11:09 | 26.10.18 | Interviews | exclusive 71086

Vahe Kuzoyan: ServiceTitan Yerevan office will contribute to Armenia’s development

Leading provider of workflow management software for home-service businesses ServiceTitan is opening an office in Armenia soon.

Founded by Armenians, ServiceTitan is a software platform that allows home-service businesses to effortlessly manage and streamline their operations, improve customer service and grow their business. Ara Mahdessian and Vahe Kuzoyan’s company was named one of Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups of 2017.

Since its foundation in 2012 ServiceTitan has gained around 2000 clients and raised USD 62 million in Series C funding this spring.

Itel.am talked with ServiceTitan cofounder Vahe Kuzoyan at the HIVE Summit held in Yerevan recently.

ServiceTitan is opening an office in Yerevan soon. Can you reveal any details?

It’s going to be an engineering office, primarily for extending our team which is working on product development. We are looking to start from 10 engineers and then see how fast we can scale. If it is successful, I can see it grow to be maybe 100 next year. It depends on how effectively we can find great engineers.

Why do you think now is the best time to open an office in Armenia?

To be honest, my cofounder and I saw what’s happening here in Armenia, how kids in the streets were putting their lives on the line, and we asked ourselves what we were doing to contribute. We thought that by opening an office we would create a way for ourselves to potentially be a part of the story.

Ultimately, first priority is to make business. This is not a charity. We need experts and we’ll get them in Armenia. Seemingly, the environment here is potentially a good fit for us to both solve our business need and have a further contribution to what’s happening in the country.

Besides opening the office, how has ServiceTitan been contributing to the development of Armenian tech?

I make investments in local startups, and I do some mentorship and advising personally.

If we are able to make the office work, we will create an open environment and invite other startups to see how we work. We would like to share practice.

We will also encourage our team here to engage with Tumo center and universities. We intend to bring what we have in U.S. over here and share it with Armenia.

What would be your advice to Armenian startup planning to go to U.S. market?

The main focus should be on solving the problem that’s relevant. There are a lot of things that people can spend their time on, but the world of today is going to be different from the world of tomorrow. The key is to figure out how you can be part of that change and whether the timing is right.

I see a lot of issues with Armenian startups here. They are trying to solve a problem that’s not really a problem that needs to be solved, or they focus on the technology but not on the user or the customer. They don’t think about how to bring the technology to the market. You can build everything as an engineer, but it is typically hard to sell it.

I would like to advise them to make sure that the market they are going after is ready to accept that product, which is hard if you are here in Armenia’s small market. Understanding where the next big step will lead is the main challenge.

What are the short-term plans for ServiceTitan?

We started the company in 2007 and it was just me and my cofounder for the first 5 years. We hired around 500 people in the next 5 years.

We are basically in growth phase now. Our plan is to maintain our growth projector in terms of winning new markets.

We would like to find one or two additional markets to go to, launch one or two products within the next year. However, the most important task is just maintaining the growth.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Vahe Kuzoyan