India’s Nimbuzz Plans New Rising Market Apps, Beginning With Android Name App Holaa
It’s almost one month since Nimbuzz, the cellular messaging and calling service with 200 million registered customers, was purchased by UK telecoms firm New Name in a $250 million deal. In the present day we get a glimpse of what’s to return after it launched its first submit-acquisition product: a dialer app for Android referred to as Holaa!.
Holaa (sorry, Nimbuzz, however including ‘!’ simply isn’t cool — ask Yahoo) is a free name administration app designed to exchange the default in your Android telephone. To tempt you in, it presents a variety of options that transcend the inventory, ‘dumb’ dialer, most notable of which is spam blocking.
Crowdsourcing Dodgy Numbers
The app enables you to determine undesirable callers as spam — a state of affairs that’s widespread in India, the place Nimbuzz claimed as many as forty % of calls are undesirable. That info is then uploaded to a central server which collects spam-marked numbers from different Holaa customers in your space to create a central listing of dodgy numbers — if a quantity from that record calls, Holaa will warn you that it has been marked as spam by others.
It’s not a brand new idea — each Truecaller, in style in India, and Line-owned Whoiscall do the identical — however Nimbuzz hopes Holaa can supply extra. There are additionally devoted missed name actions (huge in India), merging Fb and Google IDs to phonebook contacts, and displaying a photograph and site info for contacts who name.
Nimbuzz CEO Vikas Saxena informed TechCrunch that Holaa could be very a lot an ongoing venture that might be made “extra function wealthy” over time. The core providing will all the time be free, however some future options might be unlocked by way of an in-app buy, resembling providers for SMBs.
The app has a smaller file measurement and takes up much less RAM than rival providers, Saxena stated, as a result of the goal is to cater to as many individuals in rising markets as attainable — that’s additionally why there isn’t a iOS model.
Nimbuzz intends to make use of a variety of methods to distribute Holaa, together with promotion by way of the Nimbuzz app, offers with operators, and alliances with OEMs to pre-set up it on telephones. India apart, Holaa is focused at different locations the place Nimbuzz has robust adoption, together with different nations in South Asia and the Center East.
Saxena stated Holaa has been in improvement since earlier than Nimbuzz’s acquisition, however the timing is fascinating for a few causes. One, it mirrors the development of unbundling providers into standalone apps within the West — Fb is doing this persistently proper now, Foursquare did it too — whereas it additionally speaks to Nimbuzz’s give attention to serving rising market customers greater than ever earlier than.
Extra Apps For Rising Markets
That focus will spawn different apps and providers like Holaa, so stated Nigel Eastwood, Group CEO at New Name.
“Nimbuzz has distinctive expertise — there’s Silicon Valley occurring in India of their workplaces,” Eastwood informed TechCrunch. “Individuals who left India for the U.S. at the moment are coming back from Silicon Valley as a result of the world is wanting east for the subsequent great point.”
Eastwood stated that New Name, which has massive plans for India, is ready to assist Nimbuzz monetize and distribute new providers, and he hinted that we will anticipate different apps to be incubated by the corporate.
“Nimbuzz is a type of better of breed purposes that’s serving actual wants for rising markets. Holaa is one other, the primary one among a collection,” he defined.
There look like extra expansive plans on the horizon. Eastwood revealed that New Name is within the remaining levels of saying two different strategic acquisitions in India.
One goal is a big WiFi hotspot supplier, a deal for which is predicted to be full inside the subsequent month. The different is a hard and fast-line ISP — this deal is made extra difficult by laws however Eastwood stated it’s more likely to be introduced in early 2015.
Saxena hinted that Nimbuzz is engaged on one other app that ties into WiFi, and it appears clear that the corporate is seen by New Name as an engineering hub that may develop services that tie in with these service suppliers and take its providers direct to shoppers in India.
Operators might have missed the boat on cellular messaging, watching WhatsApp and others stand up and steal giant chunks of their enterprise, however New Name is pioneering an fascinating mannequin that makes use of a messaging app firm to create new enterprise alternatives. Let’s see what these two corporations provide you with over the approaching few months.