Update on Nov 10, 2014: We had earlier reported the download figures to be at 8 million. This was due to an error in Plackal's analytic software. The team recently figured out the bug and correct number of downloads stand at 5 million.
Lovecyles is a mobile app that helps women keep track of their monthly periods. We covered the app back in 2011 when it was still in a very early stage beta and since then, the app has come a long way. It has grown in traction and currently has more than 5 million downloads. Out of this, there are 150,000 daily active users. The USP for Lovecycles from Plackal Technologies is its design- ask any women who is using the app and they'll tell you the experience on the app is what makes them keep it.
John Paul, the founder of the app tells us, "Some of my friends and family used excel sheets to track their cycles. Many others used diaries, post-its and the calendars hanging on their walls! Although these are okay, they are also low on portability and give no useful metrics. Smartphones make this essential data portable, give a wide range of statistics and make it accessible anytime, anywhere." This is when the idea for Loveycles took birth and the app was launched in the later part of 2011.
Over time, the app has kept the proposition simple but has iterated the design and continuously take in feedback to improve the experience. Currently a team of six with three developers, Lovecycles is growing at an impressive rate.
The interesting nitty grities
1) The geographical usage: India does not even feature on the top 10 list when you talk about the number of dowloads. Brazil, Mexico and Russia are the top 3! There have been no special efforts to market the app in these geographies, and overall as well, marketing spend for the app is zero. The team at Lovecycles has worked a lot on figuring out what the Google Store considers while suggesting apps to its users. Loveycycles comes up at number 3 when someone searches using 'menstrual' on Google Play even though there are hundreds of other apps.
2) How do they sustain? Lovecycles currently relies on ads and in app purchases (a user can pay to remove ads). Loveycles has tried out two models- a one time payment to remove ads and subscription model. A subscription model is better in terms the business model. In terms of adoption, the split for revenues was 60% via ads and 40% via the one time payment. After shifting the model to subscription, that split has come to 80-20. "We want to get more users on the subscription model because if people do that, then there is some substantial value in the app," says John.
3) The question of engagement- For the bigger apps, engagement is the key metric to track. For Lovecycles, the engagement is not high because the use case doesn't support it. The team is currently thinking of additional features which will bring users to the app more often. for instance, a forum. For the forum to succeed, it'll need to be dynamic in terms of language since the users are from all over the world.
There are other models that the team is also exploring but the traction and a solid community of users in a niche makes Lovecycles a very promising proposition.
Check out Lovecycles. The company is also one of the Tech30 companies, here's a comprehensive list of all the 30 companies that showcased at TechSparks 2014.