Satish, based at Club Workspace London Bridge, has been in the startup business for over a decade and is now embarking on his latest venture. Typeless, a contact book for teams and companies, has just raised a seven-figure sum in its first funding round.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
I’m Satish. I am a co-founder and team member at Typeless. I was previously Chief Products Officer and co-founder at AdJug until it was acquired by Dentsu in 2012. Prior to that, I have been a founder or founding team member at Nixxie.com (acquired 2007), Espotting (acquired 2004), toothpick.com and bondable.com.
I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire working career. I love selling but I know enough about technology, fundraising, finance, marketing, operations and legals to make sure the trains run on time or to make a mess of things. I’m considered a specialist on internet advertising, although I have no idea how that came to be – I seem to say stuff that some people claim to find profoundly meaningful on the topic. Flaunt it!
Pitch your business in a sentence
Typeless is a contact book for teams and companies.
I have a very pronounced hatred for these 'give me an elevator pitch' questions. Typeless is a big part of my life; it feels wrong to distil it to a sentence. There isn’t a person alive who could describe their dad to me in eight words or fewer and then think that I got a pretty good idea of who he is. Why do that with your business?
Drop by and talk to me, let me buy you a drink and tell you why I gave up the life I had to pursue this dream. The best things are discovered slowly and not thrown in your face in a sentence.
Give us a potted history of Typeless
We started out as bondable.com, which was an integration platform for cloud apps. We built an amazing platform and scaled to 300-plus users. But we weren’t growing fast enough and there was a danger that we were going to build a medium-size business. That scared the living sh*t out of us and so we decided to pivot to solve a problem that many people were talking about – contacts.
Buckle up, here comes a pitch shamelessly disguised as an answer to the question...
Typeless helps you unify the contacts stored in different services such as Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Facebook, and so on, into a single cloud-based contact book. It de-duplicates and merges those contacts.
We help teams to collaborate through secure, permission-based contact sharing. Using very powerful search tools your colleagues can search your contacts and request to get the contact details of anyone you know and vice versa. We’ve been implemented in companies where we have scaled a person’s contact book overnight from around 1,000 contacts to 200,000 contacts. Now, that is cool.
We help companies retain their business contacts. As staff come and go within the business, Typeless builds up a repository of contact information that can be used by the business long after someone has left.
Aaaaand.. relax. It’s over. Well done for reading this far.
Have you ever sought outside funding?
We raised a seven-figure seed funding round from Balderton Capital, Notion Capital, Toby Coppel, Neil Hutchinson, Shakil Khan, Bruno Bowden, Clive Jacobs, Rene Rechtman and others.
We’re always looking for money, so if you want to stop by and give us a tenner… we’ll take it straight down to Nando's. I travel the world with my passport and my Nando's card.
Where do you see your business in a year's time? In three years’ time?
One year from now, I see us having moved significantly on from where we are. We would have 80–140 customers. We may well be starting the process of raising an A round. But I see us still very much struggling with the daily stresses of startup life.
In three years, I hope that we have changed the lives of our customers and the people who work for us, for the better. I hope we build a happy company, a great place to work and a cool product to use. Personally, I hope I have made many new friends at or through work and have learnt a lot along the way.
What have been the most successful ways you've marketed Typeless?
Since we are just getting out of the gate, it’s mostly been through talking to people and strong-arming them into using the product (which they then love). At this stage of our business, it is important to do unscalable things. Once we get on top of trigger points for customers, we can expand into search (paid and organic), display ads, growth hacks and other engagement levers.
What are your top tips for making useful contacts?
Use Typeless. Seriously, you will love it. If you don’t, your money back. Oh wait… it’s free!
Who would you ask (dead or alive) to be a dream member on your board of directors?
No one. I am on my own journey and no lesson has taught me better than my own mistakes. Board meetings can also be tiresome affairs in any case. If I was to say Larry Page, then you can be sure that Larry is too busy running Google to care about my startup. Larry and I are both pursuing our passions with different levels of financial success but equal measures of purpose, fulfilment and happiness.
Where were you before? Why did you decide to move into a co-working space? And what's the best thing about co-working?
We worked out of Balderton Capital’s offices for a year. We moved into the co-working space mainly because it was easy for my co-founder and me to get to. We were also told there would be free beer on tap. That last bit turned out not to be true, but we’re happy nonetheless.
The flexibility to add people as you grow and get competitively priced offices without being bound into three- to five-year leases is a great thing. Go CWS and bring in the free beer!
Find out more about Typeless. Bombard Satish on Twitter @SatishJayakumar.
Typeless is just one of the great businesses based at Club. Keep up to date with all the latest news and events on Twitter at @clubworkspace. Club Workspace is London's most innovative and exciting network of startups and SMEs. Come and join us.