Things are moving very quickly for Vijay Ranganathapura and his tech company IQRoots Inc.
The Futurpreneur-supported business is expanding its presence into the US after launching just two years ago, having already secured clients in both Canada and India.
The Brampton company’s flagship technology, Veue, is a voice-enabled mobile application or plug-in that allows people to share their phone screens with one another.
Ranganathapura developed the technology in Bengaluru, India, launching the business in that country in March 2017. The following year he came back to Canada and opened the company’s headquarters in Brampton. And just one year later, Ranganathapura is now shifting into the next gear, looking to scale-up as competition is quickly developing products similar to Veue.
And while Ranganathapura say’s he’s confident his company’s technology will be sold around the world, he’s also quick to stress just how much it takes for a business to get themselves in a position to scale-up.
The concept for IQRoots came to Ranganathapura when he began thinking about leaving his job at Deloitte and creating his own e-commerce company. He looked closely at the online retail market and was surprised by statistics showing that online shopping made up only a fraction of the entire the multi-billion dollar retail industry.
“When you buy something important, you buy it with your friends and family. But when you buy online, that experience of sharing is missing,” he said.
“While everyone carries a smartphone, I saw that there was no product that allowed you to share something you were interested in buying with your friends and family. There’s desktop sharing, but nothing for mobile that’s easy and quick.”
That’s when the idea for IQRoots was born.
The potential application of the technology is enormous, says Ranganathapura. Huge service providers like Amazon, for example, could use the technology to enable support centre staff to connect securely with customers who may need personal assistance when buying something online.
But at the end of the day, Ranganathapura says, his vision has always been to create a technology that helps everyday people in their everyday lives.
IQRoots is making some huge splashes. The company is currently taking part in a pilot incubator in downtown Brampton. It’s also collaborating with some of the world’s leading artificial intelligence research centres such as the Montreal-based MILA, and the WaterLoo AI Research Centre.
But perhaps most significantly, IQRoots is currently part of the advanced program at the Founders Institute in California, the world’s largest pre-accelerator incubator.
Ranganathapura says the loan he received from Futurpreneur, in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada, has given him an important runway to land big investors. Something he says the company needs as competition creeps in.
And while the excitement around IQRoots and its Veue technology is growing, Ranganathapura says getting to this moment has taken an incredible amount of market research, patience and calculated risk. He says that businesses looking to scale-up truly need to have a product that is going to be applicable to large swaths of the market.
“It’s easy to come up with a product, but in order to actually be successful when you expand, it has to be something that helps people. It can’t just be a good idea. There’s just too much risk, people’s time and lots of money,” he says.
And of course, getting to this point has also taken a lot of personal sacrifice, something Ranganathapura says can’t be underestimated when a business is looking to take the next step.
“We work sometimes 24/7, actually,” he says. “There’s really no time for personal life. I haven’t seen my kids in 6 months, it’s not an easy lifestyle. But that’s truly what it takes if you want to be successful.”