Our first portfolio company from India, ProjectPro are supercharging the way data scientists do their work by providing plug and play solutions to save time and increase efficiencies. Founded by two YCombinator alumni, ProjectPro is the second startup from the founding team Omair and Binny who are on a mission to disrupt the software outsourcing business. With data scientists from international companies, Google, Tesla, Dropbox and GE, ProjectPro are continuing to grow on their existing user base in the US and Southeast Asia.
ProjectPro is changing the way Data Scientists get their work done. What we do is we help Data Scientists get their work done faster and get just-in-time learning by giving them pre-built reusable project solutions. Our customers are mainly located in the United States and Southeast Asia, and they pay us a yearly subscription to access these projects. Our current users include data scientists from Google, Tesla, Dropbox, Chevron, Verizon and GE.
How does the ProjectPro platform work?
Basically, let's say you were a data scientist, you are working for a company and you have to do an analysis on predicting customer churn. You have two options. You can either start writing your code from scratch which will take you a couple of months. During this time you will spend countless hours on online forums trying to put together a solution.
Or you could come to our place, ProjectPro. We already have solved that problem for you. You will find a project that predicts customer churn and that project comes with code that you can take and reuse. So rather than start from zero, you can start from like 40% of your project and cut down the amount of time you spend on it by almost half. As a result, you will also get just-in-time learning.
What would normally take you 12 weeks you could get done in three or four weeks because we have already done most of the heavy lifting for you. And the way we do that is we partner with experts in the industry who have already solved these problems and we get them to develop these solutions and upload it into our platform for you to reuse.
How does ProjectPro differ from similar platforms?
There are variations that are alternatives to what we do but they may not be a similar platform. The first differentiation for Project Pro is that we curate and quality check the templates, so data scientists get projects that actually work. The alternatives suggest user rated content, which data scientists have to spend a lot of time navigating figuring out and making sense of all of the information.
The second differentiation is that everything on our platform that we offer is an end-to-end solution. Everything else that's available out there, are all piecemeal options. You'll have to go to maybe seven different places to put together one solution. We are a one-stop shop. Those are the two biggest things that make us and Project Pro different from the other options out there.
Third, is that we provide just-in-time learning, unlike traditional learning where you learn a bunch of theoretical stuff in advance.
What gave you the idea for ProjectPro?
Before we started Project Pro, we were running an online education business together. We were training and delivering all kinds of online courses in data science. And then we realised that no matter how much we trained them when they started working on real stuff, they would eventually get stuck and that's kind of where they really needed help which is to get their work done.
So, we basically got our inspiration from there and the primary idea that the only reason people learn something is to get their work done faster. So, it's a lot more value to them. If you actually do that work for them and give it to them and that kind of triggered the project or idea.
What are your future plans for ProjectPro?
Our core vision is to disrupt the software outsourcing business. Today if you see companies like American Express or JP Morgan their outputs are entire projects to complete and they use organisations like Accenture and Infosys. So, now using ProjectPro’s pre-built modules they don't have to outsource their entire projects. What they can do is they can use modules our previous and start working in-house and only outposts that are remaining like the customisation part for these companies. Doing this they save both time and money.
In terms of growth we are currently at about US$150k of recurring revenue and plan is to get to annual recurring revenue of about US$1.6M in the next 12 months and continue to expand our user base.
What was your founder journey?
Omair: Basically I’m a software engineer by training. Throughout my college years, I was always inspired to do a start-up and I used to work on a lot of side projects. Like in my second year, I started building a marketplace where people can hire coders then in my third year, I built a music platform, and then I started making Vertical Search Engines. These actually used to generate a lot of revenue which I used to pay for my college tuition. Then once I graduated, I joined the JPMorgan Chase as a Senior Developer but my dream was always to come back and start my own company.
Actually, Binny and I have known each other since high school, so we decided to come back to work on our own startup together. ProjectPro is actually our second startup, our first startup, the edtech platform we mentioned earlier, was actually part of YCombinator’s program.
Binny: My first job was in finance. I used to work in investment banking for Credit Suisse in New York and that's where I got my inspiration to do something in education Career Development because I studied computer science. I was a programmer, but my first job was in finance. And these guys did a really good job at making me good at my job compared to somebody else who spent four years learning Finance. So that kind of triggered why I wanted to do something in career development and education. Then I worked for an online education company in San Francisco before joining with Omair to create our startups.
Accelerating Asia & ProjectPro
Why did you decide to join an accelerator program?
We joined Accelerating Asia specifically because we noticed a growing number of our customers are from Southeast Asia. So wanted some kind of assistance in getting connections and exposure to more Southeast Asia partnerships and customers and to better understand the region. That's the first thing, the second thing was help with our product and one of our friends had actually gone through a previous cohort with Craig. He actually had very good things to say about the team.
What has been the highlight of the program so far?
The program has helped us fine-tune our community and content loops well. The program is also great at giving actionable tactical inputs.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to a founder considering Accelerating Asia?
There is a ton of generic information available online about running a startup. What I really like about Accelerating Asia is the focus on immediately actionable tactics. It also really helps that the Accelerating Asia team is a set of people who genuinely care and want us to succeed. So they are hustling for us every day.
ProjectPro are part of Accelerating Asia Cohort 3 and received investment from our early-stage VC fund. During our last recruitment round for cohort 3, Accelerating Asia received 450 applications from over 25 countries and we have touchpoints with 2000+ startups per year.
If you’re interested in connecting with ProjectPro, investing alongside us, meeting our portfolio companies, or just generally interested in talking to us about startup investing, please reach out and tell us a little bit about yourself.
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Accelerating Asia invests in startups with scalable technology solutions and revenue generating business models that combine purpose with profit.
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At Accelerating Asia, our VC accelerator invests in startups from across Southeast and South Asia.