Will Mindtickle meet the expectations of SoftBank?

 Will Mindtickle meet the expectations of SoftBank?

The business model may not be considered as the main, instead what matters is the team and the market the startup is in because they pivot many times along their journey. This hypothesis was proven right by a company whose name got inspiration from the idea of gamifying mindsets, Mindtickle.

In this edition, we will discuss the Mindtickle story in detail and try to bring interesting facts and figure about the company.

2 weeks ago, sales enablement platform, Mindtickle has raised $100mn in its series-D round led by Soft bank.

Sales Enablement Platform is the technology, processes, and content that allow sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity. It is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively.

In 2019, the global sales performance management market was $ 988.9mn and it is expected to reach $ 3Bn by the end of 2026, with a CAGR of 17.4% during 2021-2026.

Even after a hard hit by the pandemic, the market has picked its pace however, is the Mindtickle ready to capture a significant portion of the market??

Before we go to the number, first let’s have a flashback about theMindtickle’s journey so far.

After graduating from IIT Bombay, Deepak Diwakar, co-founder ofMindticklehad joined a startup where he met his other co-founders, Krishna Depura-an ISB alumni, and NishanthMugali-an IIT Guwahati alumni. Interestingly the three didn’t want to start a startup, they always want to do social stuff like street play, after work hours. So they often gathered after office hours to work on these social projects and from there they got the idea of their first project “apna bag” to give jobs to the needy peoples like the widow, orphans, blind and other as they wanted to make a sustainable business as a part of their life. After successfully running this project for 9-10 months they started looking for other projects and during this, they had come across the idea of integrating treasure hunt with learning to make it engaging and fun, in more of a gamified way. Their first concept was boomed with approximately 60-70k people have watched this. So the team had started conducting once in a month online treasure hunts events for students, corporates, and many more having age group of 15-50 years, with a core concept of let people learn. Their back-to-back success of online events had triggered the trio to start their entrepreneurial journey and founded MindTickle in Aug-2011. Mohit Garg, also an alumnus of ISB and Stanford University, had also joined the team as a co-founder in 2011 as he came to India and moved back to the US in 2014 when they discovered their sales-readiness platform. He was responsible for the US operation at that point in time.

Wait for what?? A sales readiness platform??

Now they have started but stuck with a question “Where to go??” so they had jumped from educating platform to employee engagement platform, as having a B2B background they had realized that corporates were moving globally and there was a need in making geo-cross bonding of the employee very well. Their first product was “high fly” a hot air balloon race. Through this, they had gained a lot of traction many corporates like Vodafone, Flipkart, PWC, and many more started using the platform for their employees. However, the ROI of the product wasn’t actually clear so it was getting expensive for them. This problem helped them in exploring new opportunities and they had moved into the new-hire onboarding process by making it fun through gamification. In 2012 and 2013, Mindtickle got the back-to-back award as the No.1 gamification platform in learning globally.

That’s why they had turned into a sales readiness platform.!!

In 2014, they got their first use case for the sales onboarding by couchbase server it was a very different process from new-hire onboarding. Soon after starting working on the new project they had found out that they had missed something important, so they paused the work and did extensive research for 3-4 months to evaluate the sales and that’s how they had discovered their sales-readiness platform at the beginning of 2015. The main problem in this space was “how do you make you each sales representative ready for the right conversation at any point of time?” they knew it would come but it took 2 years to make large corporates started believing in the sales readiness platform and to shift the mindset from doing inbound to outbound activities.

To build a successful company you need funds as well!!

Along the successful journey, Mindtickle has raised approximately $181.3 mn from different investors including Accel, Silicon Valley-based Canaan Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates. Their recent investment was $100mn in a combination of debt and equity in a series-D round led by Softbank to expand its marketing activities and product development.

Are the funds were utilizing in the right way??

In 2018, MindTickle had notched a 100% year-over-year increase in recurring revenue driven by a 200% uptick in customer acquisitions. In 2019, the startup claimed that it had witnessed 170%-180% growth in revenue in the last year and expects to close this year with annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $30 million to $40 million.

It now counts among its customer base several Fortune 500 and Global 2000 clients, including Square, Sumo Logic, Ola Cabs, Cloudera, MongoDB, Appdynamics, and many more. In the current set, it has around 100 people in the US. It has a sales presence in the US, Europe, and India and a development center in Pune, India.

MindTickle’s eponymous platform addresses sales onboarding and continuous education with simulated scenarios, automated learning paths, structured coaching programs, and bite-sized quizzes and polls. It gamifies lessons and skill-building activities with points, badges, certifications, and leaderboards, which it relays to a backend dashboard that spots potential knowledge gaps. On the admin side, MindTickle facilitates the development of competency maps that identify problem areas and automatically assigns training based on results. And it tracks real-time engagement and readiness while delivering personalized feedback to reps as they progress through course materials.

It has a sales presence in the US, Europe, and India and a development center at Pune, India

The valuation of the eight-year-old startup stood at roughly $500 million, up from about $250 million last year. Taking this trend into the consideration, MindTickle will become a unicorn by mid 2021.

It seems that funds are utilizing in the right ways,

But, what about the future?

Like several other SaaS startups, MindTickle has also been immune to the virus and they have said that it will use the fresh capital to accelerate its go-to-market activities and expansion of global operations while advancing investments in product innovation. As the startup is immune to the virus, it has witnessed strong demand and usage growth from enterprise sales over the last few quarters.

Takes from The VC Stories

It is expected that this year’s (FY20) revenue for MindTickle will be somewhere around $30mn – $40mn (let say $35mn). Mindtickle has captured approximately 2.76% ($35mn / $ 1161 mn) (by the end of 2020) market share with the current valuation of $500mn. The market size will be growing at a CAGR of 17.4% during the coming 5-years and it should reach $3Bn by the end of 2026.

The company had delivered 1.7x multiple growths in FY19, so if Mindtickle will continue to grow its revenue by 1.7x then by the end of 2026 it will able to capture 25% of the market share and that would be enough to make it the market leader. And, before the end of 2021, the valuation will cross the $1 billion mark, paving its way into the unicorn club.

At a $500mn valuation, the company is making $32mn which is 16x multiple ($500mn/$32mn) and that is not justifiable as compared to the current market scenario and the company’s past performance. This valuation would be justified at $125mn, which is a 4x multiple of today’s revenue.

This implies that Softbank and other investors are expecting MindTickle to deliver on some serious growth. Growing with 16x growth is also not justifiable, as the market has only started to pick its pace and that’s also only because pandemic made corporate to felt the need for digitalization and to make their worked sales and ready in any scenario.

But what is possible is, giving the 4x multiple revenue growth. Comparing the past performance of the company and their amusing way of making the sales force ready, can easily lure large corporates to their platform. Even when they had started, they were able to attract 70k people (which was also a huge number at that point in time) and this kind of potential cannot be ignored. They just have to make their process smoother, funnier, and efficient and for that, they have raised the amount, right??

To meet the expectations of Softbank, Mindtickle has to tighten its shoe-string to run faster to deliver strong growth.


The above findings are solely based on the research conducted by the internal team of THEVCSTORIES. Please make your own research as well before making any final judgment.



We manifest the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem for enthusiastic entrepreneurs by helping them build their entrepreneurial skills and encouraging them in job creation rather than finding ones. These episodes aim to provide much-needed guidance & motivation among the youth and bridge the knowledge gap.

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