Charting The Rise Of Convo

A startup that began in a makeshift office at a friend’s house in Islamabad, Convo has now become an international brand with offices in San Francisco and Islamabad.

Convo is a platform that helps teams interact, work and communicate. It is essentially a software for project management, and what makes it stand out is that it has reinvented what project management software can be.

Its website explains: “Other project management tools and collaboration tools have only offered the bare minimum for team collaboration. Convo distills what is most effective in enterprise social networks, task management software, project management apps, and productivity apps to become the best project management software for agile teams.”

It is an effective communication tool for teams to work together and collaborate more effectively and quickly.

First There Was Scrybe

Scrybe was launched in 2005 as an online calendar that allowed users to work in offline mode, and produced visualisations of data and information that aimed to maximise ease of use and efficiency. The product became a hit in 2006 due to a YouTube video giving a ‘sneak peak’ of what Scrybe could do. This caught the attention of Adobe.

Shehryar Hydri, co-founder as well as Marketing Director, explains what this process was like as they “attracted Adobe as an investor, along with LMKR from the local Pakistani industry. We were the first company in the world to offer offline access from within the browser, without installing any add ons or desktop clients. We did this before Google Gears or any other company.”

The product included new features that allowed users to sync data with other programs easily, made viewing calendar and team data clearer, and also made group and individual chats between team members possible. According to a feature in The New York Times, this and many other features made it “the most anticipated software at the Museum of Modern Betas, a Web site that tracks emerging Web 2.0 projects.”

Then Convo Happened

After an influx of funding and international interest, Scrybe became incorporated and launched Convofy in 2011. This was later renamed Convo and re-launched in 2012. The new version offered mobile apps that enabled ease of access, emphasising the products versatility in being used anywhere- on the go, in the office, or even offline.

Scrybe’s co-founder and CEO, Faizan Buzdar, explained, “In the short time since we launched our product we have had tremendous positive feedback from our customers and prospects. With the next generation of Convo we are making it possible for users to effectively engage with their colleagues regardless of device or location with a new and even more intuitive interface that is helping to increase worker productivity.”

According to TechInAsia, “Convo claims to be much more efficient than emails when working with teammates in a virtual office, requiring 60 percent fewer words, resulting in 68 percent time saved, and 80 percent less switching between apps.”

Convo is now used in over 7000 companies around the world, and has gained an extensive fan base. They have been featured in DowJones, TechCrunch and TheNextWeb, among several other websites.

Versions of Convo are available for iPhone and Android devices, Mac, Windows and on the Web.

 The Visionaries Behind Convo

Convo’s CEO is Faizan Buzdar (@TheOtherFB), who along with three other friends founded this project management platform. Co-founders include Sabika Nazim (@sabika) and Shehryar Hyrdi (@sheryhydri) , and other team members include Saj Khan (@sajtoo).

Faizan Buzdar graduated from GIKI and had considerable experience in Product Management before he and his friends formed a company and introduced Convo.

Jehan Ara, President of P@SHA, described Buzdar as having a  “passion for User Experience and Human Computer Interaction (HCI)” and being “extremely excited by the future of technology and the role that he and his team are playing and expect to play in the development of very cutting edge products.” He has spoken at many events, including: “P@SHA events…Adobe Engage at Adobe Headquarters, at The future of Web applications in London and Under the Radar at the Microsoft Mountainview Campus.”

Obama Tweets About Faizan Buzdar

Faizan Buzdar became famous for a different reason when President Barack Obama tweeted about him, in relation to immigration reform in America. Buzdar was used as an example to highlight the need for immigration policy overhaul.

The tweets read: “Pakistani tech entrepreneur Faizan is a perfect example of why we need #ImmigrationReform. Watch the video: http://OFA.BO/NmDArD

And: “Faizan wants to build an innovative tech startup. Our broken #immigration system is standing in his way. Watch now: http://OFA.BO/vGG6SD

Further Funding

In 2013, Convo announced that it had received a second round of funding, this time from Morgenthaler Ventures. This company has invested in several other top tech firms, including Apple.

CEO Faizan Buzdar explained: “Our immediate priority is to use the new infusion of capital to continue delivering a service that meets the ease-of-use, reliability, and security demands of our customers. We are building out our team in both San Francisco and Islamabad.”

This growth and expansion is expected to increase their already competitive edge over rivals such as Yammer and Jive.

Describing how they began and what this new investment means to them, Faizan Buzder said, “we built our company with slim resources and a small team, and therefore are excited about our prospects with Morgenthaler Ventures in our corner. Our immediate priority is to use the new infusion of capital to continue delivering a service that meets the ease-of-use, reliability, and security demands of our customers.”

Connect with Convo





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  1. Pingback: i2i Roadshow in Islamabad and Accelerator Application Launch

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