Flock sets aggressive goals to take on Google, Microsoft and Slack on home turf

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on July 16, 2019

Billionaire entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, founder and CEO of Flock, a team collaboration and messaging platform, has made an audacious move this year.

With its first international office set up in Boston and growth hacking leadership team in place, Flock will take on Google’s G Suite and Gmail, Microsoft’s Microsoft Teams and Outlook, and Slack on their home turf.

The company has hired Sam Mallikarjunan as its Chief Revenue Officer in February followed by Ryan Kelly as Global VP and Nicholas D’Ascensao to head global sales. It has five employees in Boston with plans to increase its headcount to 20 by the end of 2019.

Flock started off in the productivity software space for enterprises with two products - Messenger and Video Calling and added three products this year including Mail, Calendar and Contacts. “We have already signed contracts on the new products, that will get us to 1 million users by the end of this fiscal. And in the next 12- 18 months we should be at about three million users globally. At present we have 500,000 downloads of Flock and a couple of hundred thousand active users on these new products,” Turakhia who is based in London told BusinessLine. A large chunk of Flock users are from the US followed by the UK and India. Seven to 10 per cent of Flock’s active user base are paid users. Enterprises pay between $3 to $7 per seat licence, per month.

Flock is expanding its teams in Bengaluru and Mumbai in development engineering and products and will be hiring 30 product managers in the next two quarters. It is also doubling its sales and marketing team with 20- 25 new hires in the same period.

“This year, we are predominantly focussed on go-to-market, user and usage growth. Our goal in the next 18 months is to get to 5 million-plus active users across all of our five products. That’s where majority of our capital, time, attention, resources, people including the product team will be deployed,” said the under-40, serial entrepreneur, who has invested $45 million in Flock since its inception in 2014. Flock has 1 lakh plus weekly active users, 259,226 teams created so far with 10,000-plus teams being added every month.

Asked if Slack going public will impact Flock’s IPO prospects, Turakhia said “it’s a huge outcome for us, because there is Microsoft Teams, there is Slack which is now a public company and then there is us – we are the only free-standing company that has a competing product that is equivalent in terms of quality standards and capabilities. There is nobody else, who actually has a similar team messenger product.” However, IPO is still 5-7 years away for us. It would make sense for us to go public when we get to a particular size and scale, he added.

On addressable market opportunity for Flock, the self-professed compulsive tech entrepreneur said “We are talking about a market that is potentially going to be $50 billion - $100 billion. If we manage to get a good double digit percentage share of this market, that represents a huge opportunity for us. Setting up operations in the US is crucial to our scheme as North America is the largest market in the world for team communication and collaboration software, followed by the UK and Europe. India and Asia Pacific are relatively still behind.”

Published on July 16, 2019

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