Many startups apply to Y Combinator more than once. Alex Sergeev and Marat Zhanabekov were lucky enough to make it on the first try. Their startup nGrow.AI is solving one of those everyday problems for marketers using artificial intelligence. In this Interview with TechBullion, Alex Sergeev shared how they managed to attract the attention of investors and succeed with the no-code SAAS solution.
Alex Sergeev: nGrow is a no-code platform for marketing in push notifications.
Unique fields: no-code integration (10 times faster to integrate) Guaranteed app revenue uplift ( we claim that our customers got 10-30% revenue increase, 9/10 pilots – do) Full automation level. The platform can cover all push notification marketing needs for small, medium, and medium enterprise companies. With nGrow it is not necessary to hire marketers since the platform does its job.
TechBullion: Who came up with the name? How many people are in your team today?
Alex Sergeev: The idea of the name is mine. In Mathematics, ‘N’ is a multiplier or variable, usually a natural number. And ‘grow’ since we help to grow apps even faster. So nGrow equates to “multiple grow” or “growth multiplier.”
TechBullion: Who are the customers for your solution, how big is this market, and what is the level of demand for no-code solutions like yours?
Alex Sergeev: Our customers come from different app categories. Gold customers come from Utility, e-commerce, gaming, food delivery, and subscription-based apps. No-code is significantly on demand since every code change of the app causes review from the app store, increases crash rates, and increases the Mb weight of the app. Another SDK for app developers means lots of effort; believe me, I spent 10 years implementing SDKs into the apps.
TechBullion: What problems were marketing teams facing before nGrow, please give us a breakdown of the solutions you provide with nGrow?
Alex Sergeev: As you probably know, iOS15 and the new Android OS require marketers to be super responsive and adjust every push notification to avoid the risks of being in the “Summarise folder” (Spam folder). That means a new reality for mobile apps marketers, who need to be super precise with targeting, and timings and speak a very contextual language. However, present tools did not change their old-fashioned “rule-based approach” for the last 10 years. We see 20-30% push notifications performance decrease since iOS 15 was released.
TechBullion: Could you give us a walkthrough of the nGrow platform and features? How does it work?
Alex Sergeev: The most valuable features are:
- The multi-armed A/B testing of push notification adjustment parameters is a new level A/B testing
- We have one of the best approaches to auto-generate text with the help of our RND’s with GPT-3 content creation, especially for push marketing, helping to increase conversion rates
- We provide an extremely powerful analytical supplement since every cohort of the user we send notifications could be analyzed through analytical platforms like Amplitude, Firebase, AppsFlyer etc.
TechBullion: You just finished an acceleration program by Y combinator. What insights did you have?
Alex Sergeev: It was very helpful. Those people from the accelerator saw thousands of startups, they are very discerning because they are hearing hundreds of pitches, and every founder comes with their own perspective and shows different market size numbers within the same industries. So, you cannot just sell them anything or convince them very easily. They ask you very deep questions and teach you to look at things from other angles.
Now, since we completed our 1.5M seed round, with current $40K and 200M notifications sent per day, we assume we can double those numbers and switch to more complex algorithms + more sustainable backend infrastructure. Also, we are about to set up a sales + Customer Success team in SF.
Money will go to:
- Building sales + CS team hosted in US + partnership manager (3-5 employee)($30%)
- Acquisition channels + Content marketing + Community creation ($30%)
- Extend our frontend dev team (+1), backend team lead (+1), DevOps (+1) + solution engineer (1) ($20%)
- Legal and other Ops (20%)
TechBullion: What are you currently working on, and what is next on your roadmap at nGrow?
Alex Sergeev: We are about to build low code, high automotive SaaS for all communication channels. We want digital products to be precise with their messages to users as well as we want it to become fast and simple to start for all apps – no matter the size of budget or marketing and developer resources at a customer’s disposal.
TechBullion: Any other resources or information you would like to share with us today?
Please take a look at our YC application and web page: