Facebook Accelerator program in Singapore
Helping businesses engage, support, and convert customers
Failure has never stopped Nyha Shree. The tech entrepreneur had to shutter her first startup, an online tutoring service, after only 9 months. Despite the growing pressure from family and friends to give up and find a stable corporate job, Nyha continued to press on and test different business ideas.
“It’s definitely not easy when you are sidelined,” Nyha said. “I have gone through many moments of doubt and contemplation, and rarely had anyone to share and discuss my challenges with. But eventually I realised I can’t let others’ behaviour or perceptions bring me down.”
Now a serial entrepreneur, Nyha is on her sixth venture, Jumper.ai, an AI-enabled software platform that helps businesses chat and connect with customers via social media platforms.
A common business challenge
In 2014, Nyha’s clients for a different business were struggling to manage customer service and were looking for a solution. With apps, websites and social media pages, there were too many digital channels for customers to choose from, which made it hard for clients to answer questions as simple as pricing and inventory efficiently, and created a major obstacle for converting customers.
When Nyha encountered a frustrating siloed customer experience herself in 2016, she realized just how game-changing an easily manageable conversational commerce solution could truly be for both businesses and customers. She then set out to pave a new way for the digital customer service sector, and launched Jumper.ai in 2017.
Being a woman in technology
Despite a great idea and the technical know-how to make it happen, Nyha still faced major challenges to get Jumper.ai up and running. Aside from the disapproval of her career path from family and friends, she also faced discrimination, at times, from investors and people who were not comfortable with a woman leading a business and making executive decisions.
Nyha has now adopted the mental outlook that each difficulty she faces is a moment for personal growth – that these challenges happen for her, not against her. She said, “I take each challenge I face as an opportunity to reflect on how I can better handle situations, evolve as a person and become a better leader.”
Building a solution
Because the majority of Nyha’s clients were using Facebook and Instagram as their main digital channels, she decided to build Jumper.ai for Messenger. Nyha and her team then developed a conversational commerce platform that helped businesses manage chatting with, selling to, and supporting their customers on their preferred channels. “One of the biggest advantages of working on the Messenger platform is the ease of API integrations. The code is simple, there is ample documentation and you have the flexibility to integrate them on top of any tech stack,” Nyha said.
As Jumper.ai grew, Nyha knew the team needed additional technical expertise in order to scale. In 2019, she applied to the Facebook Accelerator program in Singapore, and after several rounds of interviews, Jumper.ai was among the ten companies from Southeast Asia to join.
She said, “The Messenger API and the Facebook Accelerator program came in just at the right time and opened avenues for us to build a solution our customers had been waiting for.”
“In the first week we were asked to set KPIs and North Star metrics for what we wanted to achieve,” Nyha said. “Facebook took those goals and made sure we had the sessions, 1-on-1 meetings, workshops and brain trust sessions that would identify and work through the most important metrics to grow our business.”
The Facebook Accelerator program also paired Nyha and her team with mentors who are experts in the field. “Our mentors were handpicked to provide us with direct expertise in the areas we needed the most help with,” Nyha said. “They helped us during every step of defining product roadmaps, solving UX issues, refining sales and marketing strategies and reworking price models.”
In addition, the Accelerator program gave Nyha and her team the opportunity to hear from senior industry leaders about their lessons learned and personal challenges, as well as to receive insights into team building and company culture. “The interactions were definitely inspirational,” Nyha said.
Taking the lessons learned and goals achieved with the Accelerator program, Nyha has grown Jumper.ai’s client base by 10x. The startup has gone from approximately 1,000 brands to over 15,000, which includes over 30 enterprises, such as Marvel and Unilever.
Nyha’s advice for women entrepreneurs is not only to build a product or company you are passionate about, but to find support networks early and to build on those. “We need more women sponsoring and rooting for each other.”