The first year of it was full on big ups and big downs like – stopping consulting work to focus on product but side effect was huge shortage of cash, then those days/months without no salaries, first recognition at startup event, first coverage by startup blogs, first appearance on TV shows and finally first funding. At the end of that year, I wrote a blog post titled RainingClouds… A year down the lane…
The second year was even more interesting given that we had money to spend on things that matter and execute fast. Within 2 months of getting money into the account (well, it took us 6 months to get money in the bank account from the date it was promised, this was a really bad part) we launched the first version of the product and got it covered in TechCrunch, got first paying customer too. We iterated through second use case as well. At the end of year two, I wrote a blog post titled Two years at RainingClouds.
By the end of the third year, we had burnt through all the cash that we had, we were done with three product iterations and at a real low. We decided to start consulting again and keep the company alive. Six months down this path, when things were little stable with few consulting clients and some cash in the bank, I decided to quit. There were a couple of reasons for this – I was burnt out after almost 4 years of work in startups and I wanted to travel a little, while having less burden of work. So, the next thing for me was work with BigBinary. With BigBinary, I worked as a remote consultant and travelled for one year, lived in close to 20 cities spending at least one week each, across three countries. There was no blog post at the end of year three from me.
At the end of four years, my other co-founders in AppSurfer had given it one more attempt by launching instant apps. At this Google IO in May 2016, Google launched instant apps with a better approach at platform level. And after this, team AppSurfer decided to call it day, to quote –
A startup lifecycle is full of ups and downs. This is exactly what AppSurfer went through and this has been a great journey. Appsurfer got introduced into the market 4 years ago.We built a great team, moved fast and became first movers in the space. The journey saw AppSurfer move through various pivots and had its business model changed various times, raised funds, had great investors backing it and created a patented IP.
We tried real hard in last four years, spent everything we had on the product and company. We had a great time, learned a lot, knew our way forward and kept going. Two of our products eventually got built by Google itself, and now people world-over will be using them.
Today we are shutting it down, with a sense of pride in the effort and sadness at the result.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years.
Here is a blog post on the official blog of AppSurfer, it lists all the approaches that we tried and iterations we went through – AppSurfer bids adieu.
The past four years were full of learnings, ups-downs, adrenaline rush moments. Here is to next four!!
On 10th January 2015, I started travelling as a digital nomad with the first destination being Bengaluru.
On 15th January 2016, I came back to Pune from San Francisco with a short travel stop at Singapore.
In one year I travelled to four countries, 19 cities, 7 RubyConfs. Except two cities, I at least, spent 1 week in each city, with Bangalore and San Francisco being longest stays. Many many interesting stories on the road and much more learnings too.
Here is the map of all the places that I visited –
Planning to write more posts about stories from travel and about photography that I did while travelling…
Last year, on 1st of May, I wrote a blog post covering first year journey at RainingClouds. Today, we completes two years, and here is a post in celebration 🙂
Past year was full of happenings and exciting events, here are few –
On March 23rd last year, we got seed funded at Super Angels show. Completing paperwork and getting money in bank took us till July. As we had stopped doing services and consulting, in favor of full focus on AppSurfer – we had our share of ‘borrow and beg’ period in this time. Sudam – a roomie and childhood friend, helped in that period – and so we call him our ‘first investor’ 🙂
Help came from many other friends as well as family. Also from Alok, our advisor. Thanks to all for keeping show running in that time 🙂
In September of 2012, we launched our first stable version on web front. We got covered in few blogs for this interesting idea. But the real highlight came with coverage on TechCruch. It was fine evening one day, and suddenly flood of tweets started coming mentioning AppSurfer, that was first big coverage for us. This was followed by good words from biggies like TheNextWeb and VetureBeat also prominent Indian blogs like NextBigWhat and YourStory. After TechCruch, many Russian and Europian blogs covered and we saw huge traffic spike.
This was the time, when traffic was spiking a lot and we started having issues scaling few components in our stack. One of android stack component – adb – started failing at that scale. It was four days of day-night work and we built our custom tools replacing that -> proud geeky stories to tell 😛
Few months after that were intensive work periods when we shipped features like – facebook widget, mobile widget, mobile site, app lists, and added sensor support for – accelerometer, tablet mode support.
In March, we launched our Android app. Being in a startup gives lots of ups and downs days, that app launch day was one of big ups day for us. It was launched at Democonf India, later covered on TechCruch that same day. This time though, all systems were ready to scale without a hiccup. That was followed by few more good words by various blogs.
To conclude, this year started with beg – borrow days and a small beta product, worked out as a year when we delivered many feature updates and infrastructure updates to scale it, got good share of praise and is ending with a product having good traction behind, with few paying customers 🙂
Today is first anniversary of RainingClouds. We booked rainingclouds.com on 1st May 2011, and so consider the day as starting day of company. In those days, I used to have many discussions around entrepreneurship with my roomies(also old school friends), and idea of RainingClouds came from one of such discussion. To be precise, we had very intense discussion a day before i.e. on 30th April, while we were eating/drinking faluda at night, which more of triggered things. My roomies and childhood friends Aniket, Amit and I made up a team 🙂
Many people ask about story behind the name – RainingClouds. So here it goes – again all roomies drinking sugarcane juce at stall, and we were thinking of good name for company. Only focus was not to have any “unimaginable” or “unpronounceable” or “dead feel” name. Actually, it was bit rainy that day with cloudy sky. Probably first rains of summer. And that made Aniket think “RainingClouds”. As we said it more and more times, we liked it. To top it all, we got rainingclouds.com domain as well and so finalized the name.
After this, Aniket was only guy working full time on startup doing Android services. I joined him from August and started doing rails consultancy. In early August, I introduced Aniket and Amit to Akshay, one of my friend from engineering days. Later he also became part of team. It was in this meeting with him, that we first time thought of DroidCloud(now AppSurfer) idea. With whatever we had in mind, Akshay created prototype and we started preparing for PuneConnect event. we registered company as LLP with name RainingClouds Engineering.
On 5th November, we attended PuneConnect. It was first conference we attended with our product. To start with, there were 30-35 nomination from Pune product companies for PuneConnect event. Out of those entries, they selected top 12 product companies, and gave them a chance to present at event. Also, out of those 12 selected companies, ET NOW chose 4 companies for there show – “Starting up Showdown”. We demoed our prototypes in those events. DroidCloud also got selected in these 4 startups. Below is video of show –
After PuneConnect, we also got selected to present at UnPluggd 2011, held in Pune on 19th November. UnPluggd selected India’s top 10 product technology startups and gave them a chance to present in front of tech enthusiast and investers. More news here about UnPluggd.
After UnPluggd, came a long silent period of work, with many exciting problems getting solved on DroidCloud front. From January, we all stopped work on services and consultation and started investing our full time on DroidCloud.
In February, we met Mr. Alok Kejriwal for first time. The meeting was very exciting and he soon joined us as adviser. Considering future scope and naming issues with word “droid”, we rebranded ourselves from DroidCloud to AppSurfer.
Then came a very big day on March 24th. It was finale of ET NOW’s Super Angles at BSE, Mumbai. After ET NOW’s startup showdown at PuneConnect, we were selected in “Super Angles”, a reality show for statups to raise funding. I couldn’t attend finale, being at RubyConf India here in Pune. Out of 5 companies present at finale, 3 successfully wooed investors and AppSurfer got funding commitment from One97 mobility. Official AppSurfer announcement is here.
Today, on 30th April, just back eating same faluda again at same place, writing this post :-).. Last year was exciting and eventful journey and now with product tech base ready, funding money around the corner, more exciting days and work starts….