NCrypted helps startups to speed up their business with readymade software solutions, and has secured many clients in a short time in Greater Helsinki. Helsinki Business Hub has facilitated NCrypted’s path with soft-landing services and tours to get to know the local startup ecosystem.
In 2018 Indian software company NCrypted Technologies wanted to move forward on its growth path. The company had run a successful business in the US for over five years, and it was time to rock the European startup scene.
NCrypted is best known for its software products, which help startups to speed up their business. The startups don’t have to develop their own software solutions, but can rely on NCrypted’s products.
“If you want to start an on-demand business, for example, like Uber, you get a ready-to-use software solution from us that includes booking engine, matching mechanism, payment integration, real-time tracking, marketplace module, user apps and backend ERP without investing massively into software development and can move fast to test the market,” Pandya explains.
Kunal Pandya, the CEO of NCrypted, had put his eyes on Helsinki amongst other European capitals such as Berlin, London and Stockholm. NCrypted needed a center to lead its activities and expansion in Europe. Things became crystal clear during visits to Helsinki.
”Given the size of Helsinki, which is like a small town by population in India, it is amazing how developed the startup ecosystem is. Also, government funding for startups in their early stages is easily available. This really set the mood for us,” Pandya explains.
He was also impressed with the open culture, which is atypical to many cities.
”In Greater Helsinki people know each other and share information openly. This is absolutely a great thing as entrepreneurs need support,” Pandya says.
So NCrypted established an office to Helsinki in April 2019.
Tailored tour to learn fast
A lot has happened in a short time. NCrypted has already clients and a local team of two employees in Helsinki. The team handles current client projects, meets with new business prospects and takes forward R&D opportunities. The team cooperates with over 200 NCrypted developers in Ahmedabad and Rajkot in India.
All of this would not have happened without the help of Helsinki Business Hub, who provided NCrypted with soft-landing services such as contacts to recruitment agencies and tailored fact-finding tours. NCrypted’s team was introduced to the start-up ecosystem of Greater Helsinki and key players in startup funding for the first time in 2018.
”Marja-Liisa and Sandeep from Helsinki Business Hub have been really humble and helpful persons. During our first visit to Greater Helsinki we were introduced to the start-up and innovation networks from Maria 01, the Nordics’ leading startup campus in Helsinki, to Aalto University and Espoo Innovation Garden. It was also great to meet people from Business Finland and Finnish Business Angels Network, Fiban, and realize that startups can get funding from the start,” Pandya sums up. He refers to Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, CEO, and Sandeep Shah, Senior Business Advisor, from Helsinki Business Hub.
”One of the small, but very important learnings was that we need to hire a Finnish team from the beginning. Otherwise, we will suffer from a trust deficit in Finland.”
Later on, Helsinki Business Hub experts took Pandya and his team to Slush, the world’s leading startup event, which gathers some 25,000 people together in Helsinki. This includes 3,500 startups and 2,000 investors.
”We were seriously surprised that so many innovative startups came under the same roof. We learned that many startups have great ideas, but limited seed capital to spend on full product development. Investors normally won’t be interested unless you have something to show. We decided to take a deep dive and help the startups in many ways from our products to advice and even own investments,” Pandya says.
Taking deeper responsibility in the ecosystem
Pandya tells that NCrypted wants to be more than a sole software solution provider and developer. The company has gotten help in many ways and wants to give back to society.
NCrypted acts as an early-stage investor if they get to know a promising business with a growth mindset. This cooperation includes the use of NCrypted’s software services for a discounted price and consulting help in exchange for sweat equity in the startup along with capital investment in selected cases.
The company also participates in various startup and tech events and shares its knowledge of high-growth companies. NCrypted has worked with hundreds of startups across verticals such as E-commerce, Traveltech, Hospitality, Marketplace, On Demand, Fintech, Gaming, Enterprise, and Software for 14 years.
“We want to ensure that young entrepreneurs can make the most of our combined experience. Our team in Finland is very active in the startup ecosystem be it one-to-one mentoring, participation in judging panels in entrepreneurship events, partnering with startup accelerators, incubators, other startup hubs and investor networks,” Pandya lists.
New business, new employees
It seems that NCrypted has come to stay in Helsinki as the company grows.
”We estimate that we will hire a business analyst and a project lead within the next few months to support our existing operations and have some 7–10 employees later in 2020, which would include developers, business developers, senior system architects, and subject matter experts. This will be at least doubled by 2021 if growth goes according to our plans,” Pandya tells.
Right now the company offers software solutions to many segments. The portfolio includes, for example, a vacation rental solution and a multi-purpose e-commerce marketplace. Other NCrypted services are software development from scratch for more mature start-ups and skilled workforce for companies, who prefer to do software development in-house.
”The need for workforce is something new we have discovered here in Helsinki. We already provide it to clients,” Pandya says.
The NCrypted team in Helsinki is also busy with R&D activities. As the company grows, it plans to develop a new SAAS platform to support its business activities. One day, the platform might be sold to enterprise clients.
In this case, Helsinki Business Hub worked with our partner PrEver.
Writer: Katja Alaja