Sometimes, interesting things catch your eye. And then, first you rub your eyes and then pinch yourself. Later, you’d think how stupid you are not to think about the idea yourself. Finally, you admire the founders for their execution. Chatvana – founded by Jaihari Loganathan and Jeelani Syed does exactly that to you. The concept is fairly simple – Connect the searchers with the available suppliers instantly. Take a look at their introduction video here:
They both have decades of experience in developing networking systems software for public companies as well as successful startups. Also have worked together very well in a high pressure setting – delivering a industry leading data center solution. After doing a couple of searches, I decided it is time to talk to Jaihari to find out more. The founders finished their idea conception by November 2011. They filed for US Provisional patent in Jan 2012 and full patent in Jan 2013. The same month, Chatvana.com went live for a test run with friends and family. The time from Feb to April was spent on making feature adjustments based on feedback and soft(free) marketing. Read on to know more about the exciting journey:
Q. The idea of using Chat to generate real time leads is awesome. Tell us the story so far.
Having worked on a search related startup idea before, we have been pondering this:
[pullquote align=”right”]If google can satisfy all search needs, then by definition forums, Quora, StackExchange should not exist. Instead they do and actually flourish.[/pullquote]If google can satisfy all search needs, then by definition forums, Quora, StackExchange should not exist. Instead they do and actually flourish. They satisfy the need to interact and ask personalized or unique questions. In addition we found that passive search results lead you to pogo stick between various sites., especially if you are not already conversant with the topic you are looking for.
After spending more than a decade in silicon valley for high pressure networking startups, we decided to move to India. In trying to solve the above problem, Chatvana was born. Our expertise in large scale distributed systems and networking protocols provided leverage in coming up with a scalable solution. We are now trying to crack the non technical side of the problem – essentially bootstrapping a two sided market.
Q. What countries is Chatvana serving currently? When I type Hyderabad – it cannot find anything.
We are doing pilot efforts right now in focused markets so as to get the best bang for our investment dollars. We are in the initial stages of assimilating critical mass of providers in select verticals.
Q. Tell us about the investments. How does Chatvana plan to make money?
Chatvana has been self funded so far, spent mostly towards development. For end users, Chatvana will always remain free. For businesses, we are leaning toward subscription. We are also looking into utilizing the tremendous potential in the aggregate de-personalized data that we expect to get out of chat content.
Q. What is the USP of Chatvana when compared with other chatting services out there?
[pullquote]We create chatrooms exclusively to address your query. We are NOT a regular Chat service provider.[/pullquote]We create chatrooms exclusively to address your query. We are NOT a regular Chat service provider Seriously though, we have all had moments in our lives when interacting with someone about a article or literature throws great clarity and insight. Chatvana is to satisfy that innate need to interact. It offers a complementary solution when you pogo stick for information across passive search results.
Q. What are the future plans for Chatvana?
The mission for Chatvana is to be_the_ place to get a) instant b) interactive c) quality information on anything you are looking for. Think of a chat button next to google search box.
Q. Any advise you would like to give to young entrepreneurs?
I would like to wait for an entrepreneurial success before I feel qualified to advise. Having said that, I think one of the qualities that is essential is to be BORED – BORED of anything routine and un-challenging.
Q. What do we think of Chatvana?
First things first: If you go to Google to search for something and get connected to human instead of results surrounded by plethora of advertisements, it’s awesome. The platform will definitely be extremely useful for businesses to get real time leads. As the platform provides the searcher with list of online suppliers at the moment of search, there is always a possibility that the best offline supplier is being missed out. One of the impressive features is public listing of chats, which serves as a reference for people searching the same thing. They have a widget option, which allows any website to have this feature. The service is currently in Beta and we hope to see them launching soon. Services like Chatvana get better with time, just like Google. More people search which in turn can get more suppliers to serve them.
What do you think of this innovative service? Do let us know in the comments.