Priyanka Gupta is the Founder of Vivilio. She started her entrepreneurial journey by becoming the co-founder of IndiaBookStore.net in 2011 and scaling it to the biggest price comparison website for books in India in three years.
She says, “In life, a person learns the most from people around and from books. Currently, the information that our peers consume through books is fragmented and we are trying to bridge this gap by providing solution to the following two major .problems:which books to read andhow to determine if a recommended book is worth reading.”
Vivilio solves these by connecting a user to peers and influencers through ‘reading profiles’,which capture the reading interest of users through the books they have read or wish to read.
Vivilio was started in April 2015 by Priyanka and the team behind IndiaBookStore.net :Soumitra Sengupta, Kshitiz Gupta, Prakhar Shukla, Akashdeep Singh, and MugdhaWagle.
They have been interacting with avid readers for the past three years and had repeatedly came across users talking about the same problem of getting relevant book recommendations. After a series of surveys, it seemed that existing solutions like Goodreads aren’t enough in terms of solving the needs of the Indian readers, although the Indian book reading population stands at a staggering 83million, with about 1,00,000+ books getting published every year. This gave birth to Vivilio.
Initially Vivilio started as a content platform generating list of articles around books like 10 books you must read to excel in dating Indian girls to gauge initial user interest. In parallel, they launched user reading profiles in September 2015 and have got 800+ sign-ups so far.
Vivilio has a global competitor in Goodreads. Soumitra says, “Vivilio differentiates from its competitors in the following ways:
- Vivilio uses a mobile-first approach with a greater focus on Indian authors and influencers
- Vivilio is focussed on solving books recommendation problem through real people without any extra noise
The book reading market in India
The book publishing market in India is USD 2.8 billion and the growth of Indian publishing industry is about 15 per cent (global average 12 per cent)
We see a big surge in casual reading segment driven by young adult fiction authors like Chetan Bhagat, Ravindra Singh etc., whose books have made it easier for non-readers to get on the reading bandwagon. Also, events like Jaipur Lit Fest and city-level book fests like Delhi Book Fair have been elemental in making reading glamorous.
The company is currently bootstrapped and is looking to raise an angel round. The funds will be used in driving user engagement and developing the product further.
Priyanka says, “We are launching our Android app by Nov 2015. In the next six months, we are planning to get all Indian authors signed up onto the platform and have about 50,000 active users onboard.With India emerging as one of the highest growth market for publishing, we wish to play a significant role by structuring book discovery and promoting reading in the country.”
A dedicated community of avid readers on Vivilio will help new and existing authors reach out to target audience in a more effective way than the current noisy channels like Twitter and Facebook.
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