It's Thursday and it unfortunately seems like the Indian-Chinese border conflict is heating up. Also hope y'all liked the piece on CRED and always love to hear feedback on that (feel free to comment on the post or DM me).
We have the ex-Zomato founder Pankaj Chaddah in the news today, along with Hike's (remember them?) new social product- HikeLand.
➡️ I'm not sure how many of y'all use or remember Hike, but it is India's only social media & messaging company to be a unicorn, however the last couple of years have been rough for the company.
➡️ The company last raised funding in 2016, tried to become a super-app several times but eventually gave up and settled on a messaging app with stickers. With today's launch, Hike is trying something new- launching a platform where people hang out virtually.
➡️ Currently in the HikeLand, you can hang out at "Home" with your friends or in the "Big Screen" and watch YouTube videos & movies with new people. I took the app for a spin yesterday and it seems like the app asks you to add dating-esque questions to add to your profile.
➡️ The content also wasn't terribly great ("Ranbir's music videos" when I tried it out), but Hike is in talks with the various OTT platforms in India. The Big Screen experience also lets you send messages and chat with the 16 other people in your room, and to me the app is positioned as a dating app.
➡️ However, it seemed (in my 10-20 minutes of trying out the app) that there was a significant gender imbalance (14-15 guys to 1-2 girls) so it will be interesting to see if Hike is planning to do anything about this. I don't think the gender imbalance is any different than Tinder, Hinge and the other dating apps but it's quite evident on Hike (more so than the others).
➡️ The concept of HikeLand sounded quite interesting but so far it has felt a little lackluster (though I should say that I am definitely not their target audience so maybe it's just me).
2: https://bit.ly/37F0jIV: New wellness company offers online classes
➡️ Zomato's ex-founder Pankaj Chaddah & ex-executive Pooja Khanna have been working on a platform called Mindhouse for a while now. It is a mental wellness company that offers guided classes on meditation.
➡️ The company started in December with a couple of physical studios on Gurgaon, but has shifted to an online model because of the pandemic and lockdown. However, this shift has given mental health & wellness in India more visibility and a platform like Mindhouse is welcoming.
➡️ The company has already raised ₹15 Cr from prominent angels like Sahil Barua, Karan Singh, & Anand Chandrasekaran and is planning to focus heavily on the online experience for now.
➡️ The platform has a mix of live and on-demand classes & content in both audio and video formats, and the content is largely yoga and meditation classes. The company has three different subscription models- ₹499 for a month, ₹999 for 3 months, and ₹1999 for a year's subscription (along with a free tier with limited content).
➡️ The company has also been angling their product and subscription as an employee perk for businesses and has already partnered with 500 companies (probably at a lower subscription price). I think the B2B distribution channel makes a lot of sense, with companies looking to invest in services for their employees to help in these troubling times.
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated
More tomorrow :) BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/anmolm_/status/1273474988394176513
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