Blume Beacon: Of second chances for gadgets, hiring your first growth marketer, and what PMF looks like
Blume Beacon is a collection of curated long reads from Blume's editorial desk
Welcome to the first edition of Blume Beacon, our new monthly newsletter where we carry Blume’s thought leadership for founders and investors every month into your inbox. Many readers of our newsletter ‘In Full Blume’ have constantly asked us for a permanent place to read all of Blume’s thought leadership and Blume Beacon is a result of that encouragement.
So what’s in store in the first edition?
An enthralling read about the origins of Cashify, an end-to-end smartphone solution provider that allows customers to sell old phones, laptops, and gadgets for instant cash.
A deep dive on why B2B SaaS companies should prioritise thinking of a growth role.
The rationale behind our investment in Multipl
Our take on what the future holds for cross-border logistics
There’s also our cheeky take on PMFs and a new website announcement!
A Second Chance for Second-Hand Gadgets: The Incredible Journey of Cashify
Imagine if your phone could have a more fulfilling life. What if that old Moto Razr phone you loved in college had gotten you some well-needed pocket money when you graduated instead of gathering dust at home? Enter Cashify, an end-to-end smartphone solution provider that allows customers to sell old phones, laptops, and gadgets for instant cash. Disha Sharma, our editorial lead, recounts the incredible story of how Mandeep Manocha and Nakul Kumar set out on a quest to build a viable business that helps phones get a second life.
Mandeep and Nakul were clear about the huge opportunity in the repairing, refurbishing, and selling old electronics market. Most Indians don’t splurge on some Rs.40,000-50,000 laptops but would likely shell out Rs.15-20,000 for one if it does basic tasks well enough. To test out their idea, they bought 100 laptops from Nehru Place, Asia’s biggest electronics market and set up an ecommerce website to sell these refurbished laptops online.
Within a week, the duo sold the entire stock. So they went back to Nehru Place to buy another 100-150 laptops, repeating the process 3-4 times before the vendors caught on and jacked up the prices. The co-founders had little to lose considering they had just proven their initial hypothesis. They then went to Amit Sethi (Cashify’s third co-founder) who set up a price calculator app where people can get their old gadgets evaluated, especially laptops.
Cashify started the first exchange program in the country in 2014-15 with a widget on the Snapdeal website. Every time a user came to Snapdeal to buy a laptop, they would see an option to sell the old device. The process wasn’t entirely seamless but they eventually steadied their steps. When they first started, the company had an internal target of selling 1000 laptops per month. Today, Cashify sells 150,000 devices a month. But to understand the Cashify story, it is first important to dissect the parts that make up Cashify. Could it be the preferred way to buy your next aspirational phone? Find out in our story here.
From the Get-Grow: How To Think of a Growth Role In a B2B SaaS Company
When Asad Khan and Jay Singh launched LambdaTest after identifying a massive gap in the market, they found themselves in a predicament. LambdaTest found early traction during its zero-to-one journey and gathered many signups. Still, they could tell something was broken — especially after crossing $1M to $2M in revenue, where conversion to paid customers remained low even with 100 to 200 daily signups.
Over time, conversion stagnated to just 6,000 paying customers out of 200,000 signups. That’s when Asad realized that LambdaTest needed a growth marketer, someone who sits between the marketing and sales team while also working closely with the product team to scale conversion. But what does an ideal growth marketing candidate look like and how do you measure success for this role in a B2B SaaS company? Read all about it in our latest primer.
The Art and Science of the perfect “fit”
The three contentious words that can divide the room at any party: Product-Market Fit or PMF. In 2005, Marc Andreesen formally introduced the term to the world in a blog post, referring to PMF as the “only thing that matters.” Andreesen didn’t offer a formal definition but believed that founders could tell when PMF is happening. But almost two decades later, it remains elusive for many. Per Bryan Schreier of Sequoia Capital, about a quarter of seed-stage companies get PMF.
But what is it really? Does a company attain PMF when it starts acquiring consumers or when it starts making money from them? Not surprisingly, Sajith Pai has spent his time at most parties furiously taking notes from both sides of the PMF debate. He shares his interpretation of PMF in this essay, describing it as a scalable go-to-market playbook enabling predictable sales. He unpacks it at length and describes how founders should align their company goals according to where they are on their journey towards PMF.
Crossing Borders and Oceans With Indian Logistics
India’s merchandise exports and cross-border trade are all set to undergo transformative change over the next decade. In FY 21-22, it crossed $400 Bn, making merchandise exports 13.3% of the country’s annual GDP in the same year. In fact, the government is targeting $1 Tn in merchandise exports by 2030, bolstered by the evolving global trade scenario, India’s own policy push, and market dynamics necessitating the need for efficient cross-border logistics. But what are the key trends shaping the future of the sector in India? Could looking at China offer any answers? In this piece, Joseph Sebastian digs deep into the scope for an export-led economic engine that runs on an efficient system of transport, warehousing facilities, and tech-enabled logistics operations.
Why Blume Invested in Multipl
In the past 30 months, India’s digital economy has altered dramatically. The fintech industry, set to grow to $150 Bn by 2025, has been a key driver of this change, addressing critical customer pain points across multiple geographies. With 900 million Indians expected to be online by 2025, companies can take a strategic view of the financial equation and enable customer experience-centric solutions, beyond vanilla lending and payments. That’s where we think Multipl stands out. One of the first Save Now Buy Later (SNBL) products that allow you to save for your future purchases, Multipl is a worthy substitute for household surplus, usually stored in the grain box, which is neither structured nor yields any returns. In this piece, Ashish Fafadia and Jatin Madhra from Blume break down our decision to invest in Multipl and what makes it stand out.
You Heard It Here First: All New Blume
Yes, the rumours are right. We have a new website! In March 2022, we revealed our new brand identity during Blume Day, our flagship event. To keep up the momentum, we built a new content-first website that reflects the ambitions of a rapidly growing venture capital fund. Over a year later, we hope this makeover reflects our vision of becoming an entrepreneur's preferred source of content consumption. To talk about what it takes to build a VC website, we invited Souvik Das Gupta and Prateek Rungta, the co-founders of Miranj, the web design and development agency that took on this project to share the behind-the-scenes of building Blume’s new website. Read about the challenges, inspirations, and outcome of the project here.