Way2online Targets 20M Installations By the End of This Year
They had a great run between 2009-12, and were among the top 10 most visited sites in India. In 2014 they launched their way2sms app.
They had a great run between 2009-12, and were among the top 10 most visited sites in India. In 2014 they launched their way2sms app. Realising that SMSs will soon become obsolete, they shifted the pivot of their business. In Dec, 2015, they have pivoted to short news in local languages. And their vision is to create ‘media on mobile’ company as they craft content for mobile screen.
BWDisrupt's Soumya Gupta spoke to Raju Vanapala, Founder & CEO of Way2online to know more about her businessmodel and vision with his startup. Edited Excerpts-
How was it started, tell us about the inception the startup?
We already had a huge user base with way2sms. We realized that sms would soon become obsolete and that that there is huge scope in the local language space. We also wanted a product that would remain as relevant for the mass population as was way2sms in its heydays. And that is how we thought of foraying into the short news segment with local language as central focus.
What are the unique key feature/services, how is it different from existing ones?
We are not just a mere mobile app, we are basically exemplifying a ‘mobile-first’ syndrome wherein we are building media on a mobile screen. Crafting content as a ‘media on mobile’ company sets us apart from the other apps.
Also Way2’s’ USP is its ease of download, skimming news, and availability of news in Indian languages, some 8 of them in the pipeline. So it caters to seekers of information both in English and regional Indian languages. And there is effort to make news selection comprehensive and wide-based, moving away from shadow of tradition bound sources of news, eg inclusion of blogs and RSS feeds as sources of news. Also technology tweaking allows us to reach out to tier 2 and tier 3 cities, where bandwidth availability and top end smartphone penetration are issues.
What is your monetization model?
Revenue generation is by way of advertisements on the app.
What are the traction details of your startup so far?
Short news in local languages have worked really well for us. We have recently crossed 10 million installs. We are very close to reaching 2 billion screenviews this month. On an avg each user is viewing over 80 news stories every day. Thats a phenomenal engagement.
Explain your future plans and marketing plans?
Our aim is to register as much growth organically as we can. We have crossed a crore installs right now and we are looking at 20 million installs in a year’s time frame. Our expectation is that news being an everyday product that it is, consumers should get hooked to the app and make it a daily part of their lives. The visual presentation of the app is eye-catching, the news is crisp and pertinent to the reader and has so much variety that this should become the go-to place for any reader who wants to stay abreast of happenings without spending too much time on details. And as said earlier we want to record 20 million installs in a year’s time.
Tell us about the challenges faced, the market size & opportunity you are exploring?
The major challenge is providing exceptional visual experience with very less data consumption on mobile. Most of the language users are very conscious about the data usage every day. So, providing rich news reading experience with highly economical data consumption is a big challenge. But, we took this as a challenge to provide exceptional news reading experience with very less data consumption.
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