[Startup Bharat] Meet the entrepreneur who sold his app for $1 million and started an IT augmentation business

When Sidharth Jain was looking to raise funds for his web application development startup GRAFFERSIDhe found no takers.

GraffersID offered IT services to build apps for startups, but couldn’t convince investors to back him because he was an early entrepreneur from the small town of Bhadwa (near Indore).

But Sidharth had an ace up his sleeve.

“While building my team at GraffersID and working on client app projects, we also created an interesting product. We built an image processing app where you could click on an image of a dish, and the app would tell you the name of the dish, its caloric values, the list of ingredients and the recipe,” says Sidharth. Your story.

However, bringing this product to the B2C (business-to-consumer) market was too expensive for the B2B (business-to-business) startup.

“An investor we spoke to said he didn’t want to invest in us but was happy to buy this image processing product. I didn’t want to sell it, so I randomly said I would sell it for a million dollarsconfident that the investor would reject it outright,” he says.

The investor, whom he did not name, said, “Sounds good, let’s do the deal,” and closed the deal for $1 million, Sidharth claims.

This unexpected exit turned GraffersID into cash and allowed Sidharth to scale the startup to a non-cloud, Resource as a Service (RaaS) project.

Today it is an IT augmentation startup specializing in remote onboarding, approved React and Node.js developers and offers its services to its clients on a contractual basis.

The Graffers ID team

GraffersID Traction

Started in Indore in 2018 with an initial investment of approximately 50,000 rupeesthe startup now has an annual turnover of more than Rs 8 billionaccording to Sidharth.

“We work with 58 Series A+ funded clients, 14 unicorns, 10 Fortune 100 companies and over 50 projects in the ideation stage,” he claims, adding that GraffersID is a profitable venture.

GraffersID account Gojek, Coca-Cola, Duolingo, Patreonand others among its main customers.

“Clients need efficient developers who can start working on a project immediately. Our old service model of taking on individual projects and seeing them through was not scalable. So we transformed into a RaaS product and started offering high-quality developers to work on customer projects,” says Sidharth.

Aditi Moonatwho is chief marketing officer at GraffersID (and married to Sidharth), says the startup’s content marketing strategies have worked well in attracting customers.

“Regularly posting product and technology related content on LinkedIn and other social media channels, as well as doing SEO marketing has helped us convert a few clients. Indeed, startups needed a service that met all of their immediate IT and web application development needs,” she explains.

An Unexpected Journey

After graduating from Thakur College of Engineering and Technology (and then, IIT Bombay), Sidharth began working at Accenture as a software engineer. He was eventually presented with an opportunity to move to the United States.

“At the time, I didn’t really know what to do with my life. But my father suffered from a heart problem a few months before I was supposed to fly, and I had already quit my job at Accenture,” he says.

Sidharth decided to stay in India, but wasn’t sure which way to go.

“During these uncertain times, I used to write some of my thoughts on LinkedIn and share my two cents on how startups can solve their IT needs,” he says. “Slowly more founders started reading my content and contacted me to tell me they were having similar challenges with their startups and if I could solve them for them.”

He started GraffersID due to his inability to respond to technical requests he received on LinkedIn from startups asking him to help with their IT needs.

Sidharth Jain and Aditi Moonat

From content writer to founder

Sidharth observed that many startups faced similar IT issues while building them. They would hire IT companies for app development, but the vendors would make big promises and break their promises. Applications developed by IT agencies faced several technical challenges and issues, or were not ready for the market.

Not all founders have a technical or product-oriented mindset, or may develop applications in-house. So, they outsource application development but with poor results. Looking at this, I started writing even more content about best practices in app development, combining business and technology strategy, and more. says Sidharth.

Unable to handle all the requests from startups asking him to help them with their technical product needs, Sidharth has started outsourcing some projects to trusted developers, and they will implement his product development approach.

As the number of requests grew, Sidharth began hiring developers and building his team to respond directly to those requests, setting the stage for the launch of GraffersID.

In four years, the native of Bhadwa has built a team of 100+ people seated in Indore and serving a wide range of clients across the globe.

Selling the image processing application in the first two years served as a catalyst for building his vision for GraffersID. Another – and perhaps more lasting – catalyst is his mentality of making every product a success.

“In my mind, every product we make should be a big hit. If our client fails, then we’ve failed. We screen clients and make sure they succeed. They refer us to more clients and the cycle continues. he says.

Going forward, GraffersID aims to build a team of 500+ people and set up offices in dubai and the WE. He also plans to further carve out a niche for himself in the larger $531 billion market for outsourcing IT services (according Béroé Inc data), while other startups including Toptal, Crew scale and Uplers focus more on IT staff augmentation and offshore development services.