With Rs 14 lakh business per day, this astrology startup is making profits in the time of coronavirus
The coronavirus crisis has heightened the feeling of fear and anxiety among people, especially on issues like health, money, relationships, career, jobs, etc. The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has also affected businesses, bringing a majority of them to a standstill.
While some companies are now slowly limping back to normalcy with the easing of lockdown, this astrology startup has doubled its revenues in such an environment.
Delhi-based AstroTalk, which is focussed on providing astrology-related services, saw its revenue more than double during the coronavirus crisis.
“On an average, we are generating about Rs 14 lakh business per day now, compared to Rs 5 lakh in November last year,” says Puneet Gupta, Founder, AstroTalk. The startup also recorded a business of Rs 17 lakh on one of the days.
Founded in 2017, the startup, which has witnessed a steady rise in its business, provides various kinds of astrology services - either through chat or telephone. The clientele has largely been the younger crowd - in the age group of 22 to 40.
Type of queries
According to Puneet, in the initial days of coronavirus, the startup saw a 20 percent decline in its business, but picked over time as the disease started to spread across countries.
“People are in a state of panic and they come to our site seeking for a solution,” says Puneet.
The top-most priority for people who come to AstroTalk seeking guidance is related to career, followed by other issues like finance, relationship, jobs, etc.
In an environment like the present one, there is heightened fear about jobs and career. There are many companies from the startup ecosystem who have publicly announced job cuts like Zomato, Swiggy, and Ola to name a few, and this has only increased the levels of insecurity.
For anybody, it is certainly a massive blow, both psychologically and financially, to lose a job, more so for the younger generation who have just started their careers.
In addition to career-related problems, people also come to AstroTalk to seek relationship advice. “In this time of coronavirus, many young people are not able to meet face to face, and this has certainly given rise to anxiety on their relationship status,” says Puneet.
Experts on board
Besides the number of customers visiting the website, the startup has many experts, who want to come onboard to provide their services.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the founder used to get occasional complaints or requests to allocate some more work for them, but now some of them say there is too much coming in their way.
“Some of the astrologers say that work pressure is too much as they are working 12 hours a day,” says Puneet.
On the other hand, AstroTalk is also seeing certain pattern change, in terms of peak timings. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the peak timings was between 7 pm and 11 pm, but now it has shifted to between 8:30 pm and 1 am.
Also, there has been a shift in terms of how people want to communicate with the experts as there is increasing preference for chat-related services as opposed to telephonic conversations.
For Puneet, it has been an eventful personal journey. Prior to starting AstroTalk, he faced certain challenges, which led him to venture into this business.
In an earlier conversation with YourStory, Puneet said, “Astrology has personally helped me a lot, and I really want to reach out to a lot many people so that they can also benefit from this.”
The startup has got various packages for its customers, which range from Rs 10 to Rs 150 per minute depending on the astrologer. It also has recharge packs starting with Rs 60 onwards though for a new user, the first time consultation is free.
AstroTalk currently follows a revenue sharing model with the astrologers on the platform.
AstroTalk has users from across the country, and is not restricted just to the urban centres. People from Tier II locations also visit the site. The founder plans to expand the reach of its services and introduce more offerings in the near future. The goal is to bring more number of users onto their site.
Edited by Megha Reddy