The story of WiJungle
The company failed multiple times and developed a Unified Network Security Gateway product. Express Computer's Abhishek Raval speaks with Karmesh Gupta, CEO, and co-founder at WiJungle
What led you to develop a unified network security product. Any story that is associated with it.
Yes, it has been an outcome of learning from our previous venture. We began our entrepreneurial journey in 2014 as a completely free wi-fi service with no data and time limit. The third-party vendor we hired to suggest products and design the network recommended us the need to procure a UTM (from security angle) and AAA product (from guest user management side). Being bootstrapped, somewhere digesting this suggestion was difficult for us due to the below reasons:
1. As a founder, we were not able to understand the key technical differentiation behind the existence of these two different products.
2. The rise in investment (more than double).
3. Complexity to understand and manage two different products on a daily basis.
Two years later when we were taking steps to initiate something around security, the above facts gave realization to work around All-In-One product and we termed it as Unified Network Security Gateway.
During the preliminary stages, you suffered massive losses. How did you come out of the woods?
We failed twice. The shut down of the initial venture which was about ‘Completely Free WiFi’ service, burnt our hands badly. It was a massive hit but still, the urge to succeed was so high that we kept on running the company and shifted our focus to IT services (the easiest thing we could have done to cover our losses without any new investment). For a year, we served multiple organizations including Patanjali, Indian Railways, etc. and converted the majority of red to black in financial sheets. Somewhere in Dec 2016, we made a return to product space to start our second venture i.e. social wi-fi product, which again was required to be stopped after 2.5 months & 13 installations due to ongoing telecom revolution. However overall it was profitable.
How are you planning to use the funding you are planning to raise?
At present, we are not aggressively putting efforts to raise but yes whenever we would, utilization will be around R&D, IP and expanding sales workforce.
If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]