Konversai Raises $1.3M Helping 800 Teachers Make Money With Marketplace CEO Sushma Sharma

Sushma Sharma

In Episode #600, Nathan interviews Sushma Sharma, the CEO of Konversai. She’s a lawyer turned entrepreneur. She has law degrees from The University of Oxford and Columbia University and has worked in two prominent Wall Street law firms and set up a department of practical law at City University of Hong Kong. Sushma has taught thousands of students and seen some the most privileged humans as well as some of the least privileged in her life journey spanning 3 continents to where she has lived and worked over the last 15 years. Konversai was born as her solution to the problems facing mankind today.

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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Don’t doubt yourself and just keep doing what you’re doing. There’s a time and place for everything”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:30 – Nathan introduces Sushma to the show
  • 03:19 – Konversai is a social conversation platform
    • 03:28 – Sushma shares the types of conversations in Konversai
    • 04:43 – Konversai’s focus is the knowledge from personal experience
  • 04:21 – Sushma’s philosophy is “nothing valuable is free”
  • 04:25 – Konversai has a credit system
    • 04:33 – The charge is .50 cents for one month for creating a box in Konversai
  • 04:54 – “I want to make people feel accountable for what they’re putting up”
  • 05:25 – Sushma shares how they make revenue from a paid conversation
    • 06:09 – Konversai gets 10% from the amount paid
  • 06:36 – The seeker is the one who pays the service
  • 07:02 – There are 2 sides of the business: the seeker and the provider
  • 07:22 – Konversai has under a thousand current providers
  • 08:00 – The number of buyers
  • 08:19 – Sushma’s target was to get the providers as well as the buyers, too
  • 08:40 – The traction has been quite slow
  • 09:21 – Sushma explains why they have to use Stripe
    • 09:25 – Konversai is a global company and the currency has to be considered
  • 10:02 – Some users are quite hesitant to fill out the Stripe sign-up form
  • 11:10 – Konversai is only 3 months old
  • 11:40 – Konversai has raised $1.3M in a seed round, in November
    • 12:20 – It is a convertible note/safe
  • 12:42 – Average order value
  • 13:30 – Current revenue
  • 13:46 – “It is growing every month”
  • 15:21 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Nothing valuable is free.
  2. The way you win is by doing things consistently.
  3. Don’t doubt yourself and keep doing what you’re doing—there’s a time and place for everything.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal– Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives