From marriages to health, consulting an astrologer is second nature to many of us. Through the use of tech, Askmonk cuts through the clutter, allowing you to contact astrologers directly.
Astrology on the go! It may sound odd at first, but this team of three engineers, with diverse technical backgrounds, is trying to bring people and astrologers closer together, in a way that wasn’t even possible not too long ago.
Mobile-first tech startup Askmonk aims to transform the way people seek astrological solutions online. They are a curated marketplace that provides access to professional astrologers in a Q&A style conversational format.
Vaibhav Magon, founder of Askmonk, says, "It happened last year when a colleague of mine wanted to seek some career advice. I introduced him to my dad, who has been an astrologer for the last 25 years. In that moment, I saw an opportunity to connect the seeker and the giver online, so that people can have access to a community of family astrologers, which is a huge problem in itself."
Founding members and mentors
Vaibhav Magon leads the technical and executive part of the company ensuring continuous and sustainable growth for Askmonk. Kanishk Rai leads operational and marketing excellence initiatives for Askmonk which includes both demand and supply sides. Harsh is responsible for mobile app development. They all had quit their jobs from companies like GOIBIBO, IBM to start Askmonk.
Other than that, on board, they have Sunil Magon, an IIT Roorkee alumnus and an astrologer for the last 25 years. Through him, they have deep connections to the community of astrologers and are able to leverage that clout for people to find their ideal life coach.
Apart from that they also have Marvin Danig, a tech investor and adviser from Washington DC, US who is helping them with scale and strategy for their business
How did they go about addressing this opportunity?
Askmonk provides users with an android app through which anyone can ask their questions privately and securely. The question could be on any topic at all, from business, love, career and marriage to health, litigation and immigration. The question is processed and delivered straight to an astrologer according to the context and situation of the client. Once the astrologer is ready, the response is sent to the client via Askmonk.
Their growth rates are hovering at about 60-70 percent right now. The team of three sees a tremendous opportunity in online astrology in India, and their goal for this year is to scale up their community from 10,000 clients at present to 100,000.
Commissions are one mode of revenue generation. So far, they have engaged with over 2,000 paid clients, covering over 325 cities all over India.
The size of the astrology market in India alone is $10 billion. Globally, it is estimated to be twice that. Online astrology is an emerging market that is estimated at somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion annually. The trend towards this novel approach has been compounded by the explosion of smartphones and the app economy. The online avatar of the astrology market is likely to reach $2.5-5 billion in the next three to five years.
Askmonk has raised pre-seed funding from a few private investors, including Washington-based tech investor and startup mentor Marvin Danig. They are looking to raise somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million for the next stage of their journey.