This AI-powered networking startup helps entrepreneurs and professionals connect with unicorns, VCs
When the unicorn of glasses Lenskart was looking to grow its technology team and recruit more than 100 team members in the fields of products, design, development, data science, quality engineering and DevOps back in April, the team knew this was an aggressive number to watch in three to six months.
Ramneek khurana, co-founder, Lenskart, realized that they had to use different means to incubate the Hyderabad office, and decided to partner with the networking platform SupremeMinds.
The AI-powered business networking platform enables users to network according to their goals to achieve real results. Two things dodifferent from other networking platforms: it follows an export-oriented model and is invite-only (and will continue to be for the foreseeable future).
The startup, which has offices in Bangalore and the Bay Area, was founded in September 2020 by Ankit singh and Karn Mehta, graduates of IIT and IIM.
Focus on professional results
Ankit claims the startup has consciously prioritized creating professional results over vanity matrices such as likes, shares, and comments, which “only lead to a quick dopamine rush but lack l ‘ultimate ingredient for long term success’.
“We believe that making meaningful professional connections and getting to know people personally is the only way to build a successful long-term career. We are moving in the same direction by creating a technological platform that makes it transparent, ”he explains.
He says SupremeMinds has already finished 7,500 users, and has helped over 40 product managers and engineers find jobs in the past three months.
Users share their goals (increase investment, find a job, find a co-founder, etc.) on the platform, and can schedule an appointment each week by selecting a time slot. The platform then uses AI to create a two-way score to create the best possible match and share a warm introduction from the corresponding users.
Create better meetings and networks
Ankit says the introduction comes with a calendar invitation where users can meet face-to-face with just a click of the URL. “We are pushing the boundaries by allowing specific users to start monetizing their expertise. Our ultimate goal is to democratize networks and help experts monetize their time in the process, ”he says.
The invitation-only nature of the platform ensures that only the right kind of users are onboard to “keep interactions very useful.” Ankit says the team gets to know all of their users personally and makes a point of talking to them.
“Our algorithm allows us to create better, faster and more diverse meetings in all geographies (US, India and Singapore). Our main clients include a founding member of Paypal, the first X.com employee to work with Elon Musk, members of the Airbnb product team, Director of Google India, founders of Bonobo AI, Zo Rooms / Zostel, WinZO and DeHaat, and VCs of Blume, Prime Venture Partners, SAIF / Elevation, Chiratae, 3 on4 capital, etc. to name a few, ”says Ankit.
Why another networking platform?
The idea for this platform came to Ankit from a personal need. Growing up in a middle class family in India, he lacked access to resources and a vast network that could give him easy advice on making the right career and education choices.
“It was at least 15 years ago. Despite the accessibility offered by the Internet since then, there is not much change in the way young people make decisions in India. Their choices reflect ill-informed decisions made with the help of their parents or loved ones, who may not have kept up with the times, ”he says.
This became even more evident as he was testing a concept for his first Bay Area startup at UC Berkley. Young students had access to Nobel laureates and experts, which young Indians could only dream of.
“The result was that students at these universities started out with a mindset and experience that put them ahead of someone of the same age in India. The aha moment was triggered by an experience while he was sitting at Cafe Strada on the UC campus. Each week, a Jewish rabbi visited the campus and met with every Jewish student. Besides getting to know them personally, he would extend his reach / network to these students, ”says Ankit.
This led him to realize that finding an internship at a major hedge fund, working on a major political campaign or reaching out to major investors was not an impossible task for young people.
“I wondered how this could be done on a large scale to benefit the world’s youngest population. Why should India and young Indians start the world race at a disadvantage? Why is nobody doing anything about it and why should we as a nation always catch up? ”
The team and the course
The 33-year-old founder is an IIM Calcutta alumnus with an engineering background. He worked as Strategy Manager for the Affordable Housing segment with India’s largest real estate player. Here, he helped create the framework to help him grow from a company with $ 50 million in revenue to $ 250 million in three years.
Later, Ankit worked with the same company as the head of strategy for North America. Based in the Bay Area, he worked on Go-to-market (GTM) strategy and implementation in the United States and Canada. “I started my first business to solve loneliness in GenZ in the US and a lot of learning while testing the idea led to the current SupremeMinds,” says Ankit.
Karn, 34, has a background in sales and strategy in industries ranging from consumer goods to technology and real estate. He was one of the first people to work in e-commerce at ITC, where he helped create important partnerships with Amazon, Big Basket, Snapdeal, etc. The alumnus of IIM Indore plays an important role in the growth and partnerships at SupremeMinds.
Market and future
SupremeMinds is currently in pre-income and plans to charge users in India up to $ 10 and users outside India $ 20 per month. once the team launches a subscription model. Ankit says they estimate their CAC will hit $ 4-5 in total so they can work with “at least a 50 percent margin.”
According to the Business Research Company, the global social media market is worth $ 94.83 billion and is expected to reach $ 102.62 billion this year with a CAGR of 8.2%. Besides the big ones like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, startups like Coffeemug and Lunch Club are in the networking space.
But Ankit explains their biggest differentiator: the quality of the experts and the people on the platform. SupremeMinds is currently being primed, with the founders injecting their personal wealth into $ 150,000.
“Our future plans are to make every expert accessible to every young person in India. We want someone sitting in a remote city to be able to talk to a subject matter expert and make informed decisions. We want to level the global competitive field by including those who are marginalized due to prejudices, including school, university, city, gender, etc., that exist today, ”Ankit said.