Trepup - Unicorn on the Horizon: World's Largest Business Network

Urvi Parmar, Senior Software Engineer,Jaypal Solanki, Chief Technology Officer

Urvi Parmar, Senior Software Engineer
Jaypal Solanki, Chief Technology Officer

Trepup is one of the most exciting new companies in India today. It is a global online business network company and a proud ‘Made in India’ product. It is the first Indian company to be present in all 195 countries of the world. Not even India’s largest and oldest companies like Tata and Infosys have their presence in as many countries as Trepup. Trepup’s mission is to level the playing field for small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) around the world. Its collaboration and inclusive growth model empowers people and businesses that have been left behind.

Trepup has three exceptional unique selling propositions (USPs) that benefit everyone. The first USP is Trepup’s Trepboard - a global board where users can advertise, promote, and share information for free. It follows a ‘search neutrality’ philosophy that displays unbiased search results without any algorithms or filters. On Trepboard, users can narrow or broaden their search to find local as well as global goods and services.

The second USP is Trepmail, a one-of-a-kind combination of email marketing service and business network on a single digital platform. With Trepmail, users have a direct way to reach their followers and target audience unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where users have to post content or advertise without the guarantee that their followers will see it.

The third USP is Trepup’s data security methodology, a critical component in today’s world where security breaches and data leaks are constantly in the news. Trepup does not share or sell users’ data, nor does it track users’ digital footprints over the Web. Trepup complies with all local data rules of every country that it is present in.

The origin and history of Trepup is interesting. Trepup was started by John Verbic in May 2014. John is an American -born entrepreneur who emigrated from New York to Mumbai in August 2007. The global financial crisis (2007-2008) made it difficult for John to find employment in India. He used his free time reading technology books to find a way to overcome his challenges of accessing business opportunities. His research introduced him to platform and network-based business models. The idea inspired John and he began his journey to lay the foundation of Trepup.

The name of the company, ‘Trepup’, is as interesting as its history. It was coined by John by combining parts of 'entrepreneur' and 'startup' to focus on new companies and the people who create them.

What makes Trepup our pick for the Company of the Year 2018? Here are the distinguishing features that set it apart from other Indian companies.

Navigating the Digital Upsurge
Trepup’s sign-up process is free and simple. A user can create a business or personal account in just two steps. One ofthe unique aspects thatdifferentiates Trepup from other global products is that it requires users to select their country at the time of sign-up, which cannot be changed later. This allows Trepup to incorporate both local tax and data rules on a country-by-country basis. Earlier this year, the European Union announced the General Data Protection Regulation and the Reserve Bank of India made payment data localization mandatory. Trepup’s tax and data infrastructure make it easy to accommodate and comply with these rules in any country. Large technology companies have found it difficult to implement the new rules, giving Trepup a competitive advantage in this league.

Urvi Parmar, Senior Software Engineer, says, “At Trepup, we believe there is a profound structural change taking place globally in the way governments and people view data security and tax compliance. We have therefore developed highly differentiated infrastructure and processes to meet the evolving data and tax rules in all 195 countries that Trepup is in”.

Data security is of critical importance to Trepup especially in today’s world when security breaches are increasing. To meet global payment card security standards, Trepup is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Through its partnerships with payment specialists - Adyen (Netherlands), Stripe (U.S.), CCAvenue(India), and SISA (India)- Trepup’s PCI DSS compliance ensures that card information is stored, processed, and transmitted in a secure environment.

While PCI DSS makes card payments safe, 1-Click makes them quick. With 1-Click, Trepup pre-selects address and payment card details whenever a transaction is done, making the process fast and easy. Amazon had the patent for 1-Click technology, which expired in September 2017 giving Trepup an opportunity to use it.

Websites, a Drop in the Ocean
In this Digital Age, it is mandatory for every business to have an online presence. However, not all businesses have a website
because it requires considerable investment, time, and personnel to design, develop, and maintain. For example, a website designer is required to design the website, developers to code it, and search engine optimization (SEO)specialists to optimize it for Google. These tasks are complex and require highly-skilled resources, which may not be possible or affordable for most people. Trepup helps everyone to achieve this without the complexities, costs, and on-going maintenance hassle.

Ashutosh Kaushik, Senior SEO Analytics Strategist, says, “A Trepup business page has all the characteristics of a website and creating it is as easy as a do-it-yourself activity. The page contains all the details in a website, including logo, business details, contact details, product offers, events, jobs, and news”.

Even if a business creates its own website, getting found on the Web is next to impossible. The Web is huge with nearly two billion websites. Of these, only 10 websites per keyword get ranked on Google’s first search results page and the top of this page is generally taken up by advertisements. 90 percent of users worldwide do not go beyond the first page. These statistics prove that if a website is not on the first page of Google, there is a very slim chance for the website to be viewed and clicked. Trepup solves this issue for its users. A remarkable feature is that every Trepup page as well as posted content has in-built SEO, unlike social networking services, helping users to get ranked higher on Google. Trepup pages and posts are typically displayed on Google’s first page and many times above major websites like Facebook and LinkedIn. A Trepup page ranks high even if the search is for localized data giving users optimal online visibility.

Pranali Devalkar, SEO Analytics Manager, says, “Ignoring SEO is like starting a business but not telling anyone about it. At Trepup, we ensure that all pages are well optimized for relevant keywords to increase the chances of ranking high on Google’s first page. SEO on Trepup gives businesses the maximum results with minimum effort”.

Organizing the World’s Businesses
Trepup’s business pages are infinitely better than LinkedIn and significantly better than Facebook. No other website in the world has as much business information on a company as a Trepup page. Each Trepup page is like a micro website encompassing all the information included on a website. A Trepup business page has three main sections - About, Timeline, and Gallery - that classify and organize information.

About displays the business name and includes details like the brand logo, category, number of employees, type of entity, location, business photos and videos and more. One of many eye-catching features is the animated banner photo. Users can add up to three banner photos and rotate them with over 30 animations. Banners are excellent for advertising and promotion as they are displayed at the top of the page.

On Trepup, each business has a quick response(QR)code that contains the brand logo and a unique identification number. The QR code can be scanned and downloaded and used on websites, products, and visiting cards to help businesses advertise, share, and connect for free.

Shantanu Gaonkar, Team Lead, says, “The QR code is a quick, efficient, and accurate method of displaying a business page rather than manually entering the URL, eliminating human error. It gives a business a competitive edge by bringing in more sales and helping it to grow”.

Each business has a user-generated 5-star rating and reviews, similar to Airbnb and Amazon, to improve credibility, increase conversion rates, and help people to make informed decisions. The About page also has more ways to contact a business than Justdial, and includes phone numbers, email addresses, website, and external links.

Timeline is a sequential display of all posts that the business has created. A post can be created by selecting any one of four categories - products, news, events, and jobs. Posts can be filtered by category and searched by keyword. All public posts by a business are displayed on Trepboard, a breakthrough feature on Trepup.

On Trepboard, users can advertise their business worldwide for free. Any business that makes a post on their business page is visible on Trepboard. On social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, users only see posts from friends or people they are following. Trepboard eliminates this restriction. For example, a retail jeweller in New York City can find a diamond dealer in Mumbai simply through keyword search.

Sanjay Sagore, Senior Software Engineer, says, “Trepboard displays posts without any algorithms and filters unlike search engines. At Trepup, we adhere to a 'search neutrality' philosophy and display impartial and comprehensive search results. Trepup's mission is to level the playing field for businesses worldwide”.

Trepboard displays content from businesses in any country unlike Google and Facebook where search results are localized. Users can either narrow their search to find local goods and services or they can broaden their search to find anything anywhere. Trepup believes that showing only local options to users narrows their
opportunities and inhibits business growth and success.

Gallery is a collection of all photos and videos used in posts. The media is grouped in default folders - products, news, events, and jobs. A folder can be shared, and users can filter the gallery and discover stored multimedia.

Trepup offers unlimited file storage giving users the advantage of saving their business-related media in a single, central location. The photos and videos can be viewed and played in Trepup’s own player without any third-party support. An excellent feature of Trepup is that media can be synced from the Trepup gallery to the user’s Trepmail library. Trepmail is a one-stop-shop email marketing service that is used for advertising, direct marketing, promotion, and personal selling.

Dinesh Sawakhande, Senior Software Engineer, says, “The syncing feature enables users to reuse media without the trouble of uploading it multiple times, which is unique to Trepup. The photos and videos are stored in the Trepmail library and can be used in email newsletters to keep branding communications consistent”.

Better than Social Media
Trepmail’s USP is the combination of an email marketing service on top of a business network platform giving users a direct way to reach their audience.

Jaypal Solanki, Chief Technology Officer, says, “Trepmail is a better alternative to social media, where users need to post content or advertise to reach followers without the assurance that anyone will see it. Trepmail capitalizes on networks and marketing communications to empower businesses to reach their followers and customers directly”.

Trepmail’s pricing makes email marketing affordable for everyone. New users are given 1,000 email credits to get started. Unlimited email credits can be earned by inviting others to join Trepup. The price for email credits is about 70 percent less than all global email marketing service providers. Email templates are also priced affordably. Templates can be purchased for as low as $1, and many are free, making Trepmail a superb option for businesses interested in using email marketing.

Email marketing can be daunting if users don’t have in-depth technical knowledge. However, with Trepmail, users can create and send email newsletters in four easy steps. Once the email template and contact list are ready, an email newsletter can be sent in seconds.

Trepmail has carefully handcrafted email templates. Each email template has a 5-star rating and a bestsellers rank. Users can add rich media such as photos, videos, and audio, and different designs, patterns, and geometric shapes to their templates to generate conversions and click-throughs.

Email templates can be customized using Trepmail’s editor, which gives users the necessary tools to build responsive email newsletters. With this WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor’s drag and drop feature, users have the flexibility to modify templates like a pro even if they do not have coding or designing knowledge. With the preview feature, users get to see how the newsletter will be displayed on any device.

Trepmail’s library gives users unlimited file storage where users can include all their media in one place, and play them in Trepmail’s own player. Another benefit is that with just a few clicks, users can import media from any webpage to their Trepmail library. This feature, available exclusively on Trepmail, helps business people to keep branding consistent across all media channels.

With Trepmail, users can upload an unlimited number of contacts that can be directly imported from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and Mail.Ru. The details for each contact are stored in a format similar to a smartphone’s vCard.

One of Trepmail’s special features is email authentication, which is done for free. It validates email lists, cleans them, and removes invalid and nonexistent email addresses so that email credits are not wasted. Trepmail also provides report analytics for free. These reports are password-protected and give important information and insights that help users to improve email performance and target the right audience. Trepmail’s email infrastructure is compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. This U.S. law specifies the rules for commercial emails and gives recipients the choice to unsubscribe from emails.

There are over 400 million SMEs in the world today. More than 10 percent are in India alone. SMEs in India account for 95 percent of all businesses and drive much of the country’s economic growth, job creation, and innovation. However, most of these businesses have little or no access to global markets and knowledge networks restricting their business opportunities and growth.

Trepup is a breath of fresh air for struggling SMEs in India and all over the world. It helps those who have been left behind and creates a more level playing field for people and businesses. Its inclusive growth business model empowers businesses with new opportunities to grow and prosper, and to discover new markets, both local and global.

In Trepup’s world, the rich do not get richer and the poor do not get poorer. Rather, all users are treated equally and with fair access to resources, markets, and networks.