The aspiration of any Software as a service (SaaS) startup is to see that large enterprises start deploying its solutions as quickly as possible but the reality is far different.
Technology solutions developed SaaS startups, while bringing in efficiency or solving a problem, are generally not “enterprise ready,” meaning large organisations need additional features to use the solution.
London-based BoxyHQ helps SaaS startups make their solutions more appealing to their enterprise customers.
Founded in August 2021 by Deepak Prabhakara and Carlos Samame, BoxyHQ has created an open sourced low-code platform which helps SaaS startups to add enterprise to their existing solutions.
Security and compliance are two key enterprise requirements. A SaaS startup needs to make both features as per enterprises’ specific demands.
“We saw this big problem where developers did not have the tools to add those must-have features in their products in a shorter period of time,” says Deepak.
The founders of BoxyHQ come from different backgrounds. Deepak is a technologist who likes to build things and has the rich experience of working in various kinds of roles while Carlos has a keen understanding of the business requirements of enterprises.
However, this does not mean that SaaS startups cannot build these features onto their solutions but there are two challenges. One, it can be a steep learning curve for many of them in building these features and secondly, even if they have the expertise, it means spending additional hours devoted to this task.
Deepak says, “Developers will spend about 30-40 per cent of their time in building these auxiliary features while their goal is to build cool things.”
BoxyHQ has built its technology platform which is like an application programming interface (API) interface where the SaaS startup just needs to plug in to add the features, which Deepak refers to as “Lego blocks.”
For a start, the tech platform of BoxyHQ helps in what is called as Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and single sign on (SSO). These essentially help in maintaining the security aspect and enabling single entry into multiple functions.
These are important requirements for enterprises as a user may need one single entry into multiple functions to perform the tasks without the need for going through multiple protocols. At the same there has to be a trail of the activity so that it meets the requirement of compliance and security.
“We want to focus on compliance and data security, which is where developer knowledge and tooling is lacking,” says Deepak.
According to the co-founder, there are many advantages for SaaS startups while using their platform. First, startups can get to market quicker with these features in what would take 6-8 weeks can be bought down to two weeks. Secondly, these startups do not have to create a separate team to build these features.
Deepak says, “As a startup, the focus should be on their core product.”
BoxyHQ says it has already deployed its solution with three customers and that early feedback has strengthened its confidence in the product.
The sweet spot for BoxyHQ in terms of customers are those startups which are in their early stages and have their solutions ready.
“Anybody who wants to sell to an enterprise can come to us,” says Deepak.
According to this co-founder, the current focus of BoxyHQ is not on monetisation but taking a bottom-up approach with the aim that developers “love” their products. However, it has one paying customer where the subscription fee is $50 per month per enterprise.
As part of its future plans, BoxyHQ will have subscription element for its technology platform wherever there is a hosted solution, premium features or any sector specific product like finance, healthcare etc.
BoxyHQ is looking to add more capability to its tech stack, including creation of certain standards and a platform where the compliance and security needs are met. Besides, it also expects greater traction from the fintech and healthtech industries for whom the topmost priorities are around security and compliance.
As part of its long term plan, BoxyHQ is also looking at how its tech platform can be used by enterprises directly.
“We have the vision of building a SaaS app where one can have all the toolings at one place,” says Deepak.
BoxyHQ has raised $2.5 million in seed round of funding in October last year from investors such as MMC Ventures, Nauta Capital and Wayra Telefonica. It has got a small developer team with all the members based in India spread across multiple cities. Though there are other companies such as WorkOS, Frontegg which are also into creating enterprise ready solutions, Deepak says the competition is “smallish” but is going to be competitive in the future as the opportunity is large.
Deepak says their mission is to keep their platform open sourced where it can lead to further collaboration.