In Startup50 2017:Bobble Keyboard, which has received Series A funding from Saif Partners, is an Android/iOS app with over 10 million downloads and a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Google Play. It has Indianised emoticons and GIFs to personalise conversations on mobilein real-time. It is among the top 100, most engaged Android applications globally. The company’s demographic is the youngest in India (91 per cent of its users are under 29 years), with a strong presence in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.
Founders: Ankit Prasad, Mohammad Wassem
Founded in 2012 and currently employing 30 people, Bobble Keyboard allows highly personalized and visual communication on mobile in real time. Users can choose from a range of visual elements like stickers, GIFs, fonts etc. to express themselves. The underlying technology converts the input text to visual content in real time.
Artificial Engine drives this app to use contextual information such as age, gender, relationship, time of day, location etc. to suggest relevant content. Currently having cornered 5 per cent of the market share, just after the global giant Google’s Indic keyboard, Bobble is developing the keyboard as a platform to share not just visual content but all popular mobile use cases such as social media, shopping, taxi/ticket booking etc.
It also enables brands to penetrate into WhatsApp and FB Messenger for personalized, visual, word-of-mouth marketing.
While 70 percent of its users are acquired organically, Bobble has also partnered with OEMs such as Foxconn, Indus OS, Apple and Baidu for various integrations.
Differentiation Factor: The app aims to empower the non-elite, non-English speakers of India to engage in highly expressive communication on their phones. The business also encourages freelancer artists to earn revenue and has a community of over 300 freelancers who create content for the users.
Apart from AI, some of the other features of the app include Glide Typing – where users can glide the finger from one letter to another for typing; and Voice Typing – dictating text on the go. Auto correct feature is also available. The search feature makes it easy to find emojis faster and specific emojiscan also be downloaded.
Bobble keyboard is available in 21 Indian languages, including ‘Hinglish’.
Expanding Market: Bobble has signed a contract to generate US$1.22 per user per year and is projected to earn US$1.52 per user per year by end-2018. Monthly user base has been increasing by 25 per cent month-on-month for past 12 months. Eight million customers added till now.
- Series-A by SAIF Partners US$3 million Sep ’15
- Angels: Sachin & Binny Bansal (Founders of Flipkart), Deep Kalra (Founder of MakeMyTrip), Amit Ranjan (Co-Founder of SlideShare), Prashant Malik (Co-Creator of Apache Cassandra, Ex-Facebook).
- 10 million – Android/iOS app has more than 10 million downloads
- 300 – freelance artists
- 25 per cent – month-on-month increase in customer base