We give below excerpts from an interview with Mayank Pokharna:
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
We were running a successful bootstrapped co-living startup called [simplyguest.com] since 2015. We were growing at 10-15% m-o-m and had built a pretty successful business. Before the pandemic hit, we managed around 500 tenants under our brand and clocked almost $1mn ARR.
With pandemic came reverse migration to hometowns, and our tenants also started leaving. It was around the same time someone reached out to us after reading [blog.simplyguest.com]. Subbu (co-founder) had developed a strong following through his articles discussing the intricacies of running distributed property management using technology, and this was the starting point. These were a group of owners, who wanted to use our software, especially the features that we had articulated in the blog. That was a eureka moment for us. They liked what we had built and were very passionate about it. This was April 2020; it was an inflection point. We were still running SimplyGuest, but we could see cracks in the economy due to COVID-19. The lockdowns never seemed to end. We took a leap of faith and started working on a SaaS.
We wanted to offer our innovations to a larger audience to manage their rental portfolios and see how they could benefit from them. JumboTiger takes a modular approach to solve key problems that the operators and property managers face. Online Booking Management, Tenant Management, Documentation & Regulation Management, Tickets/ Incident Management, Collaboration, Flexible Invoicing & Payments System, Expense Management, Marketing/ SEO Tools, community building, and much more can be done on JumboTiger.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Prior to starting SimplyGuest, I worked with Cuemath and Practo in Bangalore. They are prominent players in online Math education and Healthcare respectively. I helped bring operational efficiency during hyper-growth.
Where is your startup based? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
JumboTiger was started in Bangalore in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted too many things. We all work remotely now. We don’t plan to have a single head-office. We plan to remain remote-first and travel all around the world; stay in interesting coliving places and mix coworking with coliving. It also gives us an opportunity to understand how coliving spaces operate, how we can learn from them and build those into JumboTiger. I have noticed coliving business practices vary from country to country. What better way to understand it than living in those?
Who are your competitors?
There are many interesting companies in this space. At the top of the line, there is RealPage, Yardi, and MRI, while AppFolio and Entrata and Rent Manager in the middle and the likes of Buildium, Rentec Direct, TenantCloud, Knock CRM, Lively, ResMan, ResHarmonics, etc make up the rest. All these companies started with a small set of features and then either built the remaining features incrementally or integrate with other tools to provide additional features like inspections, help desk, chatbots, etc.
What does JumboTiger bring in that could make it a benchmark? What are technology initiatives and innovations that are the USP of JumboTiger?
The customer has to pay for all these additional tools which are hidden. But the bigger problem is not money. The patched-up solution doesn’t actually solve the problem. Now your data is spread across multiple software tools and you have no way of getting a holistic view of your property data. As a result, you can’t automate your business. A simple example is, assume your customer sends an email complaining about a non-working appliance. He could as well use Slack, or Chatbot or just send you a WhatsApp message. The data related to the appliance might be stored in your PMS while the complaint is received by a help-desk software or a chatbot which doesn’t have any information about the appliance that needs repair. It has some basic info about your customer but not deep enough knowledge to give you insights into the problem. As a business owner, you want to respond immediately to the customer saying something relevant instead of a canned response. The existing solutions are half-baked solution.
JumboTiger solves this problem. You don’t need additional tools to run the core parts of your business. It provides you a chatbot, an omnichannel help-desk, a multi-channel chatroom, an inspection toolkit, a robust Property Management System, and many more tools that are very specific to property management and coliving.
You don’t have to spend time and money doing integrations and waste your precious resources. Since all the data and the context required to arrive at a decision sits in the same database it's super-fast. Our chatbot understands you want a list of tenants when you say #tenants anywhere in your conversation and gives it to you immediately. No integration is necessary. JumboTiger has the entire product on the same technology that runs telecom networks and WhatsApp. This also makes it a perfect companion for IOT integration.
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