Riva's messaging app Flock to compete with Skype, Yammer and Slack
Flock is expected to be launched across platforms like iOS, Android, Windows PC, Mac and Linux.
“While everyone seems to be focused on consumer messaging, there are very few companies innovating in this space. Email does not allow for a dialogue, it is slow, bulky, takes time to compose, send, receive replies, etc,” said 34-year-old Turakhia, who started Directi in 1998 when he was still a teenager and bootstrapped the business. Turakhia had agreed to sell Directi’s businesses like BigRock and Resellerclub to Nasdaq-listed Endurance International Group for over Rs 600 crore in August last year.
Flock is expected to be launched across platforms like iOS, Android, Windows PC, Mac and Linux. The application will be free for unlimited users. It allows employees to sign in using their work email and syncs the entire office directory to every employee’s device. It will also have features like file and image sharing, group chats, secure encrypted messaging and ability to bring clients into your conversations.
Besides Flock, Riva has also launched a low cost international calling application called Ringo, which is not yet available in India. Part of Riva’s monetisation strategy will be to charge Flock customers if they want to use Ringo’s services on the platform. “As we acquire millions of subscribers for it, we can use that base to market other products and services of Riva, such as Ringo. We are planning several such services in the next few years, which will provide a revenue stream,” said Turakhia.
There are also other companies that have ventured into this segment. Webaroo, the mobile messaging company behind SMSGupShup, launched Teamchat earlier this year to cater to business, which has found traction with clients like HDFC, Bharti AXA, Diageo and Emirates Holdings.
“The reason the business of enterprise chat applications is becoming very interesting is that large and small organisations are realising that employees are more productive when using a mobile first, WhatsApp-like communication experience, that is also enterprise friendly,” said Ravi Sundarajan, COO at Webaroo.
There are also overseas players such as Cotap, Campfire, TigerText and Fleep that are targeting the enterprise messaging market and garnering investor interest. While Tigertext, which nabbed $21 million in funding this year, focuses on secure and encrypted messages, Cotap, founded by former Yammer executives, raised $10 million.