New Delhi: A young guy starts a company and an international brand shows interest and snaps it for a huge sum of money - this is a common story in the US but not when it comes to India. But Abheek Anand's tech firm TagTile has just been acquired by Facebook.
Polite and considerate, Abheek is nothing like the hot shot web entrepreneur. He has humble roots and he isn't afraid to show them. "I'm a Delhi kid, went to the Springdales School and IIT Delhi. Growing up, there was a lot of freedom to do what I wanted to do, to do what I was good at," Abheek said.
Even after studying at Stanford and working in Europe and America, Abheek was thirsty for more. It was over a cup of coffee that he had his epiphany.
What Abheek wanted was a smarter way of payment. He started work on an electronic tile, about the size of a cup. If one taps their phone against the tile, it would know who they are, what they had ordered and it would deduct payment automatically.
With co-founder Soham Mazumdar, Abheek started TagTile. Their patented technology let ordinary phones do stuff that till then, only expensive phones could.
"TagTile works with any smart phone. Any phone over Rs 6,000 be it Nokia, Android anything. The basic qualification is that it should be able to install an application. If you think about it your phone knows everything about you. Who you are, who your friends and family are, where you live. We simply take that information and connect it to what you buy. That's a powerful connect," Abheek explained.
TagTile lets stores track their customers and lure them back with special offers. Facebook saw a business opportunity there and bought the company in April, barely a year after it was started.
Did he feel bad, parting with his baby so soon? In India for a short holiday, Abheek's been busy with a different baby, his niece Anahita. His family is very excited about the future. Abheek will head back to the US to take his work forward, this time as a senior manager at Facebook.