We interviewed one of Lifeblob’s founders Pranav Bhasin immediately upon the news of Lifeblob’s funding by Seedfund. We discussed business models, funding, and milestones besides Lifeblob’s story and how it adds value to the users to get a better perspective of the news. Without further ado, here’s the interview:
What is the value that LifeBlob adds to a users life? Why should one signup to Lifeblob?
Let me answer that with a story.
Last year, I and 2 of my friends went out for a weekend trip. We had a great time there and took lots of photos. When we came back, all of us uploaded photos to our respective photo sharing sites, wrote on our blogs and passed links around. All that seemed fine until I wanted to show our exploits to my cousin a few months later and had a real hard time finding those links.
But there is a bigger issue here. When we went on the trip, that is a portion of our lives that we share with each other. Literally speaking, our life paths crossed at that instant in time. But none of the existing services capture and represent that information at all. This is where Lifeblob comes in.
Lifeblob is your personal diary with a twist – it has a social angle to it. With Lifeblob, when I make a post about this trip on my personal diary and list my friends as participants, the post not only becomes a part of my personal diary but also the personal diaries of my friends. In this way, it accurately represents this trip as a piece of my life that I share with my friends.
But these pieces of my life may also be shared with places (like Bangalore) and other associations (like our company Lifeblob) that I care about. So Lifeblob also allows you to link your posts to places or any other associations and your post will automatically show up on these timelines as well.
So whats the big deal?
- For starters, imagine all your friends and family posting stuff on their personal diaries – the stuff that is relevant to you automatically pops up on your personal diary and also becomes a part of it.
- Secondly, you get to view your life from various perspectives and in various contexts – personally, I love to see the portions of my life that I have spent with my friends and family in Delhi vs Bangalore vs Chennai.
- Third, you get to discover what else is going on in a particular context – I visit my previous company Trilogy’s timeline to see updates about Trilogy for example.
- Fourth, it becomes a great tool for sharing stories in general about any theme or topic. This is great for parents who want to capture their child growing up or for conferences that want to capture their progression over time. You can also embed your timeline and showcase your story. The possibilities are boundless.
If you look at the big picture, Lifeblob is like a huge mesh of personal diaries ( or timelines ) that are interconnected through the posts that are made on them and we allow you to either walk on one
timeline to view its progression in time, or use a post as a bridge to jump from one timeline to another thereby meeting interesting people and discovering interesting content.
Q2) How long did it take you to raise funding? What were the key requirements from the investors?
We started the process of fund-raising towards the beginning of this year. Our biggest challenge was to ensure that raising funds does not take priority over our execution on Lifeblob. The investors looked at all aspects of Lifeblob during the evaluation. I wouldn’t say there was a specific key requirement – team, technology, marketing, monetization, scaling were all equally important.
Q3) What is the monetization model for Lifeblob? What is the exit route?
In the short term, Lifeblob will generate revenues by showing banner advertisement and providing paid accounts provide additional value or target niche segments. In the longer term, Lifeblob will also generate revenues by selling merchandise, providing value added services built on top of its API and building strategic partnership with companies to offer them extremely targeted branding and advertising solutions.
Our focus is currently on execution and scaling the service fast. We are not aiming for a specific exit route right now.
Q4) What is your milestone for the 1st Year?
We are looking to aggressively expand our service and become a major global player in lifecasting services in the first year.
Q5) Your advice to product startups looking to raise funding?
My advice would be for everyone seeking to raise funding would be to answer the following questions before anything else:
- How am I going to use the funds to grow this venture ?
- What does this funding allow me to do that I cannot do without funding ?
Most of the times, startups don’t know what they are looking for and candid answers to these questions will provide the much needed clarity. Another important point is to make your work talk for you – putting your efforts into building something that you can show will give you more mileage than trying to convince an investor that you can do it.
While he didn’t seem forthcoming with details on most questions, Pranav did convey very well that the intent is long term for the team at Lifeblob. We wish them luck in their plans.