Photo Credits: QuackQuack
QuackQuack, ever since its launch, has been a success no doubt. Despite being bootstrapped and locally based in one country – India, the app has become one of the most popular and fastest dating up with more than 3.5m users. That is a great achievement and in this case study we are going to look at the strategies the app founder used for its growth and development. The general outline of the case study is going to be as follows;
2. Initial Growth
3. Strategies Used by QuackQuack to Hack the app’s Growth
- Aiming to Solve a Problem by Creating a Quick and Reliable Solution
- The App/Company Name
- Marketing Through Social Media Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Learning and Inspiration From Other Prominent Startups
- Creating Referral Programs
- Improvement and Updates on The App
- Running an ICO (Initial Coin Offering Listing)
- Creating a Reliable User Feedback
4. General App Overview
- Algorithmic Flirting with the User
- Bootstrapped but Way Ahead of its fierce heavily funded Competitors
- Loves Labor Not Lost in an Online Dating Game
5. Challenges Faced by QuackQuack
6. The Future of QuackQuack
Photo Credits: YourStory
QuackQuack is an Indian based app that boasts of 300 thousand monthly users, 120 thousand new sign-ups per month, 5 million website page views, 3 million screen singles, and 4 million messages exchanged monthly as we talk. This kind of achievement has left many people surprised as the dating company not only started from a bootstrapped startup in a small two bedroom, but also with only two initial house developers.
Loneliness inspired Ravi Mittal a college drop out to come up with the idea of hooking up people who could be too busy or lacked the chance of meeting up with people in real life.
Having noted the gap in this dating market, Ravi was motivated to start a new dating site, as the existing dating apps on the market were seemingly creepy or had strange behaviors. He studied the current social platforms around the world and noted what was best from those sites before coming up with his QuackQuack.
Once a user signs up on QuackQuack, moderators verify the account and lets every profile to go live giving users the sense of trust. The primary aim of their service is to match users coming from either the same region, from the same age group, a similar level of education and or most importantly have similar interest.
Quack-Quack, the Hyderabad-based dating app is giving its funded peers TrulyMadly, Woo, and Aisle among others a fierce competition despite being bootstrapped. This success has been achieved through well-organized strategies, user engagement tactics, and growth hacks.
Starting as an online platform back in 2010, QuackQuack made the entry to the online dating sector in India when most of the dating apps had not ventured in the market. The likes of Tinder had not made their foray into the country. It is only in 2012 where Tinder was officially launched in the US and that is 2 years after the launch of QuackQuack.
After realizing the potential on the online dating market, Indian entrepreneurs have created a number of online dating sites including Woo, TrulyMadly, and Aisle in the country among others. Even for international cases, there has been more of dating sites created after QuackQuack. Bumble and Tinder are the few among many others that we will name here.
QuackQuack was first then, and it continues to stand out among the rest. While the peers grew on external funding, QuackQuack remained a bootstrapped startup and paved its way initially into the hearts of Indians singles.
From the beginning, founder Ravi Mittal and the lean team of 16 at QuackQuack was always on the lookout for simple hacks that would help the company grow big time and help in reducing its Cost per Acquisition (CPA).
Some of the changes made to reduce the acquisition cost and to increase the revenue included changing the color of call-to-action tabs such as “Submit” from Blue to Orange on the app, tweaking the tagline from “Sign up Now. It is Free! “To Sign up Now. Meet Singles!” using front profiles of models in advertising.
Photo Credits: QuackQuack
Simple as they seem these changes helped QuackQuack increase its user base by 100% within a minimum period. More of these hacks and tricks have been discussed in the next phase of this case study and we will refer to them as strategies.
Strategies Used by QuackQuack to Hack the app’s Growth
You can never ‘build a Rome’ in one day. That’s a fact in online entrepreneurship and the same applied to QuackQuack. The app, through growth strategies, has undergone gradual transformation that led it to be where it is now. The strategies used include;
1. Aiming to Solve a Problem by Creating a Quick and Reliable Solution
For the founder Ravi Mittal, the idea was to solve the problem for the singles. He says “We aim to solve the problems for the singles, help find a date, make money in the process and grow. It was never about funds or creating valuation.”
It’s strange to say that when other online dating platforms are raising million dollar findings, making big marketing budgets to acquire customers at high cost, and scaling at a quick pace.
However, the simplicity of Matt’s objectives made it easy to convince people, most of whom were single out there in India to jump onto the QuackQuack bandwagon and try finding love.
2. The App/Company Name
Photo Credits: Farm-Wardrobe
Quack-quack in our normal lives are sounds made by ducks and may seem a quirky name if someone told you it’s a name of a company but to many who have been looking for love online in India, QuackQuack is a platform that has served and keeps serving the purpose of finding online love.
According to the app’s founder Ravi, “The name QuackQuack sounds quirky and it has somehow worked for us. Youth find the name amusing which makes them remember and talk about it”
That is to say, the app or company name has driven and attracted more leads for the startup. In fact, it initiated spread through word of mouth and that led the app to gain more users. Ravi asserts; ‘’After the launch, you would hear people across India asking others if they had heard of QuackQuack-the dating site”
3. Marketing Through Social Media Platforms
Photo Credits: Brighton
QuackQuack utilized Google Ads, app store optimization, social media marketing platforms among other digital marketing hacks to grab the more significant market base of the online dating pie in India. For social media marketing platforms, QuackQuack uses Facebook, which is the most popular, Twitter, and Instagram to market their dating service.
For Facebook, their Facebook page boasts of over 150,000 users. For Instagram, quackquack.io account boasts of 21k plus followers, and for Twitter, which was recently created, the app boasts of in excess of 2k followers.
All their social media channels have driven traffic and attracted more users to QuackQuack service.
4. Learning and Inspiration From Other Prominent Startups
Learning and getting inspiration from the best in the game is one of the ways any online entrepreneurs who are looking forward to starting their business can do. It is easy to learn from someone who has done better in your field and that is what Mittal did.
Despite being from a non-technical background, Mittal learned the necessary lessons for QuackQuack by observing existing products like Shaadi.com and Facebook and emulated some of the proper strategies for his company.
He also learned by reading some materials online about hosting and stack; he could then employ a two-member technical team after placing some advert on Naukri.com.
It took the team more than ten months to build a go-to-go market product, on which Mittal spent $14,780 from his savings. Within three months, they got their first paying customer, and today they stand at 3.5 million users.
Over the years, QuackQuack decided to make the path less trodden – working on a tight budget and keeping the growth mostly organic, but this is a challenge QuackQuack Company is willing to take up.
5. Creating Referral Programs
Photo Credits: Dayspaassociation
Referral programs are one of the ways that can increase traffic for most startups. With the absence of a big marketing budget, the QuackQuack team improvised and came up with innovative techniques to engage with users and creating referral programs was one of them.
Referral programs are done by word of mouth and they aim at getting the initial users to spread the word. QuackQuack achieved successful referral programs through simplifying users interface and getting the users to earn referral credits by inviting friends and use them to buy premium memberships, to reducing the price plan to target young users.
6. Improvement and Updates on the App
The team made measures to ensure their customers are pleased with the dating app services, stay loyal and to invite their friends to download the app.
For instance, the team observed that the app was taking long for it to open, so they had to fix the problem by upgrading the app to be more compatible, fast to begin and match lineup, thereby satisfying the needs of their consumers.
Matt said “UI/UX was very important for me as I believed that a consumer-facing product should not only function well but also look slick and simple”
The quicker match load attributed to an increase in user activity of liking and disliking of profiles by 40% resulting to more matches per user and more time spent on the app thus leading to increased revenue in the long-run
Considering India’s patchy internet and proliferation of basic smartphones, the company kept the app light with a 10MB size on play store compared to 25MB for TrulyMadly and 47MB for Tinder; they reduced push notification to improve User Experience Design (UX).
The app also consumes less battery life. The company did release a new feature for a small audience to judge to get satisfaction from the clients before they can launch the feature across their website or the mobile app.
7. Creating a Reliable User Feedback
Photo Credits: Touchwork
The company always welcome feedback from consumers to improve customer experience. This aims to improve the quality of the service; they also have an excellent customer care service where they respond in some peculiar instances.
Some of this include situation where the client might have failed to sign up, unable to use the features or when they had difficulties in paying for the premium account. The customer care had to help in such circumstance ensuring the customer gets the best out of the experience.
QuackQuack has now overwhelmed the dating market with a large proportionate of users on a date. Though with a bootstrapped startup, the company of is India’s leading online dating app with revenue of INR 3.54 Cr as per Quack Quacks internal reports.
General App Overview
1. Algorithmic Flirting with the User
Photo Credits: QuackQuack
With most of these apps competitors focusing only on app engagement with a minimal focus on browser traffic, QuackQuack has managed to drive 70% of its traffic from desktop and mobile browsers together. This justifies that indeed QuackQuack is way ahead of their competitor regarding overall traffic.
The company is aware that although mobile apps are the primary touch points for people using dating app, browser traffic is essential. Through desktop and mobile browsers, the company can retain the customers who are likely to uninstall the mobile app
The QuackQuack app also offers some quirky experience that is not related to the User Interface (UI) flow. While using the app when the users wait for their screens to load, beautiful lines pop up as if the app is conversing with the user. This has made the app talk among users and their friends thus helping with word-of-mouth publicity.
2. Bootstrapped but Way Ahead of its Competitors
Despite being bootstrapped, QuackQuack is making waves in dating circles and challenging the dominance of popular app with abundant resources in India. A quick look at the data shows that QuackQuack is has been gaining popularity over the years.
QuackQuack started the year behind their competitors on Apple store in February 2018, but within some few months, they gained popularity to go neck-on-neck with TrulyMadly and slightly above Woo for the most part on Apple Store with over one million downloads.
In Android Play Store, QuackQuack has retained its position as the popular app ahead of its competitors. Although TrulyMadly started ahead of QuackQuack in February 2018, QuackQuack quickly gained to overtake it with increasing downloads over the months.
3. Love’s Labor Not Lost in an Online Dating Game
Photo Credits: Hackernoon
Initially, Indians struggled to get phone numbers of potential love interest; they also had to wait for long for the respondent to respond to their friend request before they can begin to text each other on Facebook.
However, they can currently pick their preferred dating apps either local ones or internationally the likes of Woo, TrulyMadly, Hinge, OKCupid, and the famous QuackQuack. Now the prominent social media owner Mark Zuckerberg is eyeing the Indian online dating market and will soon launch a dating app for the Indian community.
The revenue from the online dating sector in India is projected to be at $20 million by the year 2022, bringing about the estimated annual growth of over 10% to the plethora of dating apps doing the rounds.
QuackQuack also plans to increase its revenue by venturing into new markets in other countries like the US, UK, and Canada; they intend to run some adverts before they venture into it officially should the engagement metrics be satisfying.
Those looking to settle down veer toward online matrimony sites, young Indians socializing on social media is an integral part of life are delighted to have dating apps designed for their needs as they can freely choose their preferred partners to socialize with freely.
The country is tied down by social criticism of all the things relating to love and dating, from Valentine to Public Display of Affection (PDA), the road to success for dating for this dating apps has been rocky. But with the years passing by and the degrading of their long-held dating practices, online dating app has become an integral part of Millennials lives.
The trend has started finding portrayal in Bollywood films. In Qarib Qarib Single, the lead actors meet through the online dating platform, and they later move on to become partners in life, this shows that the majority of Indians will support this platform in the coming years.
Challenges Faced by QuackQuack
Mittal claimed that the core problem QuackQuack had was to capture initial users of their app. This is a challenge to most startups though.
The company also faced rejection a number of times by payment gateways at the start. Banks and most investors viewed dating as a risky business.
Getting female members on board is also a challenge as the ratio of men to female is quite uneven. This has been a problem for most dating platforms, however, prominent dating platforms like Tinder came up with strategies for solving this problem. To QuackQuack this has been a challenge but, Mittal with his team are definitely looking forward to solving that.
Lack of trust in dating platforms is attributed to this reason. However, the moderation team taking action on abusive and spam content will regain the faith, and the ratio will become considerably even in the coming years.
The company also faced fierce competition Competition form heavily funded startups. Putting in mind, QuackQuack is bootstrapped, it was tough going head to head with the rest of the heavily funded competitors.
In fact, Mittal claims: “They came, spent a huge amount on branding/user acquisition and gave us a nightmare. However, we have stayed focused on making our platform better each passing day”.
The Future of QuackQuack
While the online dating trend is gathering popularity in India, young singles no longer having to worry about having profiles on dating apps, QuackQuack can look forward to solving the problem for more singles by helping them to find a date and continue shaping in its growth hacking top of the dating apps chart.
Millions of the lovers have reliability on QuackQuack as an ideal platform to, meet, socialize and even fall in love with a partner. The online dating app has a safe and attracting environment for Indians to interact freely.
The company is planning to introduce an innovative feature where it can capture video profiles of the users within some few seconds so that they can authentically verify their identity. This push will ensure that spam profiles will be impossible to in the site without being detected.
Additionally, there are plans to go international. Mittal said: “We are also working on doing a soft launch in US, UK, and Canada. It’s too early right now, but we’re running advertising pilots in these countries and if we feel the engagement metrics are satisfactory, we’ll be scaling up our marketing activities to venture outside India very soon”
Wrapping It Up
While there is still more to come for QuackQuack, the little Mittal has done since the launch of the app is quite remarkable, putting in mind that QuackQuack is a bootstrapped startup.
Mittal and his team deserve credits for going head to head with fierce competitors who are heavily funded. His strategies are simple but critical growth hacks that can be applied for most startups.