“Everyone in the world wants an assistant, and Haptik combines the current wave of on-demand economy + the labour advantage in India + automation using machine learning to finally provide an assistant that actually gets things done. We are the first assistant of this kind in the world.”
Connect with Haptik
The Haptik Story
Haptik is a mobile personal assistant. The easy-to-use app provides cosumers with quick access to information and help with various products and services, ranging from flight check-ins and finding mobile plans, to restaurant reservations. The company was founded in 2013 when Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev questioned the need for voice-based customer service in an era of fast text messaging and online help. The name Haptik was derived from the German word happik, which means non-verbal freedom.
In Conversation with Aakrit
Recipe for success
Four things actually: perseverance, your team, your advisors and the money you are able to raise.
Remember, no idea is a bad idea. It really comes down to how much you are willing to bet on it to make it go somewhere. Yes, you need a huge amount of luck, but if you try hard enough, things will happen.
As a founder, your primary goal is not actually to build the best product or raise a bunch of money. It’s about getting the best people. A company is nothing without its people, and you should consider yourself head of human resources.
Every startup faces challenges. There will be days when all hell breaks loose and you won’t know what to do. During this time, having a sound team of advisors/mentors/confidantes will go a long way in helping you settle down. They don’t need to be marquee celebrity founders; as long as it’s someone who understands you and is willing to listen, that’s all you need.
And of course, no company can be built without capital. Plan ahead to raise money. Raise money all the time. Never turn down capital. You never know when you may need it!
Your unique idea
Haptik is a mobile messaging assistant. Everyone in the world wants an assistant, and Haptik combines the current wave of on-demand economy + the labour advantage in India + automation using machine-based learning to finally provide an assistant that actually gets things done.
We are the first assistant of this kind in the world.
Partnership with Kalaari
When we were raising our seed funding, we had term sheets from three funds. We knew Kalaari the least. But Rajesh and the team made us very comfortable from day one, and there was a synergy in how we wanted to build out this business. And in retrospect, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Kalaari are true entrepreneur-backers, and their belief in the founder’s vision is unparalleled. They are willing to help whenever needed, and at the same time let the founders get on with the business without unnecessary interference. They are the most ethical venture capitalists I have come across in my career, and I hope to carry this relationship forward throughout my life.
Your first meeting
It was at an event organized by YourStory in Mumbai where they had Kalaari meet startups one on one. I didn’t know much about Kalaari before this, nor did I know Rajesh. The discussion was a pitch, which I thought went okay, but we were talking to multiple investors at the time and I left that room thinking not much was going to come out of it. After a few weeks, I got a call from Rajesh, asking us to come down to Bangalore to present to the partnership. The funny thing is, initially I told him no because we already had two term sheets and I didn’t want to be confused further. Honestly, I was just tired of the fundraising process and wanted to get the money in and get on with the business. However, he pushed me, saying that they had gone to great lengths to get this partnership meeting organized. So, we decided that to maintain a cordial relationship I should go down and pitch. I wasn’t expecting anything to come out of it. I thought at the end of the pitch they would ask for more details and the process would keep going. But Rajesh said they would get a term sheet to us by the end of the day! And that’s how the relationship began.