Interview With Krishnakant Singh
Describe your product or service:
“Voicera gives lifelike audio to articles and blogs which increases user engagement and retention.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Removing language and literacy barriers to knowledge by developing a full stack 'voice as a service' platform for audio and voice.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Our team consists of six people including our mentor (who is also our Angel Investor). Currently, we two co-founders are working full time on this while [the] other three are part-time helping us with Operations. Arbob (co-founder: handles the Tech ) & Krishnakant (co-founder: handles the marketing).”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“Well, we did not intend to start it as a startup. We read a lot and what we can't read we use to bookmark. But we rarely used to read those bookmarked content. As a result, it used to get piled up, giving us the 'Unread Guilt factor.' We have limited time out of 24 hours to stick to the screen, so we thought of coming up with a solution where we can consume content on the go without sticking to the screen. And that too in an engaging way, that's how we came up with Voicera. But since its launch on Product Hunt, we got a massive response making us No. 2 'Product of the Day.' Then various micro-investors and individuals started approaching us to buy it. So, seeing this and the massive response from users, we dug deep into it and started researching into the market and what kind of problem we can solve with it. Henceforth, we decided to go with it. It's barely been 3.5 months, but the response from users is massive and supportive, helping us to grow our Voicera family to 850+ users, converting 1.8 million characters and our voices listened more than 50,000 times (all 100% organic, not spent a dime on marketing).”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“Well, we had previous experience of running startups. So, it was not that hard, frankly. Since our vision is to revolutionize content consumption and make it engaging with a natural voice. We thought of it as a new era of voice — Voicera.
Other names we considered — BlogTalk [and] Talker-tap.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Not always, I guess. But, we used to talk a lot about creating and impacting lives around us by doing or building something. [I] tried my hand on jobs, freelancing, and everything else, not feeling satisfied at the end. The credit of my inclination towards entrepreneurship goes significantly to Malcolm and the book he wrote on Steve Jobs. That book made me rigid on my decision of going along on this roller-coaster ride of startup journey.”
Did you encounter any roadblocks when launching your startup? If so, what were they and what did you do to solve them?
“Well, at different stages of our life, we have encountered so many road-blocks and failures that we have lost count [of them]. With Voicera, in the initial days, it was about whether to go full time with this or not. When you decide to bet everything on an idea, and if it goes [south], you [remain] exactly where you started. Especially for people like us who come from a middle-class background without any connection or network in the particular media space. And failing n no of times, losing count of it. But our users helped us make our decision to stick to it to make it work.”
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“Our target market is as follows according to the priority which goes in descending order:
- News and media house.
- Startups that publish high volumes of content
- Healthcare, finance, business-related companies.
- Individual bloggers”
What's your marketing strategy?
“It's broad making use of many marketing and distribution channels that we have curated our GTM around.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Number of times articles listened”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“‘Zero to One’”
“‘Beer Biceps’ and ‘Kunal Shah’ (CRED — unicorn company founder).”
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
“There are many, but we tend to jump on better technologies when we get one.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“No one talks about the dark days of entrepreneurship — that it's the most difficult profession one can get into without any security and surety.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“To be very frank, we don't have a personal life. We have dedicated everything to the startup.”
What is a strategy you use to stay productive and focused?
“Lots of book reading.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Waking up earlier. To get ahead of the world and to inculcate laser-focused discipline.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“Teacher. It taught me there's much more than money to strive for.”