We are publishing an interview of Mr. Sooraj Singh, Cofounder & CTO of Somo App.
About the founders
Somo App is a venture by two young & passionate Entrepreneurs, Saurabh Goel & Sooraj Singh. Saurabh Goel is a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in Marketing & Sales. He is an Electrical & Electronics Engineer by qualifications.
He started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 18. After working with Simpli5d Technologies for almost 2 yrs., he had an idea of starting his own digital firm named as Web Assets along with his college friend Sooraj Singh.
Sooraj Singh is a Computer Science Engineer & coder since childhood. He has significant experience in different technologies and blockchain. After working for two years in Cvent as Support Engineer Sooraj Singh joined Saurabh for Web Assets. Through Web Assets, they used to provide very economical services to start-ups, restaurants, and schools to fulfill their digital requirements at approximately no cost.
Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
After working with Simpli5d Technologies for almost 2 yrs, Saurabh Goel had an idea of starting his own digital firm named as Web Assets along with his college friend Sooraj Singh. Sooraj Singh worked for two years in Cvent as Support Engineer before starting Web Assets with Saurabh. After doing significant digital marketing for brands from various domains, the founders realized that digital spends have stopped generating the real ROI. They wanted to solve the communication gap between brands and their targeted audience with the help of technological advances by eliminating the relevance of Ad blockers, blind spots & bot engagement. They launched Somo with an aim to take one step forward & generate real ROI for brands and to monetize the influential power of social media users.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles.
- Saurabh Goel is the Co-Founder & CEO at Somo. He is a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in Marketing & Sales. He started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 18.
- Sooraj Singh is the Co-Founder & CTO at Somo. He is a Computer Science Engineer & coder since childhood. He has a significant experience in different technologies and blockchain.
- Aditi Sharma is the VP Marketing at Somo. She has good experience in Business Development & Digital Marketing.
The entire team of Somo always share the hardships that come in work and that originally is the whole point of having a team.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Every brand owns a digital space in today’s time as digital marketing benefits businesses of all sizes by giving access to the mass market in a very cost-effective & measurable way. According to IAMAI Report, ” The growth in spends on Digital Advertising is expected to continue at a CAGR of 30 percent to touch INR 12,046 Crore by December 2018 in India“. However, the existence of Ad blockers, Blind Spots & Bot Traffic has stopped the communication between digital marketers & their targeted audience, thus jeopardizing a brand’s overall success.
Also, there is no platform that enables Social Media user to turn into Social Media Influencer immediately & to monetize Social Media profile of users.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
Major attrition that reduced the monthly sales to nearly half during a quarter.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any)
Currently, we are bootstrapped. We have been in talks with some Angel Investors, However nothing has been finalized yet. The Future is hopeful.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Somo is the world’s first social media advocates driven marketing platform headquartered at Delhi. Micro Users are always most influential in order to promote services or products of brands. Quantifying the influential power of these Social Media users were never available. Somo Mobile Application is the world’s first mobile application that not only helps users to monetize their Social Media profiles but also quantifies the influential power user has on Social Media.
Somo is a Patent Pending Technology, registered under “Startup India Program” & “MSME”. Somo mobile app lets brands go viral on social media by getting brands’ campaign shared by thousands of KYC verified Social Media users in a go.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
- Users are willing to monetize their social media profiles
- Brands are not generating ROI from traditional digital marketing avenues
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Somo builds up a win-win situation for both brands as well as Social Media users. It gives a dual opportunity for both users & brands. Users can monetize their social media profile & start the journey of being a popular social media influencer and brands can get an organic shootout through the power of these engaging social media profiles, along with the real engagement. Somo mobile application monetizes the users’ based upon their influential power on social media and ranks them in the leader-board for them to stay rewarding.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Somo is a Patent Pending Technology, registered under “Startup India Program” & “MSME”. Somo is shaping up the new generation of digital marketing and has already collaborated with some popular brands of the country like Mamaearth, Travelur, Milaap, Evibe, Behrouz Biryani and some more in its beta phase. We have the First mover advantage in the business. Technology also comes very strong. We want to acquire as many users as we can do to create the bottleneck of users. In terms of operations scalability we do not analyze any big challenge coming to us as the business is more lined towards technology. We do not have direct competitors.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
We work on revenue share model where we retain a percentage spent by brand as platform fee and share the remaining revenues with the Brand Advocates.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Our target market is primarily India to start with. Also category of target users includes Students, Low Income based Users, Users from Tier-2 cities etc.
On the brand side we are primarily focussed on B2C brands across the country.
How did you get your first customer?
Users acquisition is done through both online and offline activations. Online activation include Digital Campaigns executed through Somo, Google Ads, Facebook etc. whereas offline activation is carried through Student Ambassador program at mass level. Brand Acquisition is being done through E-Mails and through Agency Connects.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Like every other company, we have a very strong foundation in terms of how we visionise Somo. We intend to transform the native digital marketing solution with “Share us through Somo” logo to be available on each and every website.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? What is the current turnover? (From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment). Please explain in details:
Somo is a Patent Pending Technology, registered under “Startup India Program” & “MSME”. Somo is shaping up the new generation of digital marketing and has already collaborated with some popular brands of the country like Mamaearth, Travelur, Milaap, Evibe, Behrouz Biryani and some more in its beta phase. Somo has crossed 5000 installs on playstore with more than 3000 plus registered user & a whopping rating of 4.5 star.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
We are planning exponential scalability in terms of expansion across different Social Media platforms, geographies in quick time with more than 1 Million downloads to be expected in next 12 months.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Today’s youth especially Indian needs to learn the risk reward system. Going with the safest thing for the career is not always the right one. Most people during their teens aspire to have a completely different path then what they end up doing because they think it has the most career stability. There is a part of life which is meant to take risks and it is the youth.
However, the risks should always be calculated and should have a good risk reward ratio.