Young entrepreneurs launch Twitter-style push notifications for websitesSindhu Kashyap
The world of push notifications is fast changing to accommodate the growing needs of the consumer. Today, we are at a place where real-time push notifications are not just a mobile phones technology, but something that even websites offer.
While there are several realtime web push notifications services like Web Engage, OpenPush, and others, Horntell claims to be different from them.
"Apart from using notifications for marketing and promotions, we are also about enabling our users to do things with minimum friction. We do not simulate “push”notifications, we do the actual “push." This means, that even if your user isn’t on the website right now, the notifications will be buffered and shown to him when he next visits the site, like Facebook notifications," says Mohit Mamorio, Founder of Horntell.
Mohit has always been interested in building things. "When I was 15 years old, I built a wristband that could spin webs just like Spiderman, it wasn't strong but I was excited about it, says Mohit. "By the time he was 18, he started his first organisation, which lasted for two years. "Demands from customers started building up,but I could work for them on weekends and at nights. I had to take the call to shut it down. After I finished my engineering in Computer Science in 2013, I began my new innings with a product company" adds Mohit.
Horntell was built by Mohit during the creation of Gaurilla. "We were looking for a real-time push notification centre for websites, which would enable websites to push notifications to their users. We wanted notifications that were interactive,” he says. Mohit explains that they required a service that not only directs users to a different page and performs some action, but also helps them to do that inside the notification.
The journey and challenges
Horntell has been established with a vision of building the best push notifications for websites. However, the team bit off more than they could chew, and built in several extra features. Elaborating further Mohit says, "We now had a product with six different features, and we went out pitching to people that this can do everything. The problem was that these six features involved a lot of effort in integration and high costs”. Horntell had few takers. And those too, just liked the one original feature, and ignored the other five.
Soon the team got back to the drawing board, and scrapped out the unnecessary features, "We refined our new positioning and one day got hunted on Product Hunt. Surprisingly, we ended up as the second-most up voted product of the day," adds Mohit.
Horntell was launched on the 24th of March 2015 and has over a hundred customers, each of these in turn have an average of over 50000 end-users. The present revenue model is subscription based, where the customers are charged one dollar for 10,000 notifications and one dollar for 1000 users. “Unlike Facebook, which uses notification to send you to a different page, we let people take actions right inside the notification," explains Mohit
Horntell aims to become a single feed for all its users’ notifications. And since their notifications are interactive, users will not be directed to different apps for each notification in the feed. “You can consume and act on notifications right inside it. Imagine that you use app A, B, and C and to catch up with each of those, you check them individually. What if, instead you could get a Twitter-like feed of all the actionable content and you could act on them at one place? That’s what our future plan is."
Web url: www.horntell.com