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23 August 2022

Google Play Coffee break with iMumz | From start-up to scale-up

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Posted by Tamzin Taylor, Head of Google Play Partnerships, Western Europe

Today I’m excited to announce that we are launching the second episode of Google Play Coffee breaks. In this episode I enjoyed a virtual coffee with Ravi Teja Akondi, co-founder and CEO of iMumz. iMumz caters to expecting and new parents to help them practice wellbeing and mindfulness during the early stages of parenthood. Ravi and his team recently graduated from Appscale Academy, an initiative aimed at supporting promising Indian app start-ups and helping them grow into global businesses. It’s great to see their continued growth and to hear them share tips and learnings they picked up along the way.

Watch the full Coffee breaks episode and get my take on it below:

The team at iMumz created their app with the mission to help expecting and new parents easily follow a healthy lifestyle every day, encouraging them to practice mindfulness daily. The app provides support to parents focusing on well-being during the first 1,000 days of pregnancy; that is 270 days of pregnancy and the first two years of parenthood. Today, the app helps over 600,000 people achieve these goals.

Ravi recalled how in the early days the iMumz team sent out actionable insights to their audience via a messenger app. They started by customizing small daily routines for those seeking to learn more about wellness during pregnancy and parenthood. By tracking the completion rates and retention rates, the team were able to see that they were really creating something valuable and gained the confidence to take the business from a messaging service to a full mobile application.

Growing a sustainable business

The first step for the iMumz team was to work on building out a community of early adopters. After conducting initial market research the team realized those in tier one cities - the metro cities in India - were the most likely to become early adopters. As they expanded to more and more parents, they learnt how important it was to tailor their pricing to different types of audiences. Experimentation was key to understanding what their different audiences were willing to pay. Remember that beyond the really useful data you can gather from running experiments, you can also get incredibly valuable direct and written feedback from users by inviting them into closed testing groups you can easily set up in the Play Console, without this feedback impacting your star rating.

Nurturing your app community

Through experimenting and listening to users, iMumz learnt that parents-to-be wanted to connect with others like them, and the team quickly realized that the people using their app needed a community. People wanted to connect with others going through similar life events. By building out community spaces the team was able to help initiate discussions on specific topics; such as breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, and self care postpartum. The community has since helped important conversations develop naturally, and provides iMumz users with another level of peer support. Today, their community is vibrant, with more than 5,000 conversations taking place every day!

When it comes to building out a community it’s important that your messaging to users feels genuine and authentic. This was especially important for iMumz, given the app caters to a sensitive and important set of life moments for parents. To start, as with any message, making message content relevant and timely is critical. For example, consider the time of day when determining the best time to post new content, updates, or sending push notifications, and remember different time zones when you’re dealing with a global audience. Additionally, it can help to put a relatable person or character behind the message (remember to localize this to your audience though).

Ravi also shared two key learnings he felt made the biggest difference to the growth of his app:

1) Experiment. There are so many ideas you might find counterintuitive - don’t automatically discount any or jump to conclusions until you test them. Be data driven. That's going to help you provide more value, faster.

2) Narrow down what you’re working on, so you focus on one task or challenge at a time. You might be tempted to do many things at once, but narrowing down will help give you amplified results.

To where does the future lead? 

Moving forward, the team at iMumz plan to stay focused on their mission; making the future generation healthier, happier, and more intelligent. They also have global aspirations and they plan to launch across a few selected geographies soon, launching localized versions of the app.

It was such a pleasure to speak to Ravi about his experiences and I can’t wait to see iMumz’s continued growth and next steps. I get so much inspiration from speaking with the people behind apps like iMumz, and I know that inspires my team to continue investing in and developing initiatives such as Appscale Academy.

We are looking forward to continuing to learn from more businesses, and see what you all do next. Stay tuned for the next episode of Coffee Breaks.

  • Tamzin Taylor, Head of Play Partnerships, Western Europe
Do you have any questions for iMumz? What are your own tips for other app or game businesses? Let us know on Twitter.