Cube26 raises Rs. 50 crores funds from Flipkart and Tiger Global Management

Cube26 raises Rs. 50 crores funds from Flipkart and Tiger
Global Management
After raising significant amount of funds from Tiger Global Management a few days back, leader of user interface revolution, Cube 26 raised funds from e-commerce giant Flipkart today. The company raised capital of Rs.50 crores in the seed round of funding collectively from both the investors.

The India based technology innovation focussed company, popularly known for its customized Android experience and gesture technology like “Blink to Capture” and “Look Away to Pause” for Panasonic and Micromax, respectively, will employ the funding for business expansion and the development of new technologies.

The company will also launch its new line of utility products to capture the IoT space this November.

Saurav Kumar, CEO and co-founder remembers the successes and the failures of his team in chat with Business Insider India.

How has your journey been so far?

The group was working at various places like Yahoo!, Cisco, Adobe when we came together to build a start-up. You are at the valley and every other day a start-up was being born. That inspires you to build your own business too.

According to a research by Cisco, the number of smartphones grew by 54 percent in 2014 to 140 million, and the number of smartphones will grow 4.7-fold between 2014 and 2019 to a total of 651 million.

We were tech folks and hence we thought “Can we leverage this power?”

Hence we started Cube 26 to make the devices more human friendly. We first developed a video sensor which is now popularly known as “Look Away to Pause”. If you are watching a video and someone comes in and you look away, the phone knows you are no longer watching the video and it is paused. This was a simple product which was launched in Micromax android phones. Samsung Galaxy uses it now too.

After a while we realised the potential of utility apps. If the app serves a purpose, the users will use it more. Hence, we started taking apps and added functionalities to it. Like, if you take your messaging app, you have lot of spam messages and notifications coming in. The simple things like spam filters become a utility for you.

We started building monetisation apps as well like the local playstores where brands can acquire user customers. We did campaigns for Flipkart, Myntra, ZO rooms, Quickr. These started generating revenues for both the companies as well as the OEMs who were making shares out of these things.

What are the challenges you faced when you first started the venture in India?

When we started, we were purely tech guys and we had to build products that had to be scaled. So the first challenge was to understand the products that people usually buy.

Next was to identify the true market for your product.

The third challenge was raising capital.

What was your first failure?

In the first year we applied “Look Away to Pause” to the ad industry in US to help brands understand how their advertisements are recognised by users and what the market is. We could not scale that as ad industry is a slow moving industry. This taught us that identifying the true market is extremely essential to scale the company and the product.

What are your future initiatives?

Currently, we are focusing on ecommerce ecosystem and we are integrating it back in the app. Like, if you have a flight to catch you add this in your calendar. Prior to an hour to your flight, Ola or Uber would send you notifications about the availability and other details of cabs. If you have to catch a cab in just five minutes, certainly you would not look at this service as an advertisement; it becomes a utility in itself.

We are also launching our iota category soon with a whole new innovative IoT products which would be “need to have products” and not “good to have products”.

(Image credits: text100)