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Lankan startup growing to take on N. America, Europe

Vesess, a Sri Lankan startup with a presence in Las Vegas, Nevada, recently updated CurdBee, its flagship online invoicing application, to include Time and Expense Tracking features.
The company also simultaneously announced a new all inclusive pricing structure that would give users invoicing, estimate and time and expense tracking features for just $12.50/month, an offer they hope will attract freelancers and SMEs.

CurdBee is an online invoicing application built by Vesess, a small team of less than twenty people based in South Asia, an area of the world most famous for call centers and other Business Process Outsourcing industries. CurdBee is the Sri Lankan company’s flagship product and is unique in that it is one of the few consumer web applications to come out of this region. In an economy dominated by companies doing white label work for Western markets, CurdBee stands out as a product developed and marketed from Sri Lanka.
In a country with a technology related BPO industry that grows 20% each year, it is rare that a self-funded startup manages to develop its own products for the international market. Thanks to a recently concluded thirty year civil war, Sri Lanka has seen little to no economic growth for decades, and small businesses are scarce and usually seen in non-tech sectors. “Tech start-ups in Sri Lanka are usually foreign funded, and though we had funding offers as well, this is something we wanted to avoid at the start,” says Lankitha Wimalarathna, CEO of Vesess. “We wanted to stay debt free and build up reserves so we could call the shots ourselves when we were ready to develop our first product.”

While CurdBee is a recent success, the story of Vesess begins nearly a decade ago, when a group of young professionals started a small web design agency in a single room in suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital. Starting with just one desktop computer and a dial-up Internet connection, the company gradually moved from design to development and now focuses largely on web applications. “This has been a long time coming,” says Lankitha, talking about CurdBee, their maiden product. “We’re proud to have built ourselves up from nothing to now run a service that so many other small businesses around the world rely on.”
CurdBee’s success is testament to the company’s strength and resolve. “As a South Asian company, we’re proud to report that 74% of our users are from North America and Europe,” says Lakshan Perera, Lead Developer of CurdBee. Featuring invoicing, estimates and time and expense tracking, CurdBee grew from a basic invoicing solution back in 2009 to now stand shoulder to shoulder with other online billing applications such as Freshbooks and Blinksale. “Our free to paid conversion rate is now sitting at 5%, which is great for a freemium business model,” says Lakshan. Unlike its main competitors, CurdBee’s free account offers users the ability to send unlimited invoices to an unlimited number of clients. The application is also modular in structure, allowing users from all over the world to add the features they want as they go along.

Recently, Vesess announced the launch of CurdBee BIG, an all inclusive pricing option that offers users every CurdBee feature for just $149/year. This puts the monthly cost of invoicing, estimates, recurring billing, time tracking and expenses at around $12.50, a bargain for anyone dealing with small business finances. “We saw that many of our users liked to use more than a couple of our modular features, and our existing pricing structure at the time proved to be quite expensive for them,” says Lankitha. “This all inclusive pricing option is for small businesses that need everything we offer.”

CurdBee follows a rapid development cycle, and the development team has a lot planned for the months to come. “Features such as multiple users and third party integrations are on the cards,” says Lakshan, talking about the product roadmap. “We’ve established a solid base and we’re ready to begin icing the cake.” With CurdBee gaining popularity on a daily basis, the company now has plans to release several other web applications that they’ve had in development for a while. “We have some interesting things in the works, and may even be open to partnerships on these upcoming products,” says Lankitha.
Vesess is a Sri Lankan based web application development company that believes in small teams, solid development and great design using Web Standards and Free Software. Beginning as a small design firm in Colombo in 2004, Vesess grew with the web, and today maintains CurdBee, a popular online billing application for small businesses and freelancers(PR Web)