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The 1M/1M Incubation Radar 2014: Snaplion, Delhi, India

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 5th 2014

Snaplion helps companies build custom iPhone and Android mobile apps – quickly, easily, and inexpensively using their do-it-yourself platform. While the platform caters to a wide audience of people looking to build mobile apps, they are currently focusing on nightclubs, bars, and restaurants with a strong social presence. 

Snaplion was founded in 2011 by CEO Nikhil Sama with his three friends, Tapan Raj, Rohan Gupta, and Aditya Kapoor. Prior to Snaplion, Nikhil was Director of Rocket Internet, an early stage technology fund, a strategy consultant at Bain in Chicago and a software developer at Cisco and HP. Nikhil has an MBA from University of Chicago, a masters in Computer Science from University of Southern California (USC), and a masters in Electronics Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering.

The idea for Snaplion was born when Tapan wanted to get an app built for his music band ‘Midival Punditz’, Indian electronica pioneers with over a million fans worldwide. To his dismay, he discovered that getting an app built for musicians was cumbersome, expensive, time consuming, and technically challenging. Tapan reached out to Nikhil and Rohan. Together, they created a ‘do-it-yourself’ platform for musicians to create apps and called it Snaplion.

Soon other musicians, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, art galleries, sports teams, and real estate agents reached out to Snaplion to create apps for their business. Buddha Bar, Hotel Radisson Blu, Smokin’ Joes Pizza with 90+ locations across India, and musician Anoushka Sharma are some of their key customers.

The main value proposition of Snaplion is that with just content (photos, videos, text content, menus, promotions, etc.) and without any coding skills, anyone can create their own app in less than an hour.

The primary competitor in the market at the time of launch was Mobile Roadie. With strong connections in the Los Angeles/US celebrity circle, they had acquired several top brands. Their apps were slick, but were expensive at $500 per month onwards. Other competitors like mobileconduit, ibuildapps.com, appmakker.com were much cheaper but the quality of the apps they churned out was not satisfactory.

Snaplion has positioned itself as a provider that delivers superior quality apps, with an average end-consumer rating of 4.5/5, at a substantially lower price point. Its pricing ranges from $35 per month to $1000/month for complex apps with large downloads. Snaplion also offers a “Hire a Pro” service, where a Snaplion Pro would create an app for the client for a small fee. For restaurant chains, they charge $99 per month for first location and an additional $20 per month for each additional location. Some customers also have a revenue sharing deal on 10-20% of orders that come through the app.

According to their research, there are 70,000 nightclubs in the U.S. and 200,000 globally. Assuming 10% need their services and they make $1000 per year from each nightclub, the total available market (TAM) is estimated to be $20 million. They estimate at least 100,000 restaurants have food delivery services via JustEat, GrubHub Seamless, and FoodPanda. At $1000 per year, that translates to a TAM of $100 million.

They have a monthly recurring revenue of $6000 per month that is growing at $1000 per month. Their target is to grow much faster by 50 -100 apps a month or $10,000 per month by December 2014. As their product is now maturing, they plan to go global via Sales 2.0, online advertising, and resellers. They also receive viral leads via their apps which contain a tab allowing app users to click “Get an app like this one” button.

Snaplion was initially funded by the founders who invested $30,000 each. They then raised $520,000 for 21% equity in the seed funding round in April 2013 from Orios Ventures, India Internet Group, and Blume Ventures. Indian angel investors included Google India MD Rajan Anandan and Sandeep Soni. Silicon Valley investors included Piyush Shah, Raman Kumar, VuClip CEO Nikhil Jatakdar, and Singapore Hedge Fund operator Raj Misra. They are likely to raise a Series A equity investment in the second half of 2014 or first half of 2015.

This segment is a part in the series : The 1M/1M Incubation Radar 2014

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