“BONUS WEEKEND 1”

Published: 6/5/2020

Okay, so I should’ve mentioned in yesterday’s post that the next edition is on Monday (since this is a weekly newsletter), but I forgot so here’s a short take on a piece Dev Khare (Lightspeed India) wrote back in 2016 on the impact Messaging Apps & Ecosystems could have on the Internet economy. imo, he basically predicted where we are now/will be in the next year or so in this piece http://bit.ly/2SHFIN8 (Medium)

Dev predicts a couple of themes that will be popular in messaging app ecosystems: - Commerce: businesses interacting with each other, or consumers interacting with business. We are seeing a bunch of this currently which payment links (from Khata apps) being sent over WhatsApp and it’s going to get even more integrated once WhatsApp Pay rolls out completely. - Community: we currently are in thousands on WhatsApp communities and I bet quite a few of us are in highly specialized ones as well (College WhatsApp platforms, Career-specific platforms). Dev thinks that eventually someone can build a monetization platform on top of him, and I definitely agree with him. Take this group for example, imagine how much easier it would’ve been if paying for access was tied to the experience of joining the group. - Content: So much of content is curated, created & shared on WhatsApp, so it makes sense for ancillary platforms to exist where users can better search & find content that can be shared on WhatsApp (I assume this was Lightspeed’s thesis around ShareChat because they led ShareChat’s Series A investment around when Dev wrote this piece).

The biggest point he makes, which I agree with, is that the messaging platform with the greatest distribution that is able to integrate payments is going to be “a killer platform”. And that’s going to be WhatsApp within the next 12-18 months. I think many VCs and people in tech knew WhatsApp would be big in India, but don’t think I’ve seen any other pieces from anyone with such a clear thesis on what the platform ecosystem could look like.

I have a longer piece on this and how “India runs on WhatsApp” dropping on my substack over the weekend to stay tuned for that. (Also probably going to tweet this edition out :) ) See y’all on Monday.