The appearance of personal communication is changing. We can clearly see the evolution of technology and social media. These changes are creating a behavioural change in consumption patterns, more and more people have started following less face to face interaction. Email, texting, Facebook, twitter are a few examples that have diminished verbal communication. Having multiple conversations with multiple people on multiple platforms becomes a little complicated, people lose track of who they’re talking to and in what context. Moreover, business doesn’t happen face to face either as many would like. Instead today’s communication depends on conference calls, email chains etc. With heaps of workers worldwide working in teams, many businesses depend on technology. That’s not a bad thing, as long as they’re using the right technologies in appropriate ways. To solve and simplify basic communication needs OriginApp came into being.
About & Services
Founded by Pramod Ghorpade and Dinesh Kumar in 2015, the company aims to provide hassle free communication. Aimed at empowering productivity for people involved in a conversation, the app allows users to create custom profiles, leave messages, get to know the right time to call the person, and know the context of call. Pramod and Dinesh share close to 36 years of experience between them.
The inception happened during a coffee discussion between founders Pramod Ghorpade & Dinesh Kumar, on how communication has evolved, how many types of communication exists, what will be the next era of Communication etc.
“To substantiate our thoughts, we went ahead and did a small study on this idea across many countries. And our study found that more than 85% across all generations still using voice calls, texts and emails for communication and also that it is a myth that people (Silent Generation to Gen X to Millennial) have moved to social media mode of communication,” said Pramod.
He further added, “So the question we asked ourselves was, why we need to move away from our contacts to connect with our contacts? communication. Our strong belief is that the next wave of social communication will happen directly originating from everyone’s contacts (hence our name Origin).”
Custom Profile: The customer Our Users can create their profile, which will identify him when he calls someone. The profile created doubles as a sleek caller ID for the calls the customer makes to other users of the application.
Updated Contacts: As you can create your own profile, you can update it too. As and when a user updates his profile, a notification is sent to all his/her contacts. SO everyone with the app and contact will get the updates.
Call Note: One might know who’s calling but they never know the purpose of call before receiving it. The app is trying to solve this mess out by providing caller ID notes (the user will be able to see who’s calling & for what) or that information will be sent by a text message.
Its other features include deep integrated search, status updates (So one is aware if the person is available to receive the call or not), originapp also plans to extend this into auto updation of statuses based on calendar and their Time of the day. Say Hiya (Just like BBM ping or Yahoo messenger’s buzz). Moreover, the company is planning to use the offline caller ID for eCommerce companies and logistics. This will help company identify the caller and vice versa.
The app is just available on the Android platform, but the company is planning to introduce the app on iOS too. Due to platform limitations, Pramod stated that we don’t intend to introduce the caller id function, excluding that that app will be the same.
Monetisation & Traction
Currently the company is not monetising. Pramod stated that the company is planning to introduce premium features like integration with calendar, voice mails (instead of disconnecting the call, the person can end the call with a voice note) etc. It was also stated that they’re having plans to monetise from B2B segments through advertisement listings.
When asked about the traction details, Pramod said, “We have launched the app in the month of Feb 2016 and through organic growth we have close to 2,000 downloads. We’re continuously taking feedback from our users to make Originapp something which is sticky and useful. Our 70 percent of the user base is from India, 20 percent from US and the rest 10 from Australia, UK, Singapore and UAE.”
Funding Details & Market
OriginApp is being bootstrapped, Pramod stated that they were not looking to raise funds earlier as their plan was to monetise first and then raise. “During the process of product development we realised that we need more traction to speed the process. To aid in taking this product to the growth stage, we’re looking to raise between $750,000-$1 million. The proceeds of the funds will be used for further the growth across advertisements and some part of the funds will be used to file for patents for some of the ideas we have”
India is among one of the fastest growing markets in smartphones and the number of smartphones in the country is expected to grow to 650 million by 2019. Ericsson ConsumerLab is a report stated that Indian smartphone users on average spend 47% of their time on communication apps with WhatsApp, Hike, Messenger, Hangouts and WeChat being the 5 most widely used apps. Out of the various types of communication apps used on smartphones, 66% time was spent on voice and IM services, 21% on voice calling services, 11% on social networks and 2% on email apps.