Times Of India, in its recent article talked about one of our portfolio startups , Smartican as “A desi social network for every passion”. Check out the article here..
A desi social network for every passion
Facebook is becoming crowded and we need other channels.
MUMBAI: Indian startups are challenging social media giants with networking sites focused on specific interests, from medical education to travel, fashion and marketing
For many of us, ‘social media’ means Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Some entrepreneurs might even think it impossible to enter this space given the dominance of these giants. Well, think again.There are around 150 social media startups in India, as per startup analytics firm Tracxn, with quirky names like Kulzy, Docplexus, Brigge, Smartican, DIKY and Affimity. Most are niche sites, designed for those with specific interests.
Kulzy is for marketing folk, Docplexus for doctors. Others are for more varied audiences, but each has its own unique selling point. Affimity is a yearold startup with a team in Bengaluru and the Bay Area, and its social network consists of a number of channels. “We have channels like food, parents, working moms, fitness, jokes, fashion, among others. It is the place you go to, to be informed, bask in the community buzz, make and stay connected to friends who share that passion,” says co-founder Parveen Mittal.
Bengaluru resident Sangeeta Das has shifted her focus from Facebook to Affimity. The 42-year-old spends almost four months every year travelling across India, penning down her adventures on her blog and sharing them on Facebook. But she found the posts weren’t generating many views from people interested in travel.
“I began to lose interest in Facebook. I also used to get irrelevant content on my newsfeed,” Das says. A month ago, she heard about Affimity from her food bloggers’ group. Although Affimity’s look and feel is similar to Facebook’s, it has interest-based channels that one can follow. “I selected food and travel. Now, people who comment on my posts are those interested in travel. That has also greatly increased my blog views. The blog on my travel to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is the most popular,” she says.
Murali Satagopan, co-founder of Brigge, which launched its app two months ago, says their idea is to get people away from their smartphones and encourage more real-world interaction based on interests. Satagopan started Brigge (pronounced Bridge) with his brother-in-law Sampath Jagannathan and the latter’s brother Prasanna Jagannathan. They saw the opportunity when they themselves faced difficulties in finding people with common interests to hang out with.
Aditya Ahluwalia’s DIKY (short for Do I Know You) uses the Facebook platform to create an interest-specific group.After users log in, they have to answer a series of questions that assesses their interests and personality traits. The users’ friends are then asked to rate them on personality traits, thus creating a crowd sourced interest tag for users. DIKY then uses algorithms to match users with similar interest tags and communicate through chat.
Ahluwalia, who co-founded DIKY with four others, calls it a marriage of Facebook, LinkedIn, and dating apps. DIKY, launched early last year, is still in beta mode and its Android app has seen close to 2,000 downloads.
Delhi-based Smartican’s co-founder Aastha Almast says traditional social media networks are based on pre-made relationships. “On Facebook, the content shared reaches only a particular group of people, but not to those who may actually be seeking that content,” she says.
Some of these networks are successful owing to the specific nature of the interest. Anup Soan, an editor of a medical education publication and a member of Docplexus, says since this social media platform is restricted to those in the medical field, the member doctors are more open to asking questions.