We’re all seeking ways to simplify life, increase productivity, and become more efficient. This Android based app helps us all out with so-called “life hacks” and nearly 1,000,000 people have already taken advantage and downloaded the app from the Google Play store. With some keen marketing, the ceiling on this opportunity is infinite.
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background?
My name is Kaarel Veike, I am from Estonia. Estonia is a small country but world-famous in the IT world with our e-government, e-residency, and basically managing all of our lives online if we want to from medical history to starting a business from behind the desk.
Many famous tech solutions and brands come from Estonia: Skype, Transferwise, Toggl, Veriff, Pipedrive and many more. A lot of these companies have headquarters in Estonia because this small innovative country is a powerhub for IT projects. I have been working online over 15 years. I started out back in the day with the world’s first social networking site for parents – this was back in the day when Orkut was still around and FB was a small player.
Over the years I have started several companies and projects of my own to grow my experience in the online marketing and internationalization area where I often help clients brands and businesses grow out of their home market and become successful globally. I also ran my own small digital agency – we created WordPress websites and we also launched our own plugins.
In 2013 I started a video production company VideoPartner. VideoPartner is a short-form video content production & licensing business. The content produced by VideoPartner has been used by brands and publishing houses all over Europe. VideoPartner has worked with top publishing houses in Europe such as G+J, Burda Forward, Egmont Publishing, Delfi, TVnet, 15MIN, Mafra, and more.
A digital nomad with a family
We have been traveling from Autumn 2019 with the family. We have three kids (15,10, and 2 and a half years old). So we decided to homeschool for a couple of years and show our kids the world. Due to pandemic there have been some slight issues with this, but we also see the positive sides – friendlier Airbnb prices, no long cues and almost empty public transportation and nice clean streets and beaches for example. Of course it is hard also, as the lockdown with kids is sometimes very difficult. We happened to be in Spain during the last peak, just left Italy before borders got closed. We have been careful and the social distancing thing was best to practice at the rental countryhouse near Sevilla, Spain which had a pool and plenty of orange trees – even with 50 trees, we still ran out of oranges as we really love orange juice. While the world was heading towards the unknown, we were enjoying our locktime probably a bit more than a lot of other people.
One of the reasons I wanted to travel with the family was to help my kids avoid one of the early mistakes I made in business – focusing on a too small market. Estonia has a population of 1.3 million people – i hope that my kids grow up and they see themselves as the citizens of the world, or at least Europe. And if they should launch their ventures online or offline, then they already would know that the playground is much bigger than their home country. I already see them pick up different languages and it’s a great start.
How did you get started with this app concept? Did you create it yourself or did you have a team?
The interesting part is that this is one of the projects that I didn’t start myself. I jumped on board a couple years after it was founded as I saw the opportunity to grow it. One of the things to make this stand out and make it a very nice app was to put a lot of short video clips there. These plans however got delayed due to different circumstances and this is the reason I am also listing this app for sale.
To be fair, I am open to selling it, but I am also open to learning if through this auction some new path will present itself – maybe a potential partner will show up, or something completely unexpected will happen. But coming back to the part how it all got started, then this is the story of a very talented young developer, who started this app on his own, and then our paths crossed, we thought we can make great things together but then he was discovered by a bigger company. He got hired by one of the gigabrands in the tech (I am not sure I am allowed to say it out loud) to work on the future self-driving cars. The developer was not from Estonia, but I ran into the same issue that we have with the developers in Estonia – they get taken by all the big brands and you have to really try hard to find a new one – but since we were traveling, I took some time to see if maybe I will meet a potential partner in some place else. I was also kinda hoping that the person who I was working with, maybe will find time to continue this venture with me. But since I didn’t find anyone and in reality the developer also became more and more occupied with the work he commited to do, so I decided that I will sell it off as holding on to it and not doing anything will hurt it in the long run. It is partly sad, but learning from the previous experience, I would be happy to let someone else take over and take it to the new heights. I would happily stick by to support the person to get things started and to hand things over properly. And I will also provide video content which I had prepared for the app. This is something that the app users would really love. We tested with the first set of videos and we see people really appreciate it.
How is the content created and/or sourced for use on the app?
We have collected over the years many great ideas from many different sources. We have a lot of original content (text, images, videos), but we also have ideas inspired or discovered from different blogs or websites and if that’s the case, we link to the sources.
My preferred format of content is visual – simple and short video clips, all custom made and unique, or custom photos and artwork that would be useful but also beautiful and memorable.
How much time does it take to run the business, who else is needed on the team, and what, if anything, is automated?
It doesn’t take that much time to run this business, if the app code is working properly and is up to date. The process is as follows: add new posts to the spreadsheet and then download the file, run the script, test, and then upload to Play store and release it.
Automation sounds great and I think this could be a milestone for the future.
Ideally there should be someone taking care of the content side and someone who takes care of the technical side of things. Even a couple of hours a week will make it already much better – as with new updates, the activity around this is always higher: resulting in more downloads, more positive feedback, more ad revenue. We made a new design for the app, but haven’t been able to push the new visuals out just yet.
Do you know how many daily/monthly active users this app has?
Currently we have about 60,000 active installs and users according to the play store stats. But, over the last year, due to our inactivity, this is a number that’s almost half of what it was a year ago. The app was actually generating nice revenue when there was some constant activity behind maintaining it, a revenue of $1,000+USD monthly, active installs was almost double of the current number. I think with some time and smart work, it will hit 1+ million downloads and the growth from this to ten times bigger will become a matter of time. And the revenue numbers should also grow to the new heights.
What are the largest opportunities for a potential new owner to continue growing the business?
I think there are many opportunities – for example this app is missing from the iOS store. We have almost 10,000 comments on the Play App store with an average rating of about 4.5 stars. People say that they would like to read the content in other languages, requesting Spanish, Italian, Russian, French,German and many other languages. I think it would be a great way to expand the audience further.
I think that monetization-wise, it might also be great to find some better solutions and maybe it would also be great for affiliate marketers.
I had plans in creating many different apps where I could use the content that I own: pregnancy, dog breeds, food, baby food, kids food, DIY, tech etc.