Alexey Aylarov, a graduate of the Bauman MSTU, together with others from his course, has created a service for calls from the Zingaya browser, through which more than one million calls a month are now made. The entrepreneurs decided not to rest on their laurels, so after attracting funds from Russian and foreign investors, they started up a whole platform, enabling developers to create their own communication services.
“When this story began, we were studying at the Bauman MSTU”, says Alexey. “I and some of my colleagues were working at that time in a company concerned with developing IP-telephony. At a certain point, the idea occurred to us that this functionality could be carried over into a browser. We resigned from our jobs and began work on our own project.
“As a result, a technology was developed making it possible to call directly from the browser, without installing any software. On this basis, in 2010 we started the Zingaya service. Using it, an online call button can be placed on the client’s website so that users can call the company without installing any software, using only a microphone and the Internet. The call goes to one of the organizations standard telephones or to an IP-telephone, after which staff can talk to the client. The concept is an alternative to the 8-800 numbers, when someone calls from a telephone free of charge, and the company pays for the call. It’s the same with us, but the main parts are played not by a telephone, but by a computer. It has its advantages: in our case it is even cheaper than 8-800, and furthermore it is available globally, regardless of country. You’ve gone abroad, something has happened to your credit card, you need to call the bank. You go to the bank’s website, press a special button and communicate with the company directly through the website to solve the problem. This does not incur any roaming charges, it is free (the most you might have to pay is for the internet connection itself).
In 2012 we attracted the first (and so far the only) tranche of investments totalling $11,150,000 from a group of investors, including Esther Dyson.
Later we started to get ideas about other ways of using our developments. For example, one bank wanted to use Zingaya so that its managers could call clients directly from the CRM system. We decided that we would be able to adapt our technology and make it more flexible, so as to create other modifications of the service connected with communications – to integrate with CRM, to set up a return call and to organize the work of a call centre. So in 2013 we launched out second product, VoxImplant – a platform for the creation of communication services. In effect, this is a set of tools enabling developers to set up IP-telephone services, audio and video calls and other functions in their apps and services. On the basis of VoxImplant, a number of integrations with CRM were made (for example with “Bitrix-24”, “Magellan” and InSales) and call-back services (such as Callbackhunter). Major companies, for example the “Yulmart” internet store, make use of the platform for the automation of their calls.
“We are now developing VoxImplant, taking account of the requirements of the market and the clients, and of new possibilities in the technology. This includes the active development of video conferences and video-recording. We are also working with voice recognition companies so that key words in speech can be sought, and the subject of the call can be determined automatically. We have not yet by any means put all of our thoughts into practice, so we still have a lot of work ahead of us.
Read the interview with Esther Dyson, an investor in the Zingaya startup.