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Simplest way to make social plans

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lucy Gadkari, Co-founder & CEO, MooDoo

Lucy Gadkari, along with Vaibhav Sinha, founded Moodooapp Ltd. with the aim to topple Whatsapp as the go-to app for meeting up. Fed up with the tedious process of endlessly typing back-and-forth to coordinate plans with friends, Lucy and Vaibhav decided that there must be a smarter, simpler way. moodoo is the result of that vision.

As CEO of moodoo, Lucy’s role encompasses everything from product management to product design, financial management to marketing strategy. Moodoo is now live on the App Store and Play Store and has so far received seed funding from the University of Oxford’s Said Business School Seed Fund.

She has been living in Mumbai for the last 4 years with her husband, who founded India’s first Indian hot sauce brand. One year ago, she also adopted an Indian Street dog called Milly who is moodoo’s official Chief Happiness Officer. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Lucy speaks about how the app help people to spend more time with the people they love in the real world.

What is unique about Moodoo?
Most apps on our phones these days push us to spend time looking at our screens and living in the digital world. Moodoo, on the other hand, uses technology to help us spend more time together offline – in the real world - with the people we love.

The idea behind Moodoo is to be the simplest way to make social plans.

So whenever you want to meet up with friends, instead of creating yet another Whatsapp group where 50 messages sail by and still there’s no tangible plan in place, you can now turn to Moodoo.

The app instantly lets you know which of you friends are free to meet up and what they’re in the mood to do – whether its coffee, drinks or a game of football.
Once you’ve found friends to hang out with on Moodoo, it smartly helps you coordinate the details of the plan in 4 easy taps.  

How big is the potential for a business like yours?
The potential opportunity for Moodoo is huge on two levels: First, its ability to scale. Moodoo is not geography-specific and can be useful to anyone on a smartphone who enjoys spending time with friends. With that in mind, our aim is to become the global go-to app for meeting up.

Secondly, its strength as a business model.

Given Moodoo creates opportunities for people to meet up at brick & mortar businesses (cinemas, restaurants, bars, sports centres, events etc.), this opens up several interesting revenue channels:

- Advertising for brick & mortar businesses. Moodoo will allow brick and mortar businesses to advertise to target users at the point when it’s most relevant: during the decision-making process. For example, a restaurant in Bandra can choose to advertise to users who are planning where to eat dinner in Bandra that evening.

- Commission on ticket sales.

- Commission on table booking.

- Commission on transport to and from the venue.

How do you plan to scale up?
We’re currently looking for our next round of funding, which we would put primarily towards strengthening our development team and boosting our marketing power.

The key with Moodoo is to generate buzz amongst communities of users. It’s more valuable for us to have 50 connected friends download the app than 100 independent users.

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
The joy of Moodoo is that it is very useful for a wide spectrum of users.

Our focus in terms of marketing however is urban, young professionals and students.

For young professionals in particular, Moodoo can be a very liberating addition to your smartphone. We live in a busy world where timetables are erratic and its often impossible to know whether you’ll leave work at 6pm or midnight. In that context, social planning becomes impossible and seeing friends doesn’t happen as often as it could.

Right now, if you step out of work and you’re keen to go for a drink, the only option is to start individually reaching out to your contact list to figure out who else is free or in the area. Its hard work, and most of the time we don’t bother… choosing instead to head home and watch Netflix.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
The end objective with Moodoo is to grow it into the global go-to app for meeting up. We plan to tie up with established partners in the meeting up ecosystem to integrate ticket booking, event discovery, table booking and transport options into our neat one-stop-app.

In terms of the geographical ‘where’, who knows? It would be great to have a few offices strategically places across the world. Perhaps one of them could be on a golden beach in Hawaii?

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