Founded four years ago by four college friends, the Kochi-based start-up Profoundis Labs has grown exponentially over the years. Now, with the Denver-based FullContact taking over their company for an undisclosed amount, it is a proud moment for those four soulmates who dared to dream big.
Though the four belonged to the same BTech batch at the College of Engineering in Chengannur, they studied different courses. While Arjun R. Pillai and Nithin Sam Oommen chose Electronics and Communication, Anoop Thomas and Jofin Joseph opted for Computer Science.
They were hardworking and so passionate about technology. While studying, they used to do part-time web designing jobs to earn extra pocket money. They had also thought about launching a joint company after passing out. After completing the course in 2010, Arjun and Jofin joined Infosys, while Anoop and Nithin took up jobs in companies based in Hyderabad and Kochi respectively.
After two years, they made up their mind to band together again to follow their passion, sacrificing a good salary and a secure job. Soon, they quit their jobs and headed to Kochi to establish Profoundis Labs in June 2012 at the Startup Village in Kinfra High Tech Park, Kalamassery. The move was fraught with considerable risks, as they saw their monthly salary dropping from a decent Rs 30,000 to a mere Rs 3,000.
The initial investment was Rs 1.20 lakh, with each of them contributing Rs 30,000. Nithin had to pledge his mother’s ornaments with a local bank to ‘raise’ the capital. Their first product was ‘Tips’, a client driven analytics tool chain, which came a cropper. It was followed by ‘Emotion’, an inbound marketing tools for companies. The turning point in their career came when Profoundis got selected for the prestigious Microsoft Accelerator Programme held in Bengaluru in March 2013.
During the course of the event, they realized that there were about 300 products similar to their ‘Emotion’ and took a painful decision to abandon their second child. Their third product was ‘iTestify’, a testimonial management platform targeting online businesses. The program could find some takers initially, but it too died a premature death in just about 10 months.
On February 4, 2014, Profoundis Labs launched their fourth product, Vibe a smart sales tool which aggregates, curates and delivers inside information and intelligence about prospective customers. Vibe became a hot topic of discussion on Product Hunt, an online community that caters to the tech product fanatics, after David Ambrose, a well-known Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist tweeted about the innovative app. Soon, many of the major tech sites and blogs started talking about Vibe (http://vibeapp.co) and its impressive features.
Though there are many similar software applications, Vibe makes search more precise and effective than its competitors, says Arjun. Today, Profoundis Labs has 72 employees. Vibe is being used by around 220 companies from 120 countries to enhance their sales. The acquisition of Profoundis Labs by the Denver-based FullContact will see the number of staff growing to about 2,000 in two years’ time.