Startup of the Week – WebEngage

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Founded in – 2011

Industry –  Marketing Automation

Founder – Avlesh Singh (co-founder & CEO) and Ankit Utreja (co-founder & CTO)

CEO – Avlesh Singh


Startup Motto – Go beyond marketing with WebEngage. Create engaging experiences that matter!

Startup Funding – N.A.

Startup Market Cap – N.A.

Team Size – 150+

Below is the transcript of our interview with WebEngage

Could you please tell us about WebEngage to our readers, what it is all about? 

WebEngage started off as a web-based tool in 2011 and currently exists as a  customer data platform and marketing automation suite that makes user engagement and retention simplified and highly effective for consumer tech enterprises and SMBs.

We wanted to democratize how on-site marketing is done. Simply put, from our past experiences of building consumer products as engineers, we realized how difficult it was for marketing teams to push promotional messages on their own websites and measure the impact. Development teams and deployment cycles were always the bottlenecks. This made us think that the problem is huge and there was a solution. We thought it was time 

WebEngage is the world’s first single-code base, fully integrated retention stack that is built for mid-market and enterprise-grade digital businesses. Our goal is to humanize marketing to increase brand relativity and enhance customer engagement. 

We are a multi-product platform that consists of three integrated products

  • Customer Data & Insights Platform
  • Omni-channel Campaign Manager
  • Web & App Personalization Suite

WebEngage drives growth via intelligent engagement and retention for some of the world’s leading brands. Over the years, WebEngage has successfully enabled consumer brands to create immersive digital experiences and drive tangible business results. 


What is marketing automation? And how it is effective in the business model?

Marketing automation is a technology-enabled solution that helps marketers run campaigns on different channels effectively while also automating repetitive tasks. Marketing automation is no longer a ‘good-to-have tool in a marketer’s arsenal. A lot of efficiency in a marketing function is driven by leveraging a robust marketing automation platform. 

Marketing automation helps marketers craft personalized experiences for each user. It enables brands to formulate an engagement strategy that is high on context with 1-to-1 personalization. 

The amount of data created online every day is growing at a magnificent rate. Marketers are inclined towards data to enhance ROI measurability, and the higher the measure, the better the strategy. Marketing Automation enables a faster decision-making process because it is able to identify what is that the customer really wants from the brand. Personalized marketing and seamless user experiences are outcomes of data-driven marketing and are indispensable in the B2C ecosystem.

Personalization can work on many levels. Marketing automation can help marketers customize their entire marketing strategy to fit into their target market. With the help of a tool like WebEngage marketers can reach the exact group of audience at the right time, on the right device, using a preferred channel with a custom message and make a lasting impression. The answer key to all of this is Marketing Automation which helps in collecting the right data and using the right orchestration tools to run personalized campaigns 

So, yes, this is the future, and the future is now. Marketing automation is an asset that brings incredible value to consumers’ everyday lives. It helps brands comprehend customers and maintain relevance. 


How WebEngage enables consumer brands to engage and retain existing users and what are the steps you follow before campaigns? And what is cross channel campaign? 

We started WebEngage with the motto of democratizing how on-site marketing is done. Simply put, from our past experiences of building consumer products as engineers, we realized how difficult it was for marketing teams to push promotional messages on their own websites and measure the impact.

Today, WebEngage is a customer data platform and marketing automation suite that makes user engagement and retention simplified and highly effective for consumer businesses. We help enterprises and SMBs drive more revenue from their existing customers and anonymous users with high-context, hyper-personalized user engagement.

Here’s how our multi-product platform helps customers engage and retain existing users.

  • Customer Data & Insights Platform: The Customer Data Platform (CDP) layer integrates real-time customer data from across channels and touchpoints on a single platform. A layer of powerful analytics (product + revenue analytics) then processes the data, giving marketers access to a slew of actionable insights from a campaign management perspective. 
  • Omni-channel Campaign Manager: Campaign Orchestration enables marketers to create dynamic lifecycle campaigns at scale through 10 engagement channels (cross-channel campaigns) using real-time user data. Cross channel campaigns and real-time optimization based on a user reaction is crucial in ensuring a higher revenue impact of every Journey a brand runs. By automating campaigns, marketers can seed targeted engagement triggers in the customer journey based on behavioral analysis – a mixture of analyzing user flows + behavioral and personal data.
  • Web & App Personalization Suite: This Personalization layer enables marketers to customize entire sections of their mobile app and website based on user data and real-time insights.


How WebEngage is beneficial to Small businesses and startups? And who are your current clients?

WebEngage is a customer data platform and marketing automation suite that makes user engagement and retention simplified and highly effective for consumer tech enterprises and SMBs. We serve hundreds of SMB’s globally across e-commerce, ed-tech, gaming, media and entertainment, OTT, food-tech, fintech, helping them supercharge user engagement, creating highly personalized brand experiences, and enhancing user retention metrics. 

WebEngage powered SME brands have built a retention practice early on by fixing the leaky bucket problem and focussed on maximizing revenue from their existing customers, attributing nearly 1/3rd of their conversions from WebEngage powered campaigns. This model not only warrants conversions but also creates opportunities to increase repeat purchases predictably and improve CLTV. 

The acquisition is an expensive affair, something that fledgling businesses cannot easily afford. Retention is what will help new businesses thrive early on and bolster their growth. 

At WebEngage, the future will be about pushing the envelope further in helping brands build a solid retention practice early on that effectively leverages customer data (behavioral + personal).


Could you please tell our readers and entrepreneurs about the ‘DIY journey builder feature?’

A journey designer is a workflow tool to engage a brand’s users across their lifecycle. Journey Designer gives brands the ultimate autonomy to use a highly intuitive drag & drop interface to map user workflows to lifecycle campaigns. It lets marketers plan their engagement campaigns across multiple channels. These plans could range from designing a journey to automate renewals for insurance buyers, to, automating re-activations for users who haven’t used the brand’s app for the last 30 days.

Contextually personalizing user experience based on their behavioral history, channel preferences, location and real-time interactions with your app, website, and campaigns can give better results. 


What are the challenges you faced during the initial days? And how did you push through?

The early years were very challenging, to say the least. Product market fit, ramping up the technology infrastructure, raising funds, hiring talent – there was so much happening all at once. There were times we ran pillar to post just to get companies to set up a meeting with us. 

But it was the sheer will to make an impact that helped me push through. I won’t trade those years for anything. Not even the miseries that ensued in the process

I am also indebted for the lessons I have learned in this journey. The biggest life skill I have developed is survival. 


What is your vision and mission behind this company? And where do you want to reach? Any future plans?

WebEngage’s vision ahead is to help brands accelerate growth and engage with users through technology-enabled solutions. WebEngage aspires to become the de facto choice of enterprise-grade and mid-sized businesses, providing an end-to-end retention suite.

WebEngage has created a strong niche for itself in a space crowded by mobile marketing and omnichannel marketing automation tools. We are committed to helping businesses make more money from their existing users. And, we are determined to do that by bringing all their user messaging inside WebEngage. We continue to build on that mission.

The company has set its sight on becoming a revenue-generation tool for digital consumer businesses and providing an integrated ecosystem for user retention for these companies. And that is the direction the startup will be heading toward for the next ten years.


What have you failed at? And how do you recover from that phase? Because being an entrepreneur is not easy, it’s like walking on the stone each day. What boosts your mind when you face failure?

Every early-stage founder faces rejection at some point. So did we. There were doors that were closed on our faces and some that were never opened.  However, keeping our attention focused on the end goal and working tirelessly toward it helped us surmount every roadblock. Whenever I feel low, spending time with my family or reading a good book helps me put things in perspective and boosts my mood. 


In which cities you’re currently serving? Any further expansion plans?

WebEngage caters to Enterprise-grade and Mid-market companies in India, the Middle East, and North Africa (MENA) region, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Latin America (LATAM) region. We plan to further deepen our efforts in these markets in the coming months. 


Any secret formula to young entrepreneurs?

Believe in your idea. But focus equally on execution. There will be roadblocks. Stay the course, pivot if you have to but don’t lose hope. 


Could you describe yourself in one word?



Before we conclude the interview, anything you want to say to the Unboxing Startups team?

Starting a company and scaling it is no mean feat. Founders often tend to feel lonely in their journey. In such times, understanding the journey of other founders, the challenges they faced, and what they’ve achieved definitely boosts the morale of those in the early stages of their journey. Team UnboxingStartups is doing a great job of getting such founder stories out. 


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