An Interview with Entrepreneur Ravi Raj

Please give us a brief background about yourself.

After finishing my undergrad from IIT, Madras, I received an MS from the University of California, Irvine. I then worked for several high-tech companies in Silicon Valley including SGI, AltaVista, and Yahoo. Later, I was the VP/GM at Kosmix, a search and social media startup, which was acquired by Walmart in 2011 to form @WalmartLabs. After a few years of working as an exec at Walmart, I started an AI company called Passage AI with two of the most brilliant engineers in Silicon Valley, who I had worked with at Kosmix. We recently announced that we exceeded $1 million in annual recurring revenue within 6 months of launching our product and closed our Series A funding in May this year.

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Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.

Tell us something about Passage AI

Passage AI is the leading conversational AI middleware in the world. Our award-winning solution is currently being used by some of the largest corporations in the world to deploy chatbots for use cases such as customer service automation, conversational commerce and IT help desk automation. Once a bot has been built using our platform, it can be easily deployed on the customer’s website, mobile apps, messaging platforms like FB Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp, Slack and SMS and voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Microsoft Cortana. Our customers and industry analysts have reported a high accuracy (95% or higher) for chatbots powered by our natural language understanding/processing (NLU/P) platform.

What are your growth plans for the near future?

We recently announced that we surpassed $1 million in annual recurring revenue within 6 months of launching our platform. Having just raised Series A, we want to grow our BD/sales and engineering organizations, delight customers with a world-class AI offering and become the leader in the space.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

What we have learned is that when there is high demand for a solution, you should think big and aggressively go after the market opportunity. We were hesitant to do this in the early days as we were focused exclusively on product/technology, but we have since course corrected and have vastly scaled up our outbound marketing and sales efforts.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career? What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

I think the biggest hurdle that keeps people away from being an entrepreneur is the fear of failure. What history has shown us in the technology industry, in particular, is that failure can lead to great success in the future if the entrepreneur can learn from their mistakes and focus on what went right as opposed to what went wrong.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.