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Picxele: How One Startup is Revolutionizing the White Collar Gig Marketplace in India
Introduction of the Founder:
I am Raishav Agarwal, the founder of Picxele (Bootstrapped to 750K+ Users and 8Cr+ Revenue), Investor in 50+ Startups (Jar, Crib, Tummoc, Sateeq, TrulyMadly, Zypp Electric, Vidyakul, Drinkprime, Leaf Round, VidyutTech, YourPhysio, etc.), Mentor and Growth Strategist.
I was born and bought up in Asansol (WB). I completed my schooling in 2015 in my hometown itself. Post that, I got into Btech (IT) from SRM IST, Chennai.
In my second year of college, I discovered my interest in non-technical domains such as marketing, operations, and sales. Over the course of one year, I completed 43 remote internships in various fields with companies such as Nearbuy, Intern Theory, PharmEasy, and Nostragamus, among others. In my third year, I identified a problem and developed a task-based model where students could find projects or tasks to work with. Within one year, I successfully worked with 9-10 brands and generated a revenue of 20L INR without any product.
What is the underlying vision or mission behind your startup, and how did this idea originate?
During my second year, I did about 43 internships in different companies and various fields, not only in IT but also in Marketing, Sales, Operation, etc. remotely. What I figured out at that time was that students were having trouble finding any paid internships or skilled work. So I communicated with many of the companies I had been working with, and I realized that they were also having problems with interns not meeting the requirements of the work.
I communicated with one of those companies and decided to launch a platform where I take the work and get it done via the task force called remote Gig Workers.
After procuring the company's requirements, the task force of gig workers was doing user acquisition, product sampling, market research, sales, data entry, etc. Through this platform, both parties were satisfied. The companies were getting their work done, and Gig Workers were being paid for their work timely and simultaneously upskilling themselves with several skills.
Throughout 2018, it was a manual process. At the end of 2018, I decided to launch an application to allow the whole operation to run smoothly. Previously, all the operations were being executed offline, but the app allowed the Gig Workers to find the Gigs/Tasks on an app, do the work and submit it directly, and get paid there.
I graduated in May 2019, and in June of the same year, we launched the app called Picxele. Since then, I've been operating Picxele full-time and having decent growth each year. The growth and revenue of Picxele have been growing consistently.
What is the target market you are addressing and why?
As of January 2023, we have around 750K+ Gig Workers registered on Picxele, with 10% of them working dedicatedly doing various Tasks and Projects and Earning Regularly. The average earning of an individual Gig Worker is between 500 -10,000 INR a month depending upon the amount of work completed. We have more than 400+ Companies associated with us for whom we are procuring requirements continuously, and 20-30% among them are meeting their On-Demand requirement through the Gig Workers on a recurring monthly basis.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced while building your startup, and how did you overcome it?
The primary obstacle in starting the company was the legal and paperwork requirements. Being a college student at the time, I had limited knowledge of the legal aspects involved. Without any guidance, I struggled initially, but over time and through various experiences, I gained a better understanding of how to move forward.
The second hurdle we faced was the need for a steady stream of revenue to cover our monthly expenses. To achieve this, we required recurring business from companies, and ultimately, I was able to secure it. Initially, I was apprehensive about approaching these challenges, but with time and effort, they were successfully resolved.
What sets your startup apart from others in your industry, and how do you maintain your competitive edge?
We operate under a task-based model and provide online services, allowing gig workers and part-time workers to work from home. Our work primarily falls under the category of white-collar work.
We take the entire ownership of a task right from framing it, to quality assurance, checking, and ultimately meeting the demand in time. This is what sets us apart.
How is your startup currently funded, and have you raised any external funding to date?
At present, we are operating on a bootstrapped model.
Can you share some key statistics or notable achievements that your startup has accomplished so far?
The company is self-sustaining through revenue and has generated over 8 crore INR in revenue to date. Since its inception, it has gained a total of 750,000+ users.
Where do you see your startup's key metrics in the next 5 years? What steps do you plan to take to achieve these goals?
We want to reach 5M+ Gig Workers and foray into more specialized tasks as we keep growing and making our niche.
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They say Entrepreneurship isn't easy. What's your take on this?
Yes, it's not easy but fruitful one. One needs to stick to what they are doing, no matter what people and the market say. If you have done your homework through research and achieving product-market fit, you will establish yourself in the market and people will notice you, but again you need to stick to it.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are just starting out?I always say, do not start a startup because everyone is doing it, and never start it with the first intention of raising funds; start with a problem statement, make a sustainable business, and grow it. Rest, everything will fall in place with time.
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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 6th March 2023.