Info-tech

For Turakhias, Flock 2.0 could be the next unicorn

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018

Bhavin Turakhia

Enterprise chat application updated with more features

For serial entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia, the updated version of his enterprise chat application Flock could net the next billion dollars.

Under the revamp, termed Flock 2.0, the application is undergoing a sea change, with the entire team of about 70 personnel working on it for the last three months.

“This upgradation will put us miles ahead of the competition and my intention is to take this company to a billion-dollar firm in enterprise value faster than any of the other companies I have started in my life,” Turakhia told BusinessLine in an interview.

“Our goal is to create immense value at Flock for every team across the world, and we want to be the No. 1 player in this space worldwide. That’s a multi-billion dollar opportunity, and with the kind of products we have, I am sure of achieving this,” he said, but declined to provide a timeframe to reach the billion-dollar mark.

Lightweight messenger

Flock, a free-of-charge application was launched in September 2014, taking on enterprise messaging players such as BlackBerry Messenger and Microsoft’s Lync. The light-weight messaging system, which does not require interventions by IT managers, is available for free download across operating systems.

Flock was set up as a separate company with Turakhia’s personal investments.

In August, the Turakhia brothers — Bhavin and his younger sibling Divyank — sold Media.net, an ad-technology company they founded in 2010, to Chinese investors for a whopping $900 million. The brothers, who had commenced their entrepreneurial journey in 1998 by setting up Directi with a meagre capital of ₹25,000, are now jointly worth $1.4 billion.

The brothers have created as many as 11 companies across sectors varying from online advertising to communications and sold off five.

Until now, Flock could be used only by large corporates owning a domain name (such as .com). Following its update, anyone — an entire firm, a set of software developers, a team working on environmental issues or communities — can create a group on Flock.

With dedicated pages for each team, users can be part of multiple groups and contact other groups or teams within groups.

User interface revamped

The user interface also has been completely overhauled across all platforms, mobile, Android, iOS, desktop and browsers. There are also panels that allow switching between multiple teams. “It now has a much cleaner and richer interface. We have also given more prominence to apps, enabling developers to launch apps, add widgets and panels among others, making Flock a chat operating system (housing many apps),” he added.

Ordering an Uber cab, booking conference rooms in offices, getting workflow approvals (such as reimbursement) within a company and many day-to-day activities can now be done on Flock.

The company is investing about $20 million for Flock 2.0, of which about $7 million has already been spent. Flock is now present in almost every country, and has recorded more than 2.5 lakh downloads.

Published on September 07, 2016

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