While working at LINE in managerial capacities, Daman Soni and Rajat Gupta dealt with a host of mobile-driven business models. During their frequent travels to Korea and Japan for the company, whose app allows users to make calls and send messages for free, they discovered that people were using lock screens to discover content. This inspired the duo to launch Planet GoGo, in September this year.
Planet GoGo is a lock-screen app for content discovery that delivers personalised content and news to Android users. Users are rewarded ‘GoGo points’ that can be used to redeem free talk-time from mobile operators, in exchange for reading content or even unlocking their phone.
GoGo’s core proposition is to solve the problem of content discovery for Indian smartphone users by providing them updates and quality content on their lock screen. A large part of the population today relies on apps for everyday content needs and GoGo provides users with curated on-the-go quality content.
Both founders had entrepreneurial stints earlier too. Daman (38) holds a BE from NIT, Rourkela and an MBA from ISB, Hyderabad. Rajat (34) has completed his BTech from IIIT, Hyderabad. Daman started his entrepreneurial journey in 2009 with Concept Gears, which focussed on offering services to education institutes, parents and students. Simultaneously, he also co-founded Percept Knorigin, which provided solutions and services in the digital media content and advertising, and Mobile VAS space. He joined LINE in 2014.
Rajat took up entrepreneurship in 2006 with Fotolink Media, a mobile application which used image recognition technology. The interactive technology provides completely pull-based, opt-in permission marketing solutions. Before joining LINE, he worked with TCS, Ibibo, Indyarocks, Mojostreet, BestDaam and Percept Knorigin.
Currently, Planet GoGo has more than 30,000 users. The founders say the content is curated by the millennials for the millennials, personalising it for each user. It allows youngsters to consume content without worrying about the data charges.
We have kept in mind the collective issues of connectivity, data charges, low RAM and battery consumption while designing the app. GoGo, therefore, consumes minimal data and is quite efficient on the battery consumption front. Since we were very clear about this from the start, we have a test setup that covers over 100 mobile devices.”The startup has built a technology stack that can scale up to 10 million users.
Recently, it raised seed investment from HT Media (through their subsidiary HT Digital Media Holdings Limited) and North Base Media (NBM). North Base Media, founded by a team of media executives from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Reuters, is an investment firm that focusses on media and media technology.
Marcus Brauchli, Managing Partner, NBM, says,
GoGo is run by an exceptionally experienced team and is focussed on an enormous market opportunity. Their vision of delivering relevant content to large audiences in a high-impact setting makes incredible sense.
In the next three years, Planet GoGo aims to reach 100 million users. Going forward, the startup will also be supporting multiple languages since vernacular content consumption on the phone is increasing at a rapid pace. Moreover, the startup claims that it will be building India’s largest inventory for full-page native interstitial advertisements.
A report by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs revealed that content marketing is in a stage of hyper-growth, and social media is fast becoming the most preferred channel for sharing content. Smaller businesses and professionals generally don’t have sufficient resources, and need solutions to maintain an active social presence.
The sector, over the years, has witnessed a number of players carving out a niche in social media marketing. DrumUp is a mobile and web application that helps users discover and read relevant content from around the web, and share it with their followers and connections on social media.
Hootsuite, an app for managing social media, has raised almost $285 million in funding, while Tweetdeck raised $5.3 million and was acquired by Twitter. Founded in 2010, Buffer has raised $3.9 million in three rounds and helps users curate and share their content.
PlanetGoGo seems to have joined the race of content discovery but the app’s unique feature of discovering content in lock screen may help keep it ahead of the curve.