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April - 2014 - issue > STARTUP CITY

Dexetra: An Engaging Journey of Excitement & Exhaustion

Jisha Unni
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Jisha Unni
Mobile applications are inspirational for emerging startups to manifest more evolved user-friendly applications. Even if it is an arduous task, a passionate team can shape the destiny of the startup in the road of advancement. One such adventurous startup journey was trudged by Narayan Babu, who left his lucrative job at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions along with his co-partners, who were employed in other companies. They derived inspiration from the first Android phone.

Narayan found that people wasted a lot of time searching information about their meetings, reminders and others. He felt smartphones should be smart enough in anticipating user's actions and in augmenting human memory. With a vision to develop applications that intuitively personalise data to suit a user's needs,Dexetra was founded in Bangalore by Narayan and his five friends in April 2010.

They build mobile first products around Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Dexetra's Friday - a context fabric platform for Android, understands contexts and user's patterns, which almost functions like a second brain. The smart dialler Dialapp- redefines speed in a dialler and has been in Google Playstore. Iris which is a personal assistant mobile application is an 8 hour hobby project that got a million downloads overnight.

Overcoming the Defy
Manifesting any startup is followed by a lengthy list of challenges. Narayan discovered this journey as a blend of excitement & exhaustion; as fund raising, aggregating a productive team, technical challenges, and getting attention in the media; everything had been gruelling tasks. When in the process to raising fund, Narayan and his team had a hard time convincing the investors about their unique offerings as their products' users were based in the U.S. The easiest way they took was displaying number of users using their products by showing users' testimonials. They found it necessary to align company's vision to that of investors which enabled them to get their Pre-Series A funding from Sequoia, Qualcomm & One97 Communications.

But this would not have been possible without a strong team. They made best use of their contact list along with the existing online job portal to find the best fit for their company. "Anybody who really enjoys writing code will truly justify their work and it doesn't matter whether he is fresher or experienced," says Narayan Babu, CEO, Dexetra. They provided open work culture and follow no hierarchy that resulted in enhanced productivity.

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