Gurgaon-based Bluegape has launched a new app and rebranded itself to Murmur, as part of its mobile-first approach. This move comes after Bluegape managed to garner impressive traffic on its platform – over 28 Mn unique views and about 47 Mn sessions.
“85% of our traffic on Bluegape was from mobile web only. When we started developing the mobile app, we realised that converting a website into a mobile app directly was not going to solve the purpose. Mobile is completely different from web; not only because of the screen size, but also in terms of usage behaviour and usage time, among other factors,” said Sahil Baghla, CEO and co-founder of Murmur.
The company soft launched the app in October. It claims that within 20 days, the app managed to register 70K downloads and was trending on Google Playstore for a few days. This lightweight app – around 1.9 MB, has an average Playstore rating of 4.7 and is currently available for Android and iOS devices. Once the app is installed, it asks for the users’ preferred language and interest areas and offers them a daily digest of news and stories around those areas. Users don’t have to signup or login during the initial process.
Apart from user generated content (UGC) and original content created by the company’s content team, the app also offers curated content from popular sources like ScoopWhoop, PopXO, Logical Indian, Indiatimes and Storypick. The content is a blend of photos, videos, GIFs, news and blogs. “Content on Murmur is personalised and based on multiple factors. We offer users with only the stories that matter to them,” said Sahil.
Murmur does not reproduce the content from secondary sources; it simply showcases the headline in a visual layout and links it to the source. Therefore, the company claims that it doesn’t need permissions from these media companies.
The team behind this app tried to understand the user behaviour and implemented those learnings into creating Murmur. The startup realised that 99% of its users are content consumers and not creators; they don’t bother about the content source, as long as it is good content.
However, the company is not going app-only for now. It plans to keep its web version up and running for users who want to try out the product before downloading it.
“Our aim is to become a global technology platform and a source of trend-centric media for millennials. We will become more mobile-centric in the future. Our target is 100 Mn users and 30 Mn app downloads by the end of 2016,”stated Sahil.
Murmur currently has a team of 46 employees – 22 in tech and the remaining in content, marketing and social media profiles. It generates it revenue from native brand advertising.
Bluegape was founded in August 2011 by IIT Kanpur alumni Sahil Baghla and Ayush Varshney. It started off as an online merchandise store, but pivoted to its visual blogging avatar in January 2015. The company has raised $1.1 Mn till date. The most recent funding round was closed in August this year – it raised $600k from ah! Ventures, Rudy Gopalakrishnan of Fidelity and Times Internet.