First Stage Investor

Invest in Connecting With Customers

Invest in Connecting With Customers
By Andy Gordon
Date July 30, 2020


Startup: goDeskless
Security type: Crowd note
Valuation (cap): $7 million
Discount rate: 20% 
Minimum investment: $100
Where to invest: MicroVentures
Deadline: August 17, 2020
Conversion provisions: The company has the option to convert the crowd note into nonvoting preferred stock at a valuation no higher than $7 million or at a 20% discount on the price investors pay during the conversion round, if that discounted price is lower than $7 million. Please refer to the crowd note for a complete description of its terms, including the conversion provisions.

Consumer service providers always want to be more efficient and make their customers happier. And companies that can help them achieve that are richly rewarded. 

Salesforce understood/realized this earlier and better than most folks. Its sought-after services are making hundreds of companies more efficient and profitable. Its market cap tops $170 billion.

And there are plenty of others. You might not have heard of them. But they’ve made their investors plenty of money. California-based ServiceNow boasts a valuation of more than $67 billion. And Freshworks has blown past many of its fellow unicorns with a $3.5 billion valuation.

These are great companies. They’ve earned every penny of their valuation. But they don’t do what goDeskless does. This tiny startup with big ideas has a modest valuation of just $7 million — just a fraction of its larger peers. But it’s filling a growing and essential space with an array of products that do the job substantially better than its much larger peers.

And in the time of COVID-19, that’s more important than ever. Millions of workers are performing their jobs outside the office. Construction workers, field service workers, home service providers — the list goes on and on. How should their workdays be organized? How should they prioritize assignments? How do their bosses monitor their performance? How do you keep these workers happy? And how do you keep their customers happy? 

Big companies like Salesforce can do a lot of things. But they aren’t set up to help companies manage their remote workers — or help them provide services whenever and wherever needed. 

It’s a huge gaping hole. Deskless workers make up 80% of the world’s workforce. That’s 2.7 billion people working as service repairmen, construction workers, transportation and delivery people… And it’s finally getting the attention it deserves. All transportation companies (that’s 100%), 91% of manufacturing companies, 83% of retail companies and 82% of hospitality companies say they plan on spending more on their remote workforce. 

But how to spend? And exactly where to spend? 

Not on Salesforce. Or the many other companies providing software to help companies service their customers. 

Those companies missed the boat. And they can’t say it’s because of COVID-19. The global pandemic may be forcing millions of employees around the world to work remotely. But the shift to an “on-demand service delivery” economy was well on its way before COVID-19, thanks to Uber, the emergence of fast and reliable delivery service companies and widespread smartphone use.

The quicker, cheaper, more convenient service always wins out. And right now, that’s the service that can be accessed through your smartphone. It’s the future. And goDeskless is the company with — by far — the best chance of bringing that future to service providers and their customers.


What Does goDeskless Do?

It connects customer service providers in the field (like cable TV installers/repairmen) directly to the customer.

goDeskless has two apps. One is for customers. Through it, users can request services from their smartphone. It also has some cool features like enabling video chats with the service provider inside the app. 

The other app is for service providers. And it brims with functionality. When a service request comes in, it uses AI to recommend the best field person available and automatically connects that person with the customer. It transforms big and complex enterprise data into simple and lean formats that smart device users can easily upload and use. It has a route optimizer and a planner that allows both the dispatcher and the field worker to better plan their schedules. 

And it even works if disconnected from a network. Deskless workers always have access to local data regardless of connectivity. 

But my favorite feature is probably the “My Teams” dashboard. It allows field managers to review their team’s work and determine in real-time where they are in the field. They can even view and manage schedules or work assignments for a day — or a half day, the next day or even the next 10 minutes. 

Field managers can also supervise and inspect work. Bechtel, one of goDeskless’s customers, remotely inspects and approves the work of their field agents through the goDeskless app. And that prevents otherwise crippling project delays. Bechtel likes goDeskless so much that it’s doubling the number of licenses it’s using. 

But the best clue that goDeskless is doing something very needed (and very hard to copy) comes from its potential competitors, ServiceNow and Freshworks. You know the old saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them?” That’s exactly what these two big companies are doing. Their customers can access goDeskless’s services on their websites. Freshworks proactively recommends goDeskless to customers they’re unable to accommodate.

goDeskless has turned these companies into powerful marketing channels that expand its reach to millions of customers. But goDeskless is thinking even bigger. It’s also using distributors and resellers to reach out to prospective customers in automotive, telecom, manufacturing, and construction — all industries with large numbers of deskless workers. 

But that’s still not big enough. goDeskless wants to make it as easy as possible for customers to get onsite service. It envisions thousands of companies providing their customers with  Uber-like convenience. Companies that cover large territories but only have modest operational support staff need the most help. 

goDeskless is targeting hi-tech, retail, hospitality and real estate.  It will encourage companies in those industries to brand its apps as their own and then make them available to their customers. Think of it as an Uber-like app for any company wanting to expand their business model by  providing services on-demand. goDeskless would charge those companies a monthly subscription fee of $39 per active user. 

A big and fast-growing part of that market is home services. Online on-demand home services are projected to reach $870 billion by 2022, according to a Technavio report. And a lot of companies operate in this space. There are the big, do-everything CRM ones like Salesforce. There are a number of field service vendors. And there’s the newest group: technology players focusing on one or a handful of verticals. 

Co-founder and CEO Ashish Joshi isn’t too worried though. He says that among goDeskless’s many competitive advantages, the biggest is its ability to direct helpful data to exactly where it’s needed when it’s needed. “We have competition because we’re operating in an explosively growing market,” says Ashish. “But we can do things other companies can’t.”


Data and Cloud Product Experts

Ashish and his colleagues are a deeply experienced and well-rounded team.

Ashish brings 21 years of CRM-related product management to the company. Before goDeskless, he was a product leader at Siebel/Oracle where he managed the Service and Engagement Cloud products. Ashish also has access to a farflung global network of veteran industry and investment experts. 

His co-founder, Hari Gutlapalli, is another deeply experienced CRM expert. He led several product development teams at Kaiser Permanente, Oracle and Siebel Systems (where he met Ashish). 

And CTO Pramod Cherukumilli is a well-known cloud data security champion. He’s led several teams at Cisco and various security firms. 

These founders pulled in $768,000 of revenue last year — while still developing their platform and lacking a sales team. This year they’re on track to break $1 million in revenue while doubling subscription fees. They’re also putting into place a light-touch onboarding protocol for the many new clients they’re already shepherding through their pipeline. 

A massively growing pipeline. A savvy white-label app strategy. A new sales team coming in post-raise. Plans to integrate the goDeskless product suite with Salesforce and Zoho/Microsoft (Zoho provides online productivity tools to more than 50 million users). All of this is sure to fuel a new period of rapid customer and revenue growth for goDeskless. 


How to Invest

This deal is being hosted on MicroVentures, a licensed broker and dealer. The first step — if you don’t have a MicroVentures account yet — is to go to the MicroVentures site and sign up for one. Once you’re registered, go to the goDeskless page. Click on the orange “Invest” button. You can invest $100 or more.


goDeskless is an early-stage tech investment and, like all such investments, is risky. Do not invest money you can’t afford to lose. Also, remember that these types of investments are not liquid, meaning you can’t buy or sell your stake easily. If and when an exit opportunity arises, you’ll be informed immediately. 

Editor’s Note: If you’re new to First Stage Investor or if you just need a refresher on how to invest in startups through portals, check out our video tutorial “Investing in Startups Through Online Portals.”

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