Offers and Discount are popular ways to get new customers for your business. But many times businesses end up spending a lot on offers and discounts, which brings down their profit margin. Prateek Gupta, Raman Shrivastava and Sumant US came up with a solution to this problem through their startup CustomerGlu. CustomerGlu enables E-Commerce businesses to increase profitability by saving money with dynamic offers that convert more - while reducing the cash burn on discounts. By using AI, CustomerGlu lets the businesses customize the offers based on parameters like customer behavior and customer life-cycle, so that businesses can design beautiful offers to attract customers just within their budget. We interviewed Prateek Gupta, co-founder of CustomerGlu to get an insight into the startup.
- Startup Name-CustomerGlu
- Headquarter-3260 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304
- Founders-Prateek Gupta,Raman Shrivastava, Sumant US
- Founded-October 2016
- Parent Organization-Marax AI, Inc.
CustomerGlu helps businesses design customized, attractive and interactive offers for their customers. The aim is to help eCommerce companies with saving money while improving conversions. CustomerGlu does this by:
● Reducing the cost by optimizing business constraints viz budget, discount margin.
● Bringing external data like competitor pricing, seasonality to look at the bigger picture
● Contextualizing the Offers by recommending Products, Brands or Categories from the inventory
● Provide a built-in library of interactive UIs
CustomerGlu Lets You Design Offers as per Your Budget
If you have a e-commerce business, you can bring your customer incentive strategy to life for a variety of use cases across a customers lifecycle with 4 types of campaigns -
Cart discounts: Reward your users on their cart with all types of discounts like Percentage/amount off on the order/Brand/Category, Free products and Free delivery. Go one step further by optimizing the discounts given to each customer against a Profit Margin or a Budget. This ensures you are converting more users with the least spend.
Product discount recommendations: Give customers the product that they want along with a budget driven discount that drives E-commerce transactions. Show each user a set of personalized products or brands ranked according to their intent to purchase with discounts that are just-enough for them to transact with.
Reward UI programs: Stand-out from the crowd and Increase engagement on your offers by giving your customers scratch cards and spin the wheel to earn a coupon. The variability in winning the reward internally reinforces your customers to transact more in expectation of receiving a reward the next time.
Activity UI programs: Run programs like Collect the Stamp and Challenges that make your customers complete core activities on your platform to earn a huge reward in the form of a Scratch card or coupon on completion. With this type, you can get your current and loyal customers to discover new use cases of the product, sign up for a subscription which eventually compounds the customer lifetime value.
Design customized, attractive and interactive offers with CustomerGlu
Design customized, attractive and interactive offers with CustomerGlu
We are looking at the more than 1 Trillion+ transactions happening on mobile devices viz shopping, in-app purchases, in-game purchases and mobile web. On an average a company makes 10% margins on every transaction - CustomerGlu can improve this to have multi-billion dollar uplift in net revenues for mobile commerce”
CustomerGlu - Founders & Team
Prateek Gupta, Raman Shrivastava and Sumant US are the founders of CustomerGlu. Prateek and Raman both are graduates from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), while Sumant is an alumnus of SRM University.
Prateek got in touch with Raman to work towards software scalability challenges that Marax was facing back in 2016 through a common connection from their Alma Mater - VIT University, Vellore. Sumant with his keen interest in Product Design, connected with Raman to lead Product at Marax.
CustomerGlu is presently a 9 member team based in Bangalore.
Prateek Gupta is the CEO and leads the business. He earlier founded an IoT Startup Node0 labs and has experience with game design while he was one of the founding members of Creation Labs.
Raman Shrivastava is the AI lead. He earlier founded Fitsome, Inc., which was invested in by Tim Draper, DFJ. He was also awarded as 40 under 40 Data scientists by AnalyticsIndiaMag in 2019. He is also Facebook Private AI Scholar
Sumant US is the Product Lead. He has extensive experience in user retention and product design. He underwent the Reforge program in 2019.
The Idea Behind Starting CustomerGlu
Marax AI started in Oct 2016 with finding the problem statements at the intersection of customer retention and B2C eCommerce. The initial product of Marax AI Inc. was a proprietary AI engine that helped internet first companies solve the problem of customer churn. Marax AI predicted the customers who are at a risk of leaving, reasons why these customers are leaving and recommend actions that businesses need to take to retain the customers.
Over the past 3 years, Marax AI worked with B2C companies like Orahi, Fynd, Nestaway, Petoo to predict when a user is about to churn. One of the key use cases for Churn Prediction was to automate sending Offers that help retain customers.
While working on solving churn for the consumer internet - the Marax team learnt that 80% of marketing actions that companies take to retain their existing customers are offers. Also, deep discounting is a major problem in e-commerce. They felt that much is yet to be done when it comes to designing discounting strategies for businesses, and thus the idea behind starting CustomerGlu was born. CustomerGlu was launched in May 2020.
"If we look at p & l statements for e-commerce companies, the majority of cash is burnt on discounts. We validated the idea while speaking with more than 50 various e-commerce companies, moreover, in 2018 reinforcement learning got a major push from the AI industry. We started thinking about how we might connect data to actions via reinforcement learning and hence the idea behind CustomerGlu started taking shape - while we were working with early adopters like DailyNinja and Rapido." Prateek says regarding the inception of CustomerGlu.
Create Customized Offers for Various Groups of Customers
CustomerGlu - Name & Logo
Marax AI has been working to solve the problem of consumer churn since its inception in 2016, and worked with the early adopters like Dailyninja to prove upto 60% RoI. During this time the team saw that while Offer was a common way to prevent customer churn, many businesses were not being able to get the most out of their offers. This is when Marax Action Recommendation Engine aka Mars was launched. Mars was a cool acronym but it failed to convey the tool’s purpose at a glance. Later the team came up with the name CustomerGlu as it reflected the company's aim to help businesses to promote long-term user behavior driven by habit formation and thus glue the users to the brand.
CustomerGlu - Revenue Model
CustomerGlu charges its customers based on the unique number of end users in a campaign. The team however is planning to switch to a revenue share pricing model where CustomerGlu will take a cut from the money that it save for the businesses.
CustomerGlu - Funding & Investors
CustomerGlu has raised seed fund from Amit Singhal(Former head of Google Search) and SmartStart Fund in 2017. While Marax AI was largely into churn prediction services before, this investment helped the startup to build its current product.
CustomerGlu - Challenges
In applied AI, pure algos don’t work. To make it work for a domain - it needs a strong combination of domain insights and data for the algo to work. The CustomerGlu team had to internally build a Offers Simulation engine to train the models offline before setting them on the online tasks for our customers.
CustomerGlu - Advisors & Mentors
CustomerGlu's advisors and mentors include -
● Chetan Choudhary, who is also advisor at UAE Prime Minister's Office.
● Dr Srinivas Padmanabhuni, Co-Founder and CTO at CityMandi, Chief Mentor at Tarah Technologies.
● PK Gulati, Chairman Emeritus and Founder at TiE Dubai Chapter.
CustomerGlu - Awards & Recognitions
● Recognized as Emerging Analytics Startup consecutively twice in a row for 2019 and 2020
● One of the Top 25 Stars of Startup-O ‘Fasttrack
● Raman was awarded with 40 under 40 data scientists by AnalyticsIndiaMag in 2019.
● Poster on Hidden Technical Debt in Churn Prediction was accepted for presentation at Montreal AI Symposium in 2017.
CustomerGlu - Growth
Since its launch in May 2020, CustomerGlu team has worked with a curated set of early adopters like GOQii and Purplle, and has proven upto a 30% uplift in the net revenues while reducing the cost per transaction by 77%. CustomerGlu being an API first platform can be stitched into any existing workflow seamlessly. To make it even easier, they have partnered up CDPs like mParticle (US) and are now launching 1-click integrations with eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Woocommerce.
The startup has also received great reviews from its users.
CustomerGlu will be working on building different offer types like Seasonal Offer UIs and more. Their next milestone is to get paid customers on long term contracts and are looking to raise a larger round to propel them into the next phase of growth round to scale the business from there. They are open to investors, advisors and team members with similar interests to join them in the mission. Being an API first platform, CustomerGlu will be able to cater to a wide variety of industries.
CustomerGlu - FAQs
What is CustomerGlu?
CustomerGlu helps businesses design customized, attractive and interactive offers for their customers.
Who is the founder of CustomerGlu?
Prateek Gupta, Raman Shrivastava and Sumant US are the founders of CustomerGlu.
What does CustomerGlu do?
CustomerGlu helps businesses design customized, attractive and interactive offers for their customers. The aim is to help eCommerce companies with saving money while improving conversions.