The Internet has been around for over two decades but we still struggle to find support for services we use. We don’t like to wait on the phone and listen to that painful call center music, or sift through endless FAQs. It should be as easy as sending a message, and chatting directly with a real person. Like SMS. Or, given its 2014, like WhatsApp. “Thus Haptik was born out of a personal need when we realized we were using text communication more than any other application on our phones, but still had to use voice for brands and services we use. We also realized that it’s generally a pain to find any information related to such companies, and would like to be more in the loop on their products,” say the founders Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev.
The idea was discussed in 2012, at a conference on mobile apps when Harish Anand Thilakan (now the Creative Head and MD at Haptik) came up to Aakrit proposing the idea of an app where brands could easily communicate with users. Once the basic version of Haptik was ready, Aakrit and Swapan quit their jobs to start the company in Aug 2013. They have offices in Mumbai and San Francisco, with most of the team currently in Mumbai.
No company in the world is doing customer support and help over mobile messaging in one single app . “We have a very simple premise: download Haptik and never spend time searching for complex information about these companies. Just send a message, and you get a response immediately. That is a huge differentiation with anything else out there and this is driving people to use the app,” says Harish. They want to make sure that everyone has a great experience using the product.
One can download the app here and get the best of customer services from over 170 companies instantly.
“Our technology stack is based on Python/Django, and mobile native iOS and Android. We are also working on basic NLP/machine learning to improve answer efficiency,” says Swapna, who also created the ‘Snake Classic’ app in 2010. The team of 17 people handles everything from marketing to technology and are currently processing about 100,000 messages/month. Their target is to take this to 1m messages/month within 3 months, and 5m messages/month by the end of this year. “We are aggressively hiring on our expert staff both in Mumbai and Chennai. We are also looking to expand on engineering, product development and sales,” adds Swapna. They plan to start experimenting with foreign markets by the end of this year.
They are currently fully bootstrapped but in the process of raising external financing. As a message for future entrepreneurs, Aakrit says, “Do something only because you have an idea you cannot stop thinking about, a great founding team to go do it with, and some validation from the market that it will work. Do not do it because it’s ‘cool’ or to ‘make money’.”