Sagoon: Ready to Launch App Based & Social Card Services
Sagoon aspires to change the way people use and interact on social media today by combining all that we know and love about social media and online shopping.
BWDisrupt interacted with Ms. Swati Dayal, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sagoon.com
Please share the startup journey from inception to till date?
Sagoon - a new-age social commerce start up, incorporated in Delaware USA, was founded by Govinda Giri, a Nepali by origin and Swati Dayal, a young & passionate entrepreneur from the city of Lucknow, aims to change the way people use and interact social media today.
The aspect which differentiates Sagoon from other similar social media platforms in the ecosystem, lies in its unique approach. It allows users to connect with other like-minded people and earn reward points in exchange of sharing their personal experiences through its virtual platform, thus, validating the company motto: CONNECT, SHARE, EARN.
A home-grown social start up, based in Noida, India, Sagoon helps build intimacy between family, friends and co-workers, and earn while they socialize. Initially incepted in 2009, it was further developed over the years, finally being officially launched in its latest avatar on November 2015.
Contributing to the current wave of startups, Sagoon intends to bring Silicon Valley culture in India to extend local talents an opportunity to innovate and disrupt established social media market from India – the new land of opportunity.
How was it started? Tell us the story behind genesis of Sagoon.
Sagoon started as a search engine which provided customized search results for people with varying needs and preferences. In 2007, Sagoon’s founder and master-mind behind the brand, Govinda Giri came up with the idea of building a search engine after he realized that Google’s search results were limited and didn’t always provide the complete information. Govinda filed the patent for this search algorithm but, as fate would have it, he had to discontinue working on this project due to financial obstacles. Years passed and the desire of coming out with a revolutionary idea only grew stronger in him. He was closely observing the social media and found out that these sites waste a lot of time and kill productivity. Govinda also realized that:
• Social media was addictive
• It promoted isolation
• People were doing things just to paint their false pictures in front of their virtual friends
He had to do something about these negative aspects of social media and he did it. Govinda re-launched Sagoon (in beta Version) as a social commerce network in 2014 to help people:
• Build true connections
• Improve productivity
• Let them express themselves better
• Earn for all the time they spent socializing
Govinda's dream of improving search results is still alive. Since we still have the patent of that search algorithm, he plans to use the same in Sagoon through an upcoming application ‘My Web’.
What are the unique key feature/services of Sagoon? How is it different from existing ones?
Currently, it offers three features, which are extremely loved by 390,000 users:
My Day: It’s the fastest way to create & share schedules and to-do lists and set reminders. This feature has been designed to simplify the personal and professional lives of users, and increase their productivity.
Secret Sharing: This application lets you share those secrets and confessions, which could be beneficial for society. Users can share their secret/confessions publicly or choose to hide their identity.
Mood Talk: With this feature, users can let their moods do the talking. The custom emoticons and crazy stickers help in adding that zing to the private and group chat
There are many platforms today that help us connect and share digital content with one another, yet there is no single platform that builds a true connection or the one that lets users connect, earn money and schedule their lives. Sagoon aspires to change the way people use and interact on social media today by combining all that we know and love about social media and online shopping.
What is the monetization model of Sagoon?
The monetization model includes:
1. Social Smart Card
Social Smart Card is an online digital card that helps allows users to earn money, spend money, redeem coupons and gift their loved ones.
Peter and Jenny each gift a $100 gift card to their mother. The mother has $200 to spend. She visits one of the target stores and redeems the whole $200. Now, as also stated in the image, Sagoon is creating a win-win situation for everyone through Social Smart Card.
• Sagoon earns 10% revenue on the spent $200 i.e. $20
• Sagoon users (Peter and Jenny) get 5% of the revenue i.e. $1
• The vendors get more sales, Sagoon card holders gets a percentage of revenue back
• The mother gets additional discount
Sagoon’s advertising concept will be different from the current method. Presently, people have to walk through appealing graphics, discounts, offers and sale to buy a product. So, it won’t be wrong to say that most of the times, people buy these sales, offers and discounts, not products. Look at the reference below:
In Sagoon’s concept of showing advertisement, the focus will be on the result, benefits and features of the product. The product will be showcased in a storytelling form, which will promote informed buying.
Please share the Funding details?
We have raised $1 million from family, friends and other small investors. Recently, we closed Private Placement but we can’t be disclose the amount now. Currently, we are almost ready to file for Regulation A+ (Mini-IPO).
Please share the traction details received till date?
As of now, Sagoon has 383,177 registered users from US, India and Nepal. Most of the users fall in the age group of 22 to 34. Moreover, there are one million users in the waiting list. The users have, so far, reported 4152313 activities like sending messages, sharing secrets, creating schedules, making to-do lists and sending reminders. Sagoon has registered 847492 visits till date. On an average, each user spends four minutes on the platform.
Discuss what were the challenges faced? And what are the market size & opportunity you are looking at?
Assembling a right team with the required skillset and infusing the startup culture different from that in IT was the real challenge. Another challenge is that Indian investors don’t have risk taking appetite. They are very reluctant when it comes to investing in a new company, especially when it is Indian.
The market size is the current number of 3.42 billion internet users, equaling 46% global penetration, and 2.2 billion social media users, delivering 31% global penetration.
Sagoon is the first company that is being developed in India and going for IPO. That being said, it has the potential to contribute to the economic growth of country by bringing the silicon valley-like culture here. Further, all team members will get an equity in the company.
What are the future plans for Sagoon?
Sagoon is going to file for Regulation A+ (Mini-IPO). The immediate pipeline also includes developing an app (Android and iPhone) and launching Social Smart Card.
What are the Marketing plans for Sagoon?
Our marketing plan includes creating monopoly in South Asia region. Sagoon is fast becoming popular in Nepal and India. The plan also comprises turning users in our waiting list into registered users.
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