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Moodoo App: Aims to Target 10,000 App by end of September'16

Moodoo is the simplest way to make social plans. Without Moodoo, there’s no way to know which of your friends are free or what they’re in the mood to do, short of individually contacting them all. A friend could be just around the corner and also craving a coffee, and we would have no idea!

BWDisrupt interacted with the Founding Team of Moodoo and the following are excerpts from the interview:

With Moodoo, we believe we’re onto something really exciting: something that will shake up the way we coordinate social plans, make meeting up hassle-free and empower us to live in the moment.

What does moodoo do?

- Moodoo is a get-together app
- It reveals potential meet-ups around you
- Focuses on what you and your friends are in the mood to do
- Keeps coordination simple and always clear (key points do not get lost in a flood of messages)
- Smartly takes you from mood to meet in 4 taps – no typing needed

Backed by Saïd Business School Seed Fund: We received £20,000 from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School Seed Fund. The Fund invests in early-stage, alumni-founded companies. moodoo was selected as one of 3 successful applicants out of 60 candidates for funding in 2015.

Why Moodoo?
Currently, the way we organise casual get-togethers is messy and frustrating.
There is no way to understand which of your friends are free and what they're in the mood to do without individually contacting them all. And the actual organisation process still relies on tediously typing back and forth on messaging platforms that were designed for communication, not for making plans. With Moodoo, we wanted to fix this and empower people to meet up more often, more simply and more spontaneously.

Our vision
To create a more spontaneous world in which sharing experiences in person remains at the heart of human relationships

Hot facts

- Our CEO is female – a rare sighting in the male-dominated tech world
- We have a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) – Milly, an adopted street puppy
- We are funded by University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School Seed Fund
- moodoo is being built on Android & iOS
- We will launched in January 2016 in India.

Meeting the Team:
Lucy Gadkari, CEO and Co-Creator, Moodooapp Ltd.
The brand buff: 4 years work experience in advertising, retail strategy and brand strategy. Also a jewellery magpie, coffee lover and travel addict,along with Vaibhav Sinha, founded Moodooapp Ltd. with the aim to topple Whatsapp as the go-to app for meeting up. Fed up with the tedious process of endlessly typing back-and-forth to coordinate plans with friends, Lucy and Vaibhav decided that there must be a smarter, simpler way. moodoo is the result of that vision.

As CEO of moodoo, Lucy’s role encompasses everything from product management to product design, financial management to marketing strategy. Moodoo is now live on the App Store and Play Store and has so far received seed funding from the University of Oxford’s Said Business School Seed Fund.

Before working on Moodoo, Lucy worked in the strategy department at FITCH, Mumbai, as the Insights and Trends Manager. FITCH is a global design agency that specializes in creating seamless brand experiences across the physical, human and digital elements of a brand. Lucy worked to define strategies for these unique brand experiences with a number of clients, including Tata Motors, Reliance Trends, Dell, Vodafone, Van Heusen and Arvind.

Prior to FITCH, Lucy worked as an Account Manager at M&C Saatchi Direct & Digital in Mumbai and at as an Account Executive at BBDO in Paris, working on the global Pepsi account. She has been living in Mumbai for the last 4 years with her husband, who founded India’s first Indian hot sauce brand. One year ago, she also adopted an Indian Street dog called Milly who is moodoo’s official Chief Happiness Officer.

Vaibhav Sinha, CTO and Co-Creator
The tech whizz: Over 15 years of experience in coding and built several tech companies. When not building moodoo, Vaibhav loves nothing more than a great film! Along this journey, Moodoo has so far received seed funding from the University of Oxford’s Said Business School Seed Fund. The app is now live on both the App Store and the Play Store.

As CTO of moodoo, Vaibhav is responsible for all the technology behind moodoo. He has built the backend and led the development of Android and iOS. He also manages the two in-house senior developers.

Vaibhav’s background suits this role perfectly. He has acquired over 15 years of experience in software development and before working on moodoo, Vaibhav co-founded an online equity crowdfunding platform in the US called Fairstreet. While building the technology for this, he became the principal inventor of a US patent that covers a significant part of the online equity crowdfunding process.
His experience is also varied by geography – he has worked in the US, UK, Canada, Switzerland and India. Vaibhav grew up in Allahabad and graduated in Civil Engineering from IIT Delhi.

Arjun Gadkari, Advisor, Moodooapp Ltd.
The business guru: Founder of a fast growing food startup in Mumbai that makes India’s hottest chili sauce. In his free time, Arjun can be found eating dim sum.

How did you come across the idea?
The company (Moodooapp Ltd.) was officially founded in July 2014, but we launched the app on the Play Store and App Store earlier this year. The founders of Moodoo are myself, Lucy Gadkari, and my Co-Founder, Vaibhav Sinha.

How does your startup work?
Moodoo is the simplest way to make social plans. Without Moodoo, there’s no way to know which of your friends are free or what they’re in the mood to do, short of individually contacting them all. A friend could be just around the corner and also craving a coffee, and we would have no idea!

This is where Moodoo works its magic. When you’re next free to hang, simply update your moodcast (status) in two taps – mood and where – and your friends will immediately get notified. Anyone who’s free to join can indicate their interest in just one tap.

Once you’ve connected with friends via the moodcast, the app then lets you discover places to meet up nearby, collaboratively vote on where to go, check who else is coming and update your ETA – all without typing a single word.
And there you have it – a new, shockingly simple way to make spontaneous social plans! Login is through Facebook to connect you instantly with your existing friends network.

How did the idea start?
We had a mini eureka moment one day after a particularly frustrating attempt to coordinate dinner with some friends. It was one of those typical scenarios – that we all know only too well – where a simple dinner plan turns into a hundred or so messages pinging back and forth across Whatsapp. Around 30-40 minutes of time goes into furious typing and you still seem to reach no conclusion on where to meet, what time and who’s actually coming.

It was then that we figured that there simply had to be a better way!
We’re really excited about the broader social benefits the app has too – Moodoo helps you be more spontaneous, meet up with a wider network of friends and brings back the original meaning of “social”.

What are the special key features of your startup?

- It’s based on what you’re in the mood to do (hence the name, Moodoo)
- Discover places to meet up at nearby based on your mood
- Go from mood to meet in just 4 taps - no typing needed
- Moodoo is not geography specific and works all over the world

How are you different from the existing ones?
A few apps – such as the very successful Down to Lunch - have recently launched in the US with the similar objective of letting you know which of your friends are free to meet up.

But unlike Moodoo, they don’t go a step further and smartly help you coordinate the details the social plan. We have worked hard to streamline the entire meeting up process and help you go from ‘Mood to Meet’ in just 4 taps! … and we have exciting plans to make the app even smarter in the future!

How much funding have you raised till now? If not, then what’s your future plans of funding?
We have raised £20k from the University of Oxford Seed Fund and have personally invested a similar amount of money.

We are are looking to receive our next round of funding within the next 3-4 months however, with the aim to expand our team and lead a significant marketing push.

How do you monetize?

There are several avenues to revenue generation for Moodoo. We believe that Moodoo can revolutionise the way that brick-and-mortar businesses advertise. Currently, its easy to define your target audience online but your advertisement has no context. Within Moodoo however, a restaurant in Lower Parel could pay for visibility to a group of target customers that are deciding where to go for dinner in Lower Parel that evening. This means that you’re paying for advertising at the most crucial point – at the moment of decision-making.
We also want to incorporate table booking, event discovery and movie ticketing, where we can work on a commission basis.

What are the challenges your startup faces while setting up the business?
The trickiest thing with any social app is that the app only works when your friends are on the app too. As a result, it is much more valuable for us if 50 friends download the app together than if 150 new users download the app independently. We have acknowledged this and are tackling this challenge head on with our marketing strategy! On the plus point, this network effect will begin working in our favour once we topple this initial hurdle…

What is the market size and market opportunity?
The opportunity is global and on a very large scale. If it reaches its full potential, Moodoo can be used by anyone with a social inclination and a smartphone!!

What are the traction details?

In the last month we have seen over 1200 users, with an average of 65% returning users. We currently see around 100 users per day, but expect that to increase significantly over the next few months. Our aim is to acquire over 10,000 users by the end of September.

Your marketing plans so that the world can know you better?
The key to marketing Moodoo is to speak to existing networks of people, not individuals. That’s why our focus is currently on colleges and students in Mumbai...
- We have fabulous brand ambassadors across various colleges in Mumbai.
- Have associations with college festivals and societies. For example, we’re excited to be tied up with the Rotaract Club at Jai Hind College.
- Have tie-ups with Mad Over Donuts, Café Zoe and Deepak Cinema, to unlock discounts when the plan is made via Moodoo.
- Push focused digital advertising (speaking to ‘friends of users’)

The best and worst memories while setting up your startup?
The best: Celebrating the launch of our latest update on the 10th July was definitely one of the best. It had taken a LOT of work to get this version of the app out, but we’re really excited about the result and intend to push it hard over the next few months!

The worst: Whenever something goes wrong on the live version of the app. S**t happens, but it’s always tense when it does!!

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