10 Jun 2024
Why Neon Invested

4 Min Read

Why Neon Invested In Crux

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Paradox & Problem Solvers

Startups are a paradox. You need to have a certain amount of delusion to believe that you can solve a massive problem, but at the same time also be flexible to accept what’s not working and make quick iterations.

That’s what the trio of Himank, Atharva & Prabhat have always done. They have been problem solvers and tinkerers from their IIT-Bombay days. Having worked on many projects together during college days, they decided to join forces to come together to start a much larger project, a startup. And after tens of pivots, they arrived at the current version of Crux, a decision-making co-pilot.

Problem Discovery

While talking to their Product Manager friends at companies like Flipkart and Meesho, they learned that getting data from a data analyst is hard and often takes close to a week. This seemed like a problem worth solving and they started reaching out to D2C brands (Direct-to-Consumer) in the US.

They were reaching out to SaaS founders who were selling in the US to understand the nuances of the US market and in a few conversations, these SaaS founders mentioned “Why don’t you build this for us? Our customers also ask for custom data cuts, reports, and insights.”

They ignored it for a couple of times, but after repeated requests, they decided to reach out to CPOs, CTOs, and VPs at large SaaS companies to gauge the level of demand. And just in the first week of cold outbound they got on 10+ calls.

They realised that there is such a strong pull from the market because it’s incredibly hard to solve this problem. And no company at scale today has been able to crack this yet. Simply because every database has a unique context that only exists as tribal knowledge and is never documented.

“The SaaS world is visualising a whole new way of how business decisions will be taken using software that is powered by LLMs. But LLMs are still far away from being reliable, fast, and cost-effective. We believe this requires a ton of dedicated effort and resources that most SaaS companies need help with.”, Himank Jain, Co-Founder Crux

“Retention Is All You Need”

Dharmesh Shah: Retention is all you need

Enterprise or mid-market scale SaaS companies that are data-heavy see a particularly high number of ad-hoc requests coming to CSMs (Customer Success Managers). A large part of these requests are related to fetching custom cuts of data, reports, or insights for making a decision.

The CSMs have to depend on their analyst team or the product team to get the right data and create a new dashboard or refer to one of the existing ones. And it generally takes anywhere from a couple of days to a week to do that.

This introduces a significant delay in decision-making for the customers, which may lead to customer churn. Now, with Crux, the CSMs can generate reports on their own without relying on anyone.

While they would send monthly or quarterly reviews, now it can be done on a weekly basis which helps in maintaining a strong relationship with the champion and decision maker. A number of SaaS companies have also received a demand from their customers to try their hands on such a capability.

Adding Intelligence to Business Intelligence

But Crux’s ambitions are much bigger than that. It’s said that “The Best B2B businesses save businesses time.” But with AI this is about to change. Soon it will be, “The best B2B businesses make businesses intelligent.”

“Business Intelligence tools appeared on the scene two decades ago. But even in 2024, they lack much intelligence and have been simply reduced to pretty dashboards. GenAI has brought the perfect opportunity to put intelligence back into these tools and fundamentally rethink how business decisions can be made.” Atharva Padhye, Co-Founder Crux

Neon is Proud to Back Crux

Neon’s investment in Crux underscores our belief in the drive of Atharva, Himank, and Prabhat to solve hard technical problems at scale. They are building the future of business intelligence, from static dashboards to actionable insights, a decision-making co-pilot. With the potential to revolutionise a $40 billion market and extend its impact across various data-driven sectors, we’re proud to be onboard this rocketship.

Crux Team

Founder's Word

Siddhartha is one of the few people with whom we can discuss all the ups and downs freely. He understands that startups inherently face challenges. His experience as a former founder gives him a unique understanding of our journey. We frequently consult with him, and he consistently encourages us to take the next step forward. This approach has been key to our progress. We look forward to continuing this relationship for years. Our journey with Neon has been immensely rewarding so far.

Himank Jain
Co-Founder Crux

Siddhartha Ahluwalia

I am Managing Partner at Neon Fund, B2B SaaS Fund investing in pre seed and seed stage B2B SaaS companies built by Indian founders and building for US Market. I am also host of Neon Show podcast, which I & Nansi started in 2018, one of the most listened podcast in the Indian Startup Ecosystem. I started Adddodoc, B2B SaaS CRM for Pediatricians in 2012, which got acquired by Sheroes in 2017. In 2019 I worked for VC firm Prime Ventures and in 2020 I worked for Amazon Web Services as the Head of SaaS Ecosystem for India for Startup BD India team My skills are starting companies from 0-1, and Go to Market in the US for B2B SaaS startups from 0 to $10M ARR is my forte. We are the only few VC funds globally that are practitioners of GTM ourselves.

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