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Lightspeed is excited to announce that the firm has led the first venture round in Vee – a mobile application designed to help people discover like-minded partners and build relationships.
At Lightspeed, one of the themes we are investing behind is network-driven businesses that leverage the growing smartphone base in India. When such businesses succeed in driving high engagement and high frequency use within their customer base, they have the potential to become very valuable. Our investments in Snapchat, Whisper, Phonewarrior and now Vee reflect this approach and thinking.
‘People discovery’ is a potentially high frequency use-case that is yet to be disrupted in India. We believe that Indian youth is becoming increasingly independent and open to new experiences and saw this reflected in early user data from Vee, where over 40% of monthly active users use the app daily, engaging in more than 10 sessions a day. While early, we believe that this level of user engagement is world-class and it cemented our belief that Vee has the potential to become an ‘everyday’ app in India helping people make new personal connections.
Traditionally, young Indian women and men have struggled to meet new and like-minded people owing to various socio-cultural constructs. Consequently, most social interactions are limited to friends and family. Online dating, while promising, could not solve this problem. Fake profiles, in-appropriate behavior, cumbersome matching process, low internet penetration were some of the key challenges that prevented online platforms to flourish.
Things have changed now. Facebook has crossed 100M users in India and offers a profile authentication platform. Increasing smartphone penetration has resulted in a large addressable market. Mobile, location enablement, fluid browsing interfaces and other innovative feature sets has made it possible to offer a delightful and frictionless product experience.
Vee leverages the power of mobile along with a product approach that is entirely focused on women. Through features such as anonymous browsing, male loyalty enforcement (limited simultaneous connections), abuse reporting – Vee places the power in the hands of women with an aim to become a trustworthy platform for them. In addition, mobile based hyper-local elements enable instant and relevant matching.
Vee is created by Nitin Gupta – a serial entrepreneur who successfully exited his previous venture – Coinjoos (a book swapping platform) to Homeshop18. Nitin is the brain behind the product and constantly keeps evolving Vee based on feedback from its women users.
Through Snapchat and Whisper, Lightspeed has had the unique opportunity to partner in creation of the world’s most significant and fastest growing mobile phone start-ups. We feel excited to start this journey again with Nitin and his team at Vee.