We had an interesting chat with Mr. “Michael Maltsev”, CEO at the Calgary – Canada based startup “RigER”
Below is the interview we conducted with him:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
RigER is an Oilfield Service and Rental Operations Management Software designed for small and medium size energy servicing and rental companies to manage full cycle of field operations from client’s service request to final rental and service invoice.
RigER is a powerful tool to boost oilfield rentals: schedule quickly, dispatch sooner, collect accurate information immediately in the field and invoice faster.
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
RigER was founded in 2012. Now we in growing mode. Now we have clients in Western Canada and USA.
Please visit our website for history data – www.riger.ca
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
We used traditional on premises model at the beginning. Now 100% of our new clients use SaaS model. Software as a Service business model becomes more and more popular nowadays.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
We meet with our programmers several years ago at one complex project and kept connected. When I had RigER, idea I called them and asked for help. They do all software development and support. My role is business development and product management.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
RigER enables you to control your entire oil patch operations online, from client service requests and service schedules to invoicing. No more cumbersome spreadsheets and paper-based document flow.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
We spent first year to build prototype and test it. Second year was about market penetration. Now we are in commercialization stage.
Last April we launched our website, which appear in first Google Search page after 3 months. Right now second version of our website ready to publish.
We did US localization of our product last September, so RigER now international product.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?
RigER is a flexible solution as compare with big and traditionally complex systems. Affordable customization is our competitive advantage. We can customize our software fast and easy, more over some forms and interfaces can be adjusted by customer end user.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
As for any startup, customer acquisition is the main challenge, and we’re no exception. It took us some time to come up with the right messaging and marketing plan. The best way to do that is to talk to your customers and understand how they operate. For example, we have several features on our road map, but our customers will define our priorities. We are a customer-oriented, not a product-oriented team.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
Oilfield rental service includes: Rig Up (deployment), Mileage, Billable Service Calls, Free Service Calls, Rig Out (dismantle), Rental Fees (days), Invoicing by LSD. Register all clients service requests, dispatch, assign tasks to field technicians, control all jobs in real time, approve tickets and generate invoices.
Each user has specific role or several roles with unique access level and function: Operator, Dispatcher, Field Technician, Manager, Accountant and Safety Officer.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We are focusing on our customers. Their contribution is invaluable to product design and development, service improvement, and business growth. We are certainly grateful to our customers.
We had similar experience in past. Our team knows what to do to succeed in this competitive marketplace.
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
Our main goal is make RigER All-in-one solution for Oilfield Rental Business, which will include Safety, Oilfield Rentals and Oilfield Service Operations, Field Management, Accounting, etc. RigER was designed for small and medium size companies. We’d like to remain our focus and stay in this niche.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
I served as a CFO in an oilfield rentals company for 3 years, so I have an inside view of the oil and gas services business. I found traditional systems to be very expensive and complicated, and classic Excel spreadsheets ineffective for multi-user and dynamic reporting.
Small businesses need effective and easy to use solutions.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
Focus on your customers as their contribution will be invaluable to product designand development, service improvement, and business growth. We are certainly grateful to our customers.
Test your ideas, talk to customers and ask what they really need.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Growing business in USA and find, the right partners to do that. Find new customers and support them locally will be our focus then we will go to Texas, Oklahoma and other oil states.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
RigER benefits allocated all around rental company from field technical to business owner.
For accountant is can be Accurate and Faster Invoicing, No More Double Data Entry Errors.
For Operation Manager and Dispatcher: Real-Time Field Operations Dispatching; Instant Access to Equipment and Location
For Business Owner: Increase Value of Your Business; Transparent Scalable Operations; Administrative Costs Reduction; Service Margins Increase; Operation Expenses Optimization
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
We are proactive in social media and networking. And, of course, our clients recommend us and this is the best channel you can imagine. We also use Website, Exhibitions, Friends and Peers, Advertising, and Direct Calls.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
We are focusing on small and medium size Oilfield Rental Companies. We have majority of our clients in Canada and several in US.
Our target clients is privately owned fast growing oilfield servicing and rental companies, which would like to improve operational performance.
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
We are proactive in social media and networking. Our clients recommend us and this is the best channel you can imagine.
We offer free customized demo. Most of our clients like our product there and after that, we do a proposal.
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
RigER is very innovative and dynamic product, always keeping up with new ideas. They are interesting with their customers and willing to make changes that will continue to support our growth. -Jim Ciburn, COO, FireRock
20. How are you going to scale?
SaaS model allows us grow globally. We would like to use several local partner companies to provide service and support. We plan to open branch in Huston next year.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
Our customers have 1000+ ideas how to improve our product. We just need ask them regularly and add interesting features to the product development map.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
RigER has US and Canadian localization. So, we have international product. However, Canada and USA are our main markets. We plan to stay and work there at least next 3 years before go globally. We not thinking about global market now.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
We would like to be a leading company in oilfield rental software. We plan to have 5% of the market in next 3 years it means approximately 1000 users.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
Not now. We are not looking to hire a new workforce. All potential applicants can find our contacts and job vacancies at our corporate website – www.beclasoft.com
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
We would love to talk to Oil and Gas VC about expanding our business to USA. We are looking for strategic partner. The partner should be well connected and understand US oilfield rental business challenges.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Make sure everyone on your team buys into the vision and is passionate about the company. Mutual understanding is the main characteristic of our team. I recommend reaching out to your network to connect with as many people as possible so you can find the best talent for your team.
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Thank you for the opportunity to present RigER.