The telecommunications (telecom) industry has interconnected the entire world, providing the network, infrastructure, smart and mobile devices. However, the traditional market is saturated. What does the future hold for the telecommunications industry? The answer is: innovative telecom startups like ENABLD. In this interview we met Călin Calancea, the founder of ENABLD and asked about his startup’s mission and the solutions it offers.
Startup Moldova: Călin, please describe your startup briefly.
Călin Calancea: Enabld is a technology startup that transforms communication service providers and telecommunications companies into digital players.
In other words, Enbald offers a CPaaS platform that allows Communication Service Providers and Telecommunications companies to quickly implement new communication solutions in order to offer its customers a wide range of communication channels.
We offer the following solutions and functionalities:
- CPaaS activation
- The platform for managing SMS traffic
- Two-way SMS via virtual or Premium numbers
- Management of messaging campaigns for corporate clients
- Marketing automation
- Management of communication through OTT channels
- Message content moderation/SMS Firewall
- Management of virtual numbers
Startup Moldova: What makes your startup special?
Călin Calancea: We apply the latest technologies for the field of telecommunications and try to unify different functionalities in a single platform. Our solution is based on micro services, which allows us to offer our customers greater flexibility, redundancy and facilitates integration with other systems, and services can be activated/deactivated on demand or through automation.
The CPaaS software is a tool for business communication with customers and allows the provision of services in 3 directions – P2P, A2P, P2A. The platform is intuitive and easy to manage by service providers and offers multiple communication channels (SMS, WhatssApp, Voice Calls, ChatBot) to corporate clients. Finally, the platform activates on the basis of artificial intelligence with the use of tokenization for the purpose of identity verification and data security.
Startup Moldova: Where did the idea for this startup come from, from what necessity?
Călin Calancea: It all started in 2017-2018, with the idea to sell the software, which was developed as an internal product of the company (back then it was called SMS Gateway). After attending several international conferences, several companies asked for an alternative. Then the decision was made to expand the functionalities to cover the needs of SMS service providers, including the exploration of the diversity of messaging technologies, such as RCS, Chat-bot, OTT messaging (Whatsapp, Viber, Telegram, etc.).
New product development required a larger team, communication expertise and well-set processes. And for greater visibility on the international market, an attractive brand was needed. This is how Enabld appeared in 2020, which in April 2021 was registered in the USA as a new company with 4 founders, all together accumulating more than 50 years of experience in the field of communications and messaging.
Startup Moldova: What were the biggest difficulties you faced at the beginning?
Călin Calancea: If we talk about technology, then we can point to the migration from monolith to microservices. With the appearance of new customers and diversified requirements on the market, we understood that the monolith does not cope and we need flexibility. For this reason, in 2020, the decision was made to change the architecture of the platform into micro services.
From an organizational point of view, the typical processes for an IT company had to be set and merged with the processes of a service provider – customer acquisition, sales, support.
Regarding the registration of the startup in the USA, initially it seemed a fairly easy process, but it generated problems when we wanted to attract investments. Qualified legal and financial assistance was needed, and the process of adjusting the constituent documents took more than half a year. Another challenge was when the US company became the sole founder of the Moldovan company. It took several actions to create, translate, apostill and approve the documents in order to successfully register with the authorities of the Republic of Moldova.
Startup Moldova: What is your target customer segment? Do you already have real customers?
Călin Calancea: Our core segment is communication service providers, telecommunications companies, SMS and voice aggregators, mobile network operators. We have over 20 active clients from 18 countries around the world. And we are currently negotiating with 7 others.
Startup Moldova: Have you managed to attract startup investments up to this point?
Călin Calancea: starting with 2021, several pitching sessions were conducted with potential investors, among the contacts of the founders, but also through platforms in the field of attracting investments, including by contacting potential investors on LinkedIn.
Simultaneously, in May 2022 Enabld became the owner of DAS Solutions SRL. And in July 2022, the first investment round of USD 1.4 million was concluded, with the signing of the agreement with the 4 investors from the USA, Africa and Europe
Startup Moldova: Introduce us to your team, please.
Călin Calancea: Our team is constantly growing. If at the beginning of the year there were 22 members in the team, now we are already 39. I would mention the special contribution of Vitalie Sova and Anatolie Munteanu in the initiation and development of the product. Their trust in this project made possible the appearance of the Enabld company.
Startup Moldova: What growth and development plans do you have?
Călin Calancea: We aimed to enter the TOP-3 companies-developers of CPaaS platforms in the world by the year 2026 and to hold a 10% market share of CPaaS solution providers. In terms of revenue, we aim to achieve in the next 4 years a turnover of around USD 10 million annually.