Following its $100 million fundraise, part of an extended Series A in 2018-19, Deskera has seen tremendous business and talent momentum in the last twelve months, particularly in Southeast Asia and India.
A new normal accelerated by the outbreak of COVID-19 that forced global economies into various states of lockdowns and movement control restrictions have proved to be the biggest proof of concept for cloud computing, according to Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera. The company, a global leader in cloud technology, has seen increased business momentum across its key markets since the outbreak, especially in the adoption of its new super business app that was launched in January 2020.
Deskera launched the free full-feature mobile business app to help SMEs run every facet of their business seamlessly – from Accounting, Inventory, Attendance, Expenses to Tax Management. The app was fully built in-house, underlining the strength of its engineering team. The app also recently earned the distinction of a Webby Honoree, recognised by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
This increased business momentum also coincides with a shift in its go-to-market model from a pure channel sales model to a dual one, combined with a self-service model via the mobile app and the website. Over the last twelve months, Deskera has experienced a YoY user acquisition run rate, faster than the average market growth rate. The company has also doubled its headcount in Singapore during this period.
“With changing market dynamics, we felt the need to change too – to keep growing, to continue to provide positive customer experiences and to stay business relevant with a shift in our business model. For years now, everyone has spoken about how markets such as India and Southeast Asia leapfrogged the PC revolution to the mobile era. But it was interesting that no one thought deeply enough about providing small and medium-sized businesses with the freedom to run their businesses on the mobile. That is the paradigm shift that we are attempting to address – to empower SMEs to run their business on the mobile, leveraging the cloud, from anywhere in the world. The current global health situation has only accelerated their digital transformation journey”, said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera.
The new business app helps provide personalised solutions, enable continuous updates and allow increased flexibility to SMEs in mobile-first economies such as India and Southeast Asia. Since the soft launch of the app in January this year, there has been phenomenal uptake for the app – with downloads exceeding 300,000. There has also been an exponential spike in downloads since lockdowns and movement restrictions were enforced in several economies, due to the escalating nature of COVID-19.
Uncertainties in the business environment, as a result of these restrictions, have disrupted businesses globally. SMEs, especially, are struggling to stay afloat despite fiscal measures announced by most countries. SMEs account for between 89% and 99% of all establishments in the Southeast Asia region while 95% in India, employing about 40% of the country’s total workforce. Digitisation was never a core business focus for most of these organisations. Also, access and costs were a strong deterrent. However, there is now a visible shift towards adopting technology to battle the economic effects of the pandemic.
“The burden of recovery from COVID-19 should not be carried by SMEs alone. We must come together to mobilise resources to ensure that the new normal of business comes from an ethic that values collaboration, mutual aid, resourcefulness and digitisation. SMEs need to continue to adopt digital practices and tools that will enable them to future-proof their competitive advantage. This current period has proved to be the biggest proof of concept for cloud-based technologies ”, he added.
Through the free business app offering, Deskera is enabling SMEs to innovate and build digital capabilities on the back of an increasingly uncertain external environment. With an easy registration process and state-of-the-art encryption and cloud storage, the super business app is built to enable seamless business operations on the mobile. Since the launch of the mobile app, Deskera has been onboarding close to 70,000 – 80,000 a month, making it one of the fastest growing apps in the region for the Invoices, Taxes & Accounting categories.
In 2018-19, Deskera raised over $100m in an extended Series A round from investors: Jungle Ventures, Cisco Investments, Tembusu Partners, Susquehanna International Group and Innoven Capital. The company’s primary focus for 2020 will be to increase market share through continued online marketing efforts, broader efforts in user acquisition and platform improvements.