Info-tech

‘Desi social network’ Vebbler casts net wider for more users

| | Updated on: Nov 12, 2014

Desi social network to ramp up marketing both in India and abroad

When Sahil Bhagat’s friend lost his job for criticising his office on Facebook, he was struck by how unsafe it was to post messages on such forums.

He wanted to create a ‘desi social network’ as a personal forum, allowing people to interact with each other by creating groups for specific conversations while maintaining privacy. This led to the launch of Vebbler.com, a web-based social network. The website describes itself as “a separate space for friends, family, workmates and other relationships, on one network, without one aspect of your life spilling into another.”

According to the 24-year-old Bhagat, founder of the barely year-old social network, a common complaint about social networks is that they are cluttered. “Our aim is to make online sharing similar to how it is in the real world of relationships,” he told BusinessLine .

The Mumbai-based platform currently has a user-base of 85,000 across 103 countries, of which 55,000 are from India. It is looking to ramp up marketing both at home and abroad.

Expansion

Besides India, the UAE, Singapore, Germany and the US are the other major markets for Vebbler. Over the next few months, the aim is to seed the product globally and increase marketing activities in key markets. “The idea is to gain traction overseas. Somehow, we Indians are more comfortable with the use of platforms that get good responses elsewhere,” Bhagat added.

Monetisation

Bhagat says Vebbler will not compromise user data or be cluttered with advertisements.

Eventually, he says, the aim is to generate revenue through Vebbler, but such ideas are at a nascent stage.

The social network will also look to raise funds from private equity over the next two months. “We are already in touch with some PE funds,” Bhagat said.

Target audience

The primary target audience for Vebbler is college students and youngsters who want privacy. Hence, the focus is on taking it to colleges, and Vebbler has launched an initiative towards this end.

Called ‘Campus Connect’, the initiative involves bringing students on board from a college and appointment of ambassadors (a college representative).

Some 150-200 colleges are already a part of the programme.

“We are looking to appoint ambassadors in each State (for Campus Connect) and bring more campuses on board,” he said.

Published on November 12, 2014

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