Author Archive for Suhas

Online vouchers – SaaS approach

Recently I was approached by some people who were interested in developing a software for the administration of their daily office work. They wanted it really cheap. Now these are the poeple who started using computers at their workplace recently. Now they have realized that a software can give them some advantage in the competition. In the coming years, many such small businesses would be willing to have such small and cheap software for their businesses. Most of these businesses would essentially be needing a software which can manage their bills/vouchers and provide a facility to all the accounting/end-of-day-settlement for their cash collection. Given the evolving nature of SaaS model and that avaialability of cheap softwares that SaaS model leads to, online voucher management system should be an attractive venture of near future.

After doing some research I could find that their are very few players in this line of bisiness. I’m not very sure of the size of the marketwe can see in future for such a busines but it would definitely be huge.

Has anyone here done any market research in this particular segment? Anyone on this forum has even a wild guess on what would be the size of such a market?

Designing/Developing a payment gateway

I’m not sure if I’m posting this piece in a correct section or not. Let me know if it happens to land into wrong section.

Recently I looking for some good and cheap payment gateway vendors, for my small e-commerce application. The target client base is all Indian and currency would be all INR. I ran into issues like – If I get services of vendors based out of US, then I save on cost involved, but then I have to deal with only credit cards. And If I want to support internet banking and debit card usage then I have to use the vendor services available in India, which is quite costly.

From here I started thinking of building my own payment gateway and I was stuck up soon with so many hurdles in my way. I don’t know how to develop a payment gateway, the technologies involved, the kind of logistics required, how to get the banks on board for online banking and all. I’m hoping to get some directions from all the experienced people here on VentureWoods.

Thanks,
Suhas

Google joins band of angels

This news appeared in toda’s Business Standard. May be of interest to people here.

Google joins hands with Band of Angels
Raghuvir Badrinath / Bangalore July 25, 2007

Google Inc, the $-10 billion Internet major, is set to lead the angel investing scenario in India.

The company, which has been acquiring mature companies across the world, is doing something different in India — taking the angel investing route in an effort to tap ideas and talent pool.

Google, which has become synonymous to web search, has recently come on board as an institutional member at Band of Angels (BoA) in India, the Indian set-up of a group of entrepreneurs who invest in companies which are germinating.

Said Alok Mittal, who is an active member of BoA and is also leading Canaan Partners, an early stage VC fund in India: “Google has signed up as an institutional member recently. There is a limit till which each angel can invest in a company. Beyond that, an institutional member can co-invest with any angel if it finds the idea or the company interesting.” Google could not be reached for comment.

This move by Google affirms that innovation has started flowering in India and it is worthwhile taking strategic bets on it. Band of Angels consists of some of the best-known technology entrepreneurs like Pramod Bhasin, Raman Roy and Jerry Rao, besides around 50 others, who have led their respective companies to great heights.

“Google, by joining BoA is making a statement which cannot be ignored. It is high time VC funds seriously start investing in seed-stage companies in India, which is the actual reason why Silicon Valley is what it is today,” an industry analyst said.

In addition to being an active direct investor in companies, Google has also invested in three early-stage funds — Seed Fund, Erasmic Fund and VentureEast TeNet Fund in India.

Google’s decision comes in the wake of NS Raghavan, co-founder of Infosys, going institutional by announcing a $35-million fund for early stage companies. “Various pieces are falling into place. It’s still not that rosy, but we are getting there,” the analyst said.

24X7 Study Portal for Management Entrance Studies

I have been thinking on this idea for quite a some time now. It would be good to have this idea discussed over here.

The plan is to have the study material for management entrance exams (like CAT/GMAT) made available through some software, both online and offline. If we look at the candidates who take these exams, most of them come from the IT background and spend most of their time in front of computers. These candidates are always on lookout online for something to study . But they need to wade through the clutter of websites to reach the properly aligned study material. Other thing is even if the material is found online its really not put up in an user-friendly manner. They just get to read the problems and their answers. And for the candidates of GMAT having the study material on computers is very important thing as the exam that they finally take is on a computer.

For the success of this idea I think we need a few things mentioned below

1. Good study material in soft format
2. A software that is user-friendly, intuitive and can give the feeling of a virtual class-room. (e.g. a facility like scratch pad)
3. Pricing strategy that attracts most of the IT professional to go for the service.

I would be grateful to hear your suggestions, advices and doubts.

Suhas