VentAllOut is the latest entrant in the changing social media space whose core objective is helping its users in shedding and venting out anger in all aspects of life, work or anything in general on this platform and leaving you with positive emotions when you are with loved ones or at workplace. Unlike other social media outlets, VentAllOut is a platform where you can post your thoughts and have the freedom to vent your feelings anonymously. The anonymity privilege offered to the user helps promotes freedom of expression and also helps to avoid of any judgment. VentAllOut is also a platform where you can gain followers and friends who partially or wholly share your point of view. This feature will help in keeping the conversation going between you and platform friends. You will gain VPoints and other exciting and witty VAwards on achievement of milestones based on your participation and action on the platform. You can cast your opinion through the VPolls or capture and share a frustrating moment through our VMoments.
VentAllOut is an initiative by CrestlineBiz Solutions LLP, a start-up registered in Jan 2018 recognized by DIPP. We are publishing an interview of Mr. Sumit Mittal, Founder & CEO:
Q.: Please tell us about the founders
Ans: I am a professional with over 19 years of experience in the Payments industry turned into an Entrepreneur. I have experience working across countries including South Asia, Middle East and Africa with assignment within GCC countries. I have worked with top financial services multinational companies such a MasterCard Worldwide and GE Capital. Spent 17 years at MasterCard (out of which 11 years were in UAE) where I was involved in six different roles across various geographies, preceded by two years at GE Capital – being the founding team member of SBI cards launch in India. I have held senior roles at MasterCard, being Country Manager for Kuwait, Qatar & Oman and the last role was as a Senior Business Leader for Middle East & Africa region.
Educated in Bachelors of Engineering (Mechanical), Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (Finance) and Master’s in Business Administration (General Management) from Warwick Business School, UK. I am proud to have two patents under my name in the field of Cards Payment, filed in US.
I am 45 years old, live in Delhi and love to travel. Having travelled the world and holding senior roles, I was full of ideas and was looking for the right time to exit the corporate set-up and start something on my own. The ‘aha’ moment came in late 2017 and with the right support from my family I left my job and started working on my start-up. Named CrestlineBiz Solutions, the start-up is registered in Delhi, India and in Dubai, UAE. The start-up is also registered with DIPP.
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Ans: VentAllOut is a social platform for “Freedom of Expression”. It is a platform where users can share their frustration, comments and opinions anonymously.
The genesis of this venture came from seeing the situation around us, where everyone is trying to portray a fake image or emotion of oneself on other popular social sites. The media leaves you with a lot of questions unanswered since they show what gets them highest TRP. Facebook has become a bragging network where people flaunt their expensive gifts or lavish vacations, WhatsApp groups are biased and the members troll people for having a view so on and so forth. Whereas there is a no platform where people can share their feelings, frustrations, emotions without the fear of being judged- without the fear of having bias or being branded. This gave rise to VENTALLOUT – Vent your pent up emotions!
It is a platform where users can share their views on various categories such as – Politics, Current Affairs, Confession, Entertainment, Daily Drag, Relationship & Grievance. So be it your pent up emotion against your boss or your family member or having a confession for your secret love or having a view on Politics (which sometimes make your friends troll you – in the given political scenario) we cover it all and people can share on this platform without any fear of being identified. The identity is not known to other users unless you chose to do so.
Q.: Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: There has been recent advent of places in India and around the world where you can express your anger by smashing old TV, fridge or cutlery and release your frustration. Well, we believe that frustrations cannot wait for you to travel across the city so we have created an online place for you to release anger instantly. While you may have to pay to smash TV but here we reward you in terms of points and awards for venting out.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: There are many platforms in existence however I feel every platform has a different role to play. Let me explain it this way- when you are eating a Samosa, you will take a picture of yourself eating a samosa and put on Facebook, you will take a pic of Samosa itself and put on Instagram, write about the ingredients of the samosa on Pinterest but if you don’t like the samosa you will smash it and put a picture on VentAllOut.
People may share their frustration on other platform but many don’t because they are known on that platform. I would probably not share my political views on a platform where I know I will be judged. Whereas on VentAllOut due to anonymity of identity, people share more and share things which are close to their heart.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: “Quality” of content sits at the heart of the platform and we focus on a lot on making sure that we have content which enriches people’s lives and they derive something back from the interaction they have on the platform. In order to ensure the content is rich we have developed algorithm which does profanity checks, we have a minimum character count so that users write a meaningful sentence, users share their mood, can capture a frustrating moment on their handheld device and post and also participate in the VPolls we have on the platform, regularly.
Above all, the USP of the platform comes from a unique method of creating community based on interest, and not the user. What this means this that in VentAllOut, users don’t follow other users but follow “interest” of other users. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter said recently and I quote – “He suggested that the service works best as an “interest-based network,” where you log in and see content relevant to your interests, no matter who posted it — rather than a network where everyone feels like they need to follow a bunch of other accounts, and then grow their follower numbers in turn” (Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/16/jack-dorsey-ted/).
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
Ans: The ideal customer is everyone reading this article as everyone goes through the frustration at some point of the day or week. It is best to release that frustration rather than have it boil inside. Our assumptions have turned about to be true that there are lot of people who want to share their emotions and feeling anonymously and we have many proud customers now.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: I think as an entrepreneur, you need to learn to delegate things to the team. While you may started building the product as your baby but you need to allow other people to contribute and be open about their thoughts. I learnt that very quickly and we are where we are which I am very happy about.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? Explain your thought process.
Ans: We follow a Free subscription model as we do not want to charge users for sharing their frustration. We want to provide a platform free from any commercials or headache of cumbersome sign-up process. You could sign-up using your Facebook or Google account.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: The platform is growing at fast pace and with no to negligible marketing spend we have been able to get few thousand users who contribute to interesting comments and opinions. We have a community from as far as US, UK, Switzerland, Belgium Belize, Kenya and closer to home from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and its growing.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: The venture has been boot-strapped till now out of my own savings and I have invested lot of money and resources already.
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: Yes though many, but what I am excited about is that the kind of uptake we have had in the sign-ups since the time we went live has been phenomenal and we hope we continue to climb the ladder of success.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: Consumer insights is the key. Whether it is for revenue generation, marketing products, advertising. We want to generate enough and relevant data points from user generated content so that we are able to assimilate them into meaningful data.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in details:
Ans: We have had an exciting journey so far from scrapping the whole back-end after spending 6 months on it and starting from scratch with a fresh mind and ideas. The platform is growing at fast pace and with no to negligible marketing spend we have been able to get few thousand users who contribute to interesting comments and opinions. We are still at a pre-revenue stage and we totally understand since such platform takes time to build up and have a critical mass. We aim to have at least 5 million users in 18-24 months’ time.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: Stress and frustrations are manifestation of human kind and people get frustrated more than once in a day. As per WHO, the maximum stress levels is in India more than anywhere in the world so this platform has been launched at the right time for people to share their stress and be relaxed and calm.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: We have various teams, Content Management, Tech, PR & Social Media working on this platform.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: There is no direct competition though people peg against us against other famous social platforms however they are not anonymous.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: 2 million users in next 6 months.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Perseverance and hardwork pays. Set small goals as the bench-mark and when you achieve those small goals set your eyes on the big goal. Be focused on the problem statement – ask yourself – Are you addressing a large enough problem? And be passionate about finding the solution for the problem. Don’t be afraid to scarp the entire plan if you have to start from scratch.
Thanks Sumit. Best wishes!