Kaagaz Scanner is Bharat’s own Document Scanning app which is making buzz around the internet since the ban on the Chinese app, CamScanner.
Ordenado Labs, the startup behind Kaagaz Scanner, was started in 2019 by IITians Gaurav Shrishrimal, Snehanshu Gandhi, and Tamanjit Singh Bindra (AIT Pune Alumni). They initially worked on an app called Sorted AI, a productivity app that acts as a personal assistant that helps in organizing Documents, Notes, Reminders, etc. The team was motivated to build a Homegrown Document Scanning app when Indian PM, Shri Narendra Modi called for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local campaign.
In the later June of 2020, when the most popular Document Scanning app, CamScanner was banned with 58 other Chinese Apps, homegrown Kaagaz Scanner came into the limelight with 100k installs overnight.
The USP of the app is that it requires no login, has no ads, adds no watermark, and despite free to use.
Last week, it successfully raised $575,000 led by Pravega Ventures, alongside Axilor Ventures, Better Capital, and a few prominent angel investors, including Phanindra Sama (Founder of RedBus), Farooq Adam (Founder of Fynd), and others.
Snehanshu Gandhi, co-founder, Sorted AI, joins us for a discussion on how and why the company was started and what all that they have in store for Bharat users.
Nikhil Bhauwala [NB] – Sorted AI was founded in July 2019. At that time, CamScanner was running smoothly and successfully. In an already competitive environment, what motivation did you guys have in mind while building Kaagaz Scanner?
Snehanshu Gandhi [SG] – Kaagaz Scanner was launched in June 2020. We have been working on another product in the productivity space called Sorted AI for the last 1 year. When our Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi Ji called for Aatma Nirbhar Bharat & Vocal for Local, everyone was talking about building Indian apps and removing foreign apps. We found out that there is no decent Indian scanning app available in the play store and that is when we decided to build one ourselves. It also was a natural extension to our other product (Sorted AI) which is an AI-powered reminders and tasks app and made sense for us to build it. Since the idea originated from the call for supporting the nation, we felt that an Indian name would be apt for it and hence named it Kaagaz Scanner.
NB – How do you plan to take on big rivals like Adobe and Microsoft? How do you differentiate your product from the competition?
SG – We are building for the Bharat users, who have very unique characteristics. One of the key characteristics is that these users are primarily Mobile-only users. They don’t even have a laptop/desktop in most cases. This means that their requirements are very different from the first generation of the internet & digital audiences who have different devices for different uses (work, personal, communication, entertainment, etc.). For Bharat users, everything is happening on the phone. We are focused on building for them & are working on more such core insights & nuances. This is helping us create a differentiated positioning in the market.
NB – Kaagaz Scanner first gained popularity due to the “Nationalism” wave. In the end, what all matters is the product. How do you plan to carry your marketing operations forward in the long term?
SG – It is true that at the start Kaagaz gained popularity because of the nationalistic sentiment in the country and we are proud of being an Indian app made for Indian users. At the same time, it is not just about the nationalism wave, it is also part of our product philosophy that we are building for the Bharat users. Whether it means building the UI/UX keeping in mind the Bharat users, making the app available in 9 different Indian languages, or providing the data security to the Indian users with features like no requirement of login, app working offline, or using Indian servers to store documents on the cloud. These product elements are going to help us differentiate in the market and grow among the users.
We believe a better product is what eventually matters to the users & word of mouth is the best marketing that a product can have. We are focused on building Kaagaz as a world-class product built in India & built for Indian users. Our marketing efforts are focused on telling our users about the product we are creating & that we are building it for them.
NB – Congratulations on your successful fundraiser. Now that you have a bulky wallet, what new features/optimization can users expect from Kaagaz Scanner. How do you plan to invest hereon?
SG – Our focus right now is to make Kaagaz Scanner a world-class product that helps people digitize their documents, organize them & store them. Leveraging AI we want to make Kaagaz a Smart Storage solution for mobile-first users. Our immediate focus is to offer a cloud storage solution to our users where they can back up their important documents & keep them well organized. Along with that, we are going to be introducing AI capabilities that will help users manage these documents with minimum effort.
With the fundraising, we are also focusing on building our team (we were just 3 founders & 1 other team member till our recent fundraise) so that we can develop the product & features faster for our users.
NB – Now coming to the most commonly asked question; What monetization strategy are you planning to incorporate in the future? Is the approach modified after you completed your first major funding?
SG – Our primary focus right now is on becoming a go-to app for more and more users for managing their documents & storage requirements. User engagement & providing value to our users is what we want to focus on for now. We are working on offering a Smart storage solution to our users and would look at introducing a subscription offering sometime in the future. We have more ideas around monetization but we aren’t committing to any of those yet before we have built a product that is used & loved by more and more users.
We tried our hands on the app and we found the app to be pretty decent and snappy. With just one suggestion to make automatic edge detection better, we wish team Kaagaz Scanner all the best for their future endeavors.
You can download the app by searching “Kaagaz Scanner” on the Play Store or can directly visit the link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=kaagaz.scanner.docs.pdf&hl=en_IN&gl=US
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