The tech ecosystem in Pakistan has brought many promising start-ups to the fore. One of them is the Software as a Service (SaaS) tool start-up, Social Champ (SC). The brainchild of Shakir Ghani (COO, Co-founder), Sameer Ahmed Khan (CEO and Co-founder), and Zohaib Shakir (CTO and Co-founder), SC is a social media marketing automation and management software platform that primarily caters to start-ups and small and medium enterprises.
Incubated at Nest I/O in 2016, SC has, within a few years, become a platform that is in direct competition with older and more established social media management tools such as Buffer and HootSuite, and has recently entered into a strategic alliance with Sybrid (a Lakson Group company). This collaboration will help Social Champ scale further globally and locally. Proceed, a digital agency is also collaborating further to increase their marketing efforts.
“Things kicked off when I met Ather Imran Nawaz, CEO, Sybrid; we talked about SC and he showed an interest in our product. He and his team saw potential in SC, which led to the strategic alliance,” explains Sameer Ahmed Khan, CEO and Co-founder, Social Champ.
Last year, the start-up raised $100,000 in seed funding from Oman Technology Fund’s Wadi Accelerator and qualified for Wadi’s accelerator program in London and Muscat. This year, despite the dip in financial activity due to Covid-19, SC has managed to raise a further investment of $225,000 from a private angel investor; however, SC has faced several challenges as well.
“The pandemic has affected small businesses drastically and as a result, we lost quite a few of our clients. However, during these tough times, we tried our best to support our customers by giving them as many concessions as possible,” Khan says.
According to him, SC began as an “accident”.
“It started as a tool that I wanted to create to solve a problem I faced of reaching more audience in different time zones. I came across a theory titled as “The Art of Repeating” by Guy Kawasaki and thought to implement it during weekends with my cofounder.” says Khan.
Given the fact that SC now has clients across the world, it is safe to say that many businesses were tired of switching tabs. SC now is a complete social media suite where business can publish content across all social profiles, reply to inbox messages or comments and generate analytical white labelled reports of their social media activities.
“The majority of our customers are from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. To date, we have posted approximately 50 million posts across various social media platforms.” In Asia, SC has clients in Turkey, India, and Pakistan, which constituted nearly five percent of their total client base last year.
So far, SC’s social media suite includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google My Business. The start-up is planning to bring YouTube on board and eventually try to “get the API (application programming interface) for direct posting on Instagram, and third-party authorisation to schedule Facebook Ads on Facebook.” Monthly packages range between $10 and $199. Users can also opt for a free account wherein they can add up to two social media accounts and schedule up to 15 posts at a time. Their lowest subscription rate of $10 offers users 15 social media accounts and scheduling 300 posts, and is therefore more economical when compared to Buffer, which charges $15 a month for a basic subscription that allows users to access eight social media accounts and schedule 100 posts.
In the next couple of years, SC will be targeting more digital-based businesses (including agencies) to come on board as clients, so they can “utilise our product to improve their digital visibility. We are constantly working to further improve our Mobile App and Chrome extension,” says Khan. He adds that they will move towards customisation as well, by making SC available in different languages to clients in various countries.
Taniya Hasan is a content marketer.