Small town boys from Kerala bootstrap 'product' by making apps around Malayalam movies
Mohammed Aboobacker is from Pallakad in Kerala. He is a final year student pursuing a degree in Mechanical engineering at the Rajagiri College of engineering and technology. His friend Navaneet is from Calicut and is in his second year of Computer Science engineering at FISAT. These two curious youngsters had met at a developer event organized by Startup Village. “I was very much motivated by Startup Village and the things that happened here. So I decided to do something on my own,” says Mohammed.
Taking inspiration back in March 2013, he started click clap- a digital marketing agency for MFAR and some Kerala based companies. Still at its infancy in upcoming parts of India, Digital Marketing has quite a few takers and Mohammed was buoying with confidence. But during his journey, he realised the difficulty in running a services company and when he met Navaneet, they stumbled upon more exciting ideas to go after. “My solo journey came to an end by co-founding Mobio Global with Navaneeth,” says a proud Mohammed. Later, Anush Anilkumar who is also a student in CUSAT (a college in Kochi) joined Mobio. He was a student developer at Mozilla as WebDev in Support and the founding duo found Anush to be of great value for their company.
What does Mobio do? 'Experiment' is a close enough word. They found an opportunity and went after it. Seeing the craze after Malayalam movies, the trio built an Android game for the hit film 1983 and followed it up with a racing game based on the Mammootty-starrer Gangster. They were building a lot of apps together and during 1983, they decided to approach the film makers. And the audacity paid off. “We were working on consolidating all our various apps under one platform, and it was then that we approached the makers of 1983 with the idea for a game, and they agreed!” says Mohammed. They grew in confidence, and as The Hindu writes in one of their interviews, one thing led to another and soon they landed the opportunity of creating a game for Gangster. Both these games reached the Top 50 on the Android Play Store.
There is a caveat though. It is extremely difficult to find any of the apps on the Play Store (I couldn't find any) now but I'm inclined towards giving the trio a benefit of the doubt on face value and Startup Village. The claim is that they were at one point making $200 a day with all their apps and it is possible if we account the notoriety of the Play Store.
Turning a leaf, Mobio Global has a new offering. During their journey with the apps, they had a realization. "Our user engagement in apps was low even though we had 3 million downloads in total, so we decided to build an android push notification platform, with which we were able to boost our daily revenue from 200$ per day to 250$ per day. We couldn't stop our thrive with it, So we launched the public beta from a headstart event in startup village on June and it got more than 150 signups and 30+ active apps. More than 50 Lakh push notifications were sent," says Mohammed. But they had to shut it down. The android push notification was already pioneered by Parse, GCM, and many companies. And hence came in the pivot.
We found opportunity ahead on website push notification service. There are more websites than apps and we thought this might work. It took us two and half months to build it and we completed it this month. We tested it in our own blog techstream.org and we got tremendous click through rate from audience. So we launched the private beta two weeks ago.
Mobiopush allows websites to send push notifications to desktop, mobile and other devices. It claims to support all desktop browsers and most of the mobile browsers. Developers can integrate mobiopush to their websites in less than 3 minutes and a dedicated dashboard gives access to wide informations and features including user count, click rate, push status, scheduling, api etc. Visitors of websites using mobiopush will receive a prompt asking for permission to receive push.
Mobiopush is open for a 14 day free trial and with some good guidance, the product can be brought to a market fit. One feels the need to vouch for them when you see the enthusiasm that says,
Currently we are working after college hours and most of the days we remain absent in college. We want to move out of college to pursue our dream full time. Reaching the global market as fast as possible will be the biggest challenge ahead.