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Sagoon app launches in India, shows users to make money while socialising

Libza Mannan
17th Jan 2018
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Sagoon is an early-stage social commerce platform that enables users to connect, share, and shop to earn rewards. The US-based platform recently launched its mobile app in India.

Imagine a world where socialising and connecting with friends can earn you financial rewards. Sagoon envisions just that.

The app was launched in India last week, and allows people to connect with friends and family and share experiences. It also allows one to shop, and earn cashback, rewards and reward points for shopping from the platform.

Initially launched in 2009 as a search engine, Sagoon evolved into a social commerce platform in 2014, with the mission to help people to connect, share, and earn.

Sagoon claims to be different from other similar social media platforms. It allows users to connect with like-minded people, share their personal experiences, and earn rewards while shopping.

Shraddha Kapoor at the Sagoon app launch

Hindi film actor Shraddha Kapoor recently unveiled the Sagoon app in New Delhi. The launch event focused on the theme ‘Creating a new social world from South Asia’.

“I think that this a revolutionary step in the social media apps. Often times, through technology you can’t fully express how you feel. So, I think that this app taps into that void that was there, it makes you express how you feel at the click of your smartphone,” she said.

While launching the app, Sagoon’s founder, Govinda Giri also unveiled the platform’s third round of crowdfunding, and highlighted the round was open for Indian users to invest, and co-own the platform.

“We are thrilled to announce the availability of Sagoon app, and to enable our users in India to connect and share from their favorite Android mobile device. Our social apps are designed to add value to users in their day-to-day life. A user is a member of the Sagoon Family. He or she gets a share of what the company earns,” said Govinda.

In its first two rounds so far, the company raised close to $4.8 million. Of this, $3.3 million was secured through more than 3,000 investors, and $1.5 million was through private funding.

Sagoon's founder Govinda Giri

Features of Sagoon app

My Day: This feature lets users to create schedules, to-do lists, and set reminders. Users can share these activities with friends to plan meet-ups around their schedules.

My Day offers a world clock; weather monitor; appointment scheduler; calendar and time-table; and a to-do list and reminder.

The app's My Day feature

Mood Talk: Mood Talk is a chat feature that enables users to communicate using “moods” rather than words, as a real-time expression for how you are feeling. Users can set custom moods to happy, sad, sick, etc, which vanish after 24 hours.

Mood Talk offers group chat; friends finder; mood emoticons and share files option.

Secret sharing: The feature allows users to learn, explore, and experience different ideas and communities within the comfort of an anonymous space. Users can share secrets with the public, and seek advice without being judged, or send one-on-one secret messages that vanish once read.

Secret Sharing offers a privacy setting; track others secrets; add multi pictures; like and dislike; share; comment and choice to post open secret or private secret.

The revenue model

The app aims to monetise through its Social Smart Card, which is yet to be launched. Social Smart Card is an online digital card that helps allows users shop, redeem coupons, and gift their loved ones.

Swati Dayal, Co-Founder and Executive Director, highlighted that the platform plans to launch the Social Smart Card soon.

She added the Social Smart Card will users benefits such as cashbacks and discounts on future purchases.

Explaining the revenue model, she said if user A and user B give a $50 gift card to user C, the receiver could use the $100 to spend at partner stores, and this would get users A and B get a 5 percent cashback. User C gets discounts at partner vendors, and Sagoon earns 10 percent revenue on the amount spent, making it a win-win for all.

Every Sagoon user gets a Social Smart Card when they create a profile, and earn 5 percent of every transaction as cashback.

Sagoon’s journey so far

Headquartered in the US, the social media platform was founded by Govinda Giri, who has worked for 15 years in the US in the government and private sectors. He founded Sagoon with Swati Dayal, who has over eight years of experience in web and mobile development, and Kabin Sitoula who comes with 20 years of experience in finance and marketing.

“This is an exciting time for the company as we have come up with a revolutionary step by being the first-ever company allowing potential investors in India to invest in Sagoon using their debit/credit cards,” adds Swati.

In July 2014, Sagoon’s beta version 1.0 was launched in the US. In January 2015, Sagoon India was registered as 100 percent subsidiary of Sagoon Inc, followed by the announcement of seed-funding round in April 2015 to scale up the business. It raised $500,000 by the end of the funding round. In the same year, the then PM of Nepal, KP Oli launched Sagoon version 2.0 – the next generation social network - as a public beta in Kathmandu. By the end of the first funding round, the company had raised over $1.6 million from more than 1600 people.

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