It has never come as a surprise that the best startup solutions and most passionate entrepreneurs are the one who end up solving their own pain points. For Sagar Kogekar founder of Billbooks the journey began with the advent of his startup Webwingz which he started at the age of 18 years, engaged in client servicing. He would be able to provide and do the client work but the part about billing was always a hassle. Invoicing and billing like most people was done in Word by him.
Soon Sagar realised the potential in the market. Rather than jumping head first into developing the solution Sagar took his time and did his research to find the niche he was targeting. By 2012 he had gone full time into developing Billbooks as a product with his team. Billbooks was his take on creating an online invoicing solution for small and mid-sized businesses.
On signing up for the first time the user is gifted three invoices to try and experiment with the product. Irrespective of the package a user takes, all the features are uniformly accessible on the platform. Which is a big plus. The pricing model begins from as low as $10 per 20 invoices upto 60$ for 200 invoices. With no monthly rental and expiration of the recharge, the user is free to use the invoice credit as and when he wishes.
The product is aimed at North American and the European markets with language customization in five languages to tap the local clientele. Sagar claims the user base to be in the early hundreds with nearly 10% of them being paid customers of the product. To say what an ideal Billbooks customer looks like would be an exercise in futility with diverse occupational users ranging from a video jockey based in Spain to a wood artist in Australia to a piano teacher in the US being proponents of the product. The unifying factor being the freelancer or the small enterprise economy.
Billbooks is not without competition and claiming otherwise would be unjust. The space for online accounting softwares even those with a focus towards SME is a crowded one. Solutions from big names like Zoho and Intuit, and products like Freshbooks already exist in the market. With many of them offering more utility in the form of mobile products at a slightly higher price point. But the USP of Billbooks would lie in offering a simple approach to a more professional looking billing solution for the freelancers and helping keeping track of partial payments, scheduled reminders and giving free estimates. The service should be an ideal product for people with extremely limited invoice requests a month and their model actually encourages that with no expiry on the invoice credits.
In the coming months of the product timeline we can look forward to having native mobile products for the Android and iOS ecosystems in place for Billbooks. Features like the Freshbooks import option are already in place making it a breeze to get new users onboard and be up and running on Billbooks quickly.
You can show Billbooks some startup love and sign up to let us know what you think about the product! But the fact remains there is a niche that Billbooks fulfills and Sagar is happy building a product for that.