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Winning Stroke: Interview With Imran Ladiwala – CEO & Co-Founder at KIWI

The monetization model is pretty simple. It is subscription-based, like most Saas products. We take a subscription fee starting at $10/ month to be a KIWI freelancer where they directly get matched with paying customers.

1. Brief us about your business model like how did the idea come to start the platform and how does it work?

About the business: We are a new company that started out in 2020. KIWI is a real-time based platform that connects clients with freelancers that can instantly service them over a live Zoom call. The closest analogy to the business model would be like an uber for finding freelancers, instead of cabs.

Unlike other platforms, KIWI is designed to provide immediate digital services to those in need, without the hassle of bids, proposals and pitches. Our intelligent algorithm connects the user with a pro freelancer within 3 minutes, who provides them with one-on-one assistance in exchange for a flat fee of $10/hr for any service. With no hidden charges or fees, it’s the perfect platform for people in a hurry to get the job done in the most cost and time-efficient way.

How the idea came to be: Imran Ladiwala and Mishu Ahluwalia have both been serial entrepreneurs with a successful history of scaling businesses from scratch.

Like most bootstrapped businesses, one reaches out to their closest contacts while looking for freelancers. The origin story of KIWI stems from their personal experience of the long process that one needs to go through. They realized they knew exactly what they needed to get done. If only there was a way to be able to find someone who could readily be available to execute their requirement.

That’s when the lightbulb moment happened when the realization dawned that there are millions of business owners that probably face the same issue every day.

With a background in tech and business scaling, it was the perfect union for creating a new product – KIWI and redefine how the freelancing platforms operate across the world.

How it works:

For clients: ● Visit

● Select the service that you seek. Eg. Logo design, WordPress backend issue etc.

● Our AI technology will connect you with an expert freelancer with the right skillset within 3 minutes.

● Join them on a Zoom call, which allows one to share screen and remote access.

● The freelancer will remain on call till the requirement is completed.

● The client only gets charged if their requirement was met to their satisfaction.

For Freelancers:

● The easiest way to connect with new clients.

● We bring them the leads. No need for pitching their services or expertise.

● Unlimited access to earnings. The more jobs they take, the more they make.

● Our freelancers get paid within 60 minutes of completing the task. NO 7-28 days wait to get paid.

● And the best part – WE TAKE NO COMMISSIONS FROM OUR FREELANCERS. They get paid in full for the service that they provide. Modelled at $10 an hour, to start with.

2. What are the unique key points of your startup? What is the objective to start this venture?

● Currently, there are no other platforms that you can go to and get immediate service if you have an urgent requirement.

● Our price point is highly business-friendly.

● We want to enable people to find the right talent to get their work done on the spot.

● Most freelancers are skilled at their craft, but not great salesmen. KIWI does the selling for them, and helps them focus on their skill & delivery.

3. What is the funding status and monetization model?

We raised $250,000 as our seed round, in Jan 2021. The fund raise is being used to scale up technology and gain early traction on the platform.

The monetization model is pretty simple. It is subscription-based, like most Saas products. We take a subscription fee starting at $10/ month to be a KIWI freelancer where they directly get matched with paying customers.

We do not charge any commission to our freelancers, and freelancers get to keep 100% of the amount paid by the customers for their services.

4. How have been the freelancer’s responses so far? KIWI says that it connects freelancers and clients within 180 seconds and creates a high skilled on-demand talent network in the world. Please elaborate.

In a world where fast-paced execution is the keystone of successful businesses, there was a dire need to have a solution provider that could provide one with digital support. Even more so after the pandemic, with a large number of the workforce seeking opportunities in a cutthroat freelancing environment.

The response from our freelancers has been nothing short of impressive. Not only are they enthusiastic about being associated with us, as they get direct calls, there are so many moving stories of KIWI connecting them with quality work, which has a direct impact on their livelihoods.

Most of our freelancers have a high LTV, as they love the seamless experience of being connected to work and finding customers continuously without having to sell themselves.

5. What are the current avenues in KIWI and what are the plans in the next five years.

We are constantly developing the product to provide a seamless experience to our freelancers and clients alike.

In the next five years, we intend to reach millions of freelancers and businesses alike. We also plan to expand the verticals of services that we cater to, beyond just technology, and help gig workers earn a livelihood with KIWI.

We believe KIWI is an income generation tool for our freelancers, not just another freelancing platform.

6. Being a disruptive marketplace in the freelancing domain, how do you evaluate KIWI amongst the other established players like Upwork and

Disruptive may not be the right word to describe KIWI. If anything, we are a collaborative initiative.

We believe that we are catering to a completely different category as well as a business model. We are a quick service platform.

Our approach to the client-freelancer relationship itself stems from an altruistic intention. We want to enable business owners to have access to solutions so they can use their time and budgets where it matters the most. And we want to enable freelancers to have immediate access to leads as well as wealth for a service that they have provided.

To compare or measure ourselves with other platforms would be a gross misinterpretation of what we intend to do.

7. What criteria do you use in KIWI to enrol any freelancer at your platform and how many freelancers have you got registered till now.

We have an intensive onboarding process to gauge the skills and level of knowledge of our freelancers. This is done through a questionnaire and a video validation process.

Following that, our AI technology matches their skillset with the client’s requirements and so on.

Currently, we have 5000+ freelancers on our platform and hope to grow to millions of users across the world in the next three years.

8. What are the key gaps/problem areas KIWI is trying to tackle with its app?

As mentioned before, we are here for businesses seeking quick solutions for everyday requirements, which cuts down on TAT for small issues significantly, and also bringing transparency in cost of a task by introducing a time-based pricing model. Customers on KIWI know exactly how long it takes to complete a task, and pay the freelancer accordingly for their time.

We also want to enable our freelancers to have access to their earning immediately with no escrow period between delivery and payment.

9. Majorly Startups prefer working with freelancers rather than full-time employees. Please share your target audience.

We agree that startups do prefer to work with freelancers. That is mainly our target audience. Startups, individual business owners, freelancers seeking other freelancers.

10. In KIWI, what is the hottest domain field that is highly in demand for freelancers.

The most frequently asked requested service is primarily for graphic designers, digital marketeers and website developers.

Source: Business World

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