Flock, the company that has built an app that helps teams work together on smartphones and desktops is taking on Slack, its larger rival in the US by opening up its platform for developers to build applications on top of it.
Founded by Bhavin Turakhia, Flock is looking at local technology firms in India to build its user base with promise of improving team productivity -- critical for their growth, while expanding to traditional markets such as the US.
Flock claims its product has been downloaded by over 250,000 users, while it sees around 40,000-50,000 of them use actively every month. Less than 2 per cent of its users have bought the premium service for a monthly fee of $3 for advanced features on its platform.
The firm says third party developers who build applications on the platform could eventually offer it to Flock users on the app, and earn revenue.
"Chat is the going to be the next OS," said Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO of Flock, who sold his bootstrapped ad-tech company Media.net to Chinese investors for $ 900 million few months ago. "This particular space is just starting off. There are less than 4 million people who are using team messengers. But there are over half a billion employee professionals globally", he further added.
It also competes with Microsoft's Skype for Business, which is valued at over $ 3.8 billion when it last raised funds.
Flock is pricing its premium subscription at $3, nearly a quarter of Slack's model, offering its increased options to work and collaborate on its platform than its rival. Turakhia says that he may look at private equity investment for growth, but it is not necessary. The brothers have over $1.4 billion cash from companies they earlier sold to investors, the biggest of which is Media.net.
Turakhia cites the growing exchange of real time information across organisations to bet on chat as the next growth engine, while hoping that simple apps that are built on top of the messaging framework would improve productivity.
Flock has over 35 applications built on its platform, which it hopes would expand as more users adopt the collaboration tool.