This inspiring story is of a rising startup called NextBillion AI started by Ajay Bulusu and Gaurav Bubna. NextBillion AI’s mission is to build the world’s most easy-to-use, cost-effective, and advanced hyperlocal AI solutions. NextBillion solves industry pitfalls by providing better ETAs, optimal driver routes, accurate fee estimations, and batch route optimizations. Also, Nextbillion AI provides AI-enabled hyperlocal solutions for logistics, delivery, e-commerce, and ride-sharing businesses targeting global markets. The startup has managed to secure seed funding as of Jan’21. Here is the story of NextBillion AI in Ajay and Gaurav’s own words.

Introduce us to the idea of NextBillion AI

The startup is building the geospatial infrastructure needed for enabling location-based experiences, looking to address complexities such as underdeveloped infrastructure, megacities, complex addresses, and constantly evolving road networks in markets such as the US, EMEA, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria using a combination of data, AI, platform and people.

While enterprise adoption of location-based technologies was already an emerging trend, it has become increasingly relevant, with consumers relying on e-commerce and grocery and food delivery services during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The startup’s first product, Nextbillion Maps, is an AI-enabled mapping solution that combines multiple sources – including open data, private operational data, and client proprietary data – that helps enterprise organizations build custom routing and geocoding engines that power distance, time, and route estimation APIs. It also provides last-mile route optimization for mobility and logistics companies, map tools, and map data editing for more accurate maps.

What’s your strategy story? What led you to start NextBillion AI?

Enterprises require a mapping environment that can incorporate custom map data and on-the-fly hot-fixes. NextBillion is introducing customized mapping experiences to organizations that suffer from big logistical challenges but don’t have the bandwidth or resources to build their own maps environment.

Assisting enterprises by collecting custom map data across tough locations provides them with a more comprehensive mapping environment. Implementing these solutions will tie back into better customer satisfaction, increased operational efficiency, and safer driver experiences.

What marketing, operation strategies are you adopting at NextBillion AI?

Nextbillion’s solution does the marketing for us. Nextbillion AI is solving the challenge enterprises are facing in the mapping world.

There is also an element of market creation that we’re doing, educating the market and our customers on how to think of maps is a key element for us.

For example, product marketing and content marketing via educational blog posts, case studies, white papers will be a key focus for us.

Any strategy mistakes you have made and what did you learn?

Our product and geographic focus was designed mostly toward smaller markets whereas the problems we eventually are solving are global in nature. We should have focused on a specific product and market instead of spreading ourselves too thin in the initial days.

We also didn’t focus enough on the go-to-market strategy early enough (sales, sales engineering, product marketing, customer success).

Finally what advice do you have for your fellow entrepreneur readers?

“I have started at adversity thrice in my professional life and have come out stronger every-time. My only advice is to just work hard for the first 10-15 years of your career, never give up, and always keep learning. I didn’t study beyond 2009, never completed an MBA, and never attended a University post-recession. But I still learn every day at my job. A lot of the youngsters that I have met and mentored recently want instant success, constant gratification, and a lot of money. All this will follow if you work hard and keep your eyes and ears open.” – Ajay Bulusu

Disclaimer: The information in the above story is provided by the startup and The Strategy Story takes no responsibility for the authenticity of the product and services offered by the startup. Reader’s discretion is advised.

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