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MEET AREA 31 STARTUP: NINJAMAILS

Escrito el 28 abril 2016 por entrepreneurship en economía y empresa

Meet Ninjamails from Area 31, the startup that enables its users to contact anyone from any company without prior knowledge of their contact details! 

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How did everything start?
In our previous startups, my partners and I spent a lot of time trying to find online contact details of the companies we wanted to work with. It was very inefficient and most of the time we ended up sending the emails to an info@blablabla.com that almost never reached the decision maker of the company. So commenting on a afterwork we decided to join forces to see if it was possible to automate and improve this process. At first it was an internal tool we used for our projects, but then began to ask other startups access to and realized that all companies of all sizes have the same problem.

What is your business model
Our business model is based on Pay per use, in this case by email sent.

Has the concept evolved since your first idea?
When we started four months ago, our idea was based on Mail Predictor, (a statistical tool). In our “customer discovery process” many companies asked us to use it, plus we could help them retrain their databases, as we have the ability to update contact bases of their former clients and current. Here it is where the concept ends evolving to what is now Ninjamails. We do all the process with an email manager as Gmail (but without the recipient address), we send the email and offer tracking of it.

What is unique about your business, and different from your competitors? Ninjamails allows you to contact anyone of any company, without prior knowledge of their contact details. The only thing you need to know about that person is his name and the company for which he works. We also offer tracking of emails with tips as “sent”, “received” or “opened”. Ninjamails goes far beyond databases of emails, since it allows to contact the decision maker.

What were some of the biggest lessons that has impacted the way that you work? What was the lesson, and what was it like before and after? We have been inspired by the Lean Startup methodology as well as Agilismo, both well understood and applied to the business, especially for finding market niches. We believe that both represent an evolutionary leap in the enterprise system and usually apply them in our daily decisions.

How did you develop key partnerships? Given the difficulty for startups and SMEs to find decision makers, both have been our target since the beginning. This is why we offer our services through Accelerators and coworking, which has so far worked very well.

What was your biggest mistake? Every day we face what you play, but our biggest mistake was not being more ambitious. In any case, the project promoters were already linked in some way to “the startup ecosystem” , which is an advantage when facing difficult times. ¡Even so ninjas never fail!

What was unexpected? The big growth we have experienced since the day we started. We have witnessed a great virality of our service, plus a large increase in registered users. What has surprised us is that such users, are mostly large companies investors or executives of marketing and human resources.

What would you have done differently? Honestly we wouldn’t have changed anything. We are very happy with everything he have achieved and the way in which we have done it.

Do you always thought that you wanted to become an entrepreneur? Yes. We have always had a vocation to be entrepreneurs, in fact Ninjamails founders have already participated in other projects. We wanted to have our own company, so we started in other startups to gain experience and be able to develop our own projects.

In one word, your life being an entrepreneur: Tenacity
Most important features to have in order to become an entrepreneur: Perseverance and intelligence, but above it all, motivation and be sure of what you want to do. The important thing is to pursue your dream until you get it.

One piece of advice for someone that is just starting: That in every decision be guided by instinct even if he’s not 100% sure, because innovation and entrepreneurship are born from not doing the same as the rest.

Do you intend to expand soon? Today the tool is optimized for Spain, but in the short – medium term, our goal is to include the changes in the system that allow us to scale its functionality and move our service to other countries. In fact we have passed the first round of Accelerators programs in India, Chile and Korea to develop our services and adapt to those countries.

Do you count with external founding? Do you believe that it is possible to start with little or no money? No, the only funding is from our customers. Yes. We think it is possible since we started with little money, about 1500€ So far we have financed ourselves and the best way a startup can be funded, which is with its customers resources.

The thing that motivates you the most about your project: The fact of changing how professionals communicate with one another. We love the idea that users can communicate with anyone without knowing their contact details. We see Ninjamails as a communication system between professionals where name and surname prevail instead of email.

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself? I would tell us to give up on our complex, seek to create something great with the algorithm we have and that our greatest successes are where we are not looking. In short, it would be look broadmindedness from the beginning. I would also encourage us to take awareness that the team is even more important than what we think, in fact, the team is everything.

 

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