With Valentine's day upon us, I thought it would be great to chat with Amelia Chen, one of the co founders of the LoveByte team. She tells me more about how the business got off the ground and to over 500,000 downloads.
Can you give me a brief background of yourself:
I specialised in digital design, then found myself interested in marketing when I came across Seth Godin’s books. I pursued a Bachelor’s in marketing and decided to combine my skills in design and business in whatever I do.
So what is the LoveByte elevator pitch?
As social networks are more open, LoveByte allows couples to have a private space only both of them share their happiest moments - be it photos, notes or dates. One unique feature to keep the romance alive: They can also send each other scratchcards where they suggest their next date idea, and the recipient receives a small surprise and gets to scratch screen to unveil the suggestion.
What was the inspiration behind the idea?
The idea was something I was very attached to, and believed it would make a positive impact in improving communication between couples. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was really passionate and excited to begin working on an idea in my head into a product that would be used by many today.
What has your traction been like so far?
Since our launch in July 2012, we have had over 500,000 downloads from 108 countries.
What has been your key channel for user growth on the app?
To our surprise, despite LoveByte being a private app, many users like to share their "Days Together" within their social network so that helps to get the word out.
How did you fund the business?
We got funding from some investors within a few months. Initially, it was hard to raise funds when they didn't know who we were, until we built our minimum viable product and launched it, we got some traction within a month and the investors were more convinced in the idea.
What is the business model?
Right now it's a free app but we aim to monetize it as we build more useful features.
There are in-app purchases available, users can buy stickers to use in as they chat with their partner.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
As a first time entrepreneur, there are many things that we have to learn, and pivot fast. The learning curve is steep, but that's also what makes it exciting. It seems like there's always a race against time, we have to be resourceful, solve problems and perform to our best ability.
How did you/will you look to overcome that?
It's important to maintain a balance to not feel burned out. Having support of friends and family is amazing. I think very importantly the best way is to know to ask for help. I believe having advisors make a big difference and help speed up the progress.
Where do you see the future for this business?
The startup is still in its infancy. I think there's more potential to grow, and we're looking forward to see where it takes us! Couples can be a niche market. We will focus on to improve our product to benefit couples, making it a part of their relationship and in the future cater to progressing along the different significant events in the couple's lives.
Great interview with Amelia there, I think a key takeaway was the importance of getting an MVP out and some traction when looking to raise investment. I'd add the importance of putting out your MVP in getting feedback and validating your idea. Good luck to the LoveByte team.