we have seen more and more businesses coming under the bracket of eligibility for e-Invoicing. Invoicing is a core activity to all types of business and we being a comprehensive billing (invoicing) software with features like GST billing, e-Way billing, e-Invoicing, POS billing, are strongly placed to gain even more adoption. Moreover, we will continue scaling up our team sizes to match the growth appetite. There are many positions open and interested candidates can visit our careers page.
FloBiz has raised a total of $44 million over 3 rounds with the latest being $31 million in Series B round led by Sequoia Capital India, Think Investments and its existing investors Elevation Capital and Beenext. The latest round also saw participation from renowned angels like Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Kunal Shah (CRED), Jiten Gupta (Jupiter), Amrish Rau (Pine Labs), Neeraj Arora (HalloApp), Nitin Gupta (Uni Cards), Ankit Tomar (Bizongo), SayaliKaranjkar (PaySense) and Krishnan Menon (BukuKas), along with 9Unicorns and Whiteboard Capital.