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so a little bit about me one second let me just adjust the mic so I’m the CEO and founder of tickle media tickle media is actually a publishing house and we publish different types of online platforms which engage with women our most popular brand or our flagship brand is a the asian parent so i just wanted to find out here first do we have any parents amongst the crowd okay everybody all we do that’s nice so mostly dad’s do we have any moms okay have any of the dead set of asian parent okay that’s about one there but so yeah so the name asian parent is pretty self-explanatory it’s a platform for parents living in asia or off asian descent before the asian parent or before tickled media was actually running livejournal for asia i’m not sure how many here are old enough to remember livejournal it was the world’s first logging platform and in singapore became really popular because a lot of the blog shops were on it so we had popular blog shops like s-she flee as she’s free and then i’m also co-founded the female founders network so everything to do with entrepreneurship and women is a total pet peeve topic for me so I’m not even going to dwell up into it because I could go on all day and I also mentor startups a GF di crib angel investment a couple of startups as well and that’s me in general so my whole journey started in 2008 2009 when I was babysitting in New York so I was living in new york and over the weekends i would babysit and that’s Kelsey over there and Kelsey used to force me to take her for tea every weekend so when out when I used to take her 40 we would talk about things she was two-and-a-half to three years old at that time and the one thing that hit me was just how different locations raised the children from Asians so I’m a Singaporean I grew up in Singapore I’m of Indian descent so I’m influenced by both you know the whole Singapore rojak feel so I have you know I follow certain male practices Indian practices Chinese practices but they certain things that you know all of us asian we we kind of practice so for example she would occasionally I would I would hear Caucasian kids calling their uncles and aunts by the first name and every time I would hear someone calling someone Jill or or or Doreen or bill it would you know make me really shocked because that’s not what we do here in Asia everyone is auntie and uncle including the taxi driver and the but the most poignant moment was when Kelsey asked me she said roshni would where do you come from some like Singapore she says what’s your national food and I said um durian she said okay she’s like what do you eat at home and I said wonton noodles and then she’s like okay what else do you eat and I was like paneer and she was like oh can you make all these food for me can I eat them and I was like can a three-year-old adoria can a three-year-old eat paneer I wasn’t sure so I went online and I started checking it out and there were a lot of different websites babycenter was the biggest at that point in time in 2009 but there was nothing that was specifically for the asian parent and it hit me if we take China and India and we combine it together we’re half of the world’s population why is there not enough content or resources for our our audience and if I had these questions I’m sure every other Indian or Chinese person probably went through this and our practices and parenting are just so different I mean here in Asia we do things like confinement where of 30 days after giving birth a woman stays at home we have certain practices like it’s quite common to actually encapsulate your placenta after giving birth and so people here we do eat it with of course this is not something that’s done in the Western world so my babysitting experience and journey gave me a lot of food for thought and I started off tickled media first just I started off just with the asian parents and i created a blog and i started writing about my experiences and doing a lot of research so my background is journalism so just write about some theories and i would speak to a lot of experts to find out what were myth and what would not MIT and then I realized oh my gosh maybe I do have a viable business here because I started having a lot of readers so in order to make sure that this was really a viable business I sent out a survey or market research project to all of my friends living across Asia so I sent it out to some moms in donations and moms in Malaysia some moms back in Singapore and this is why i was living in new york and i asked them do you actually feel that there is a platform or a portal for you to get your information in your needs according to your customs and culture and most of

them replied back saying no and so I said okay where do you get your Asian recipes or traditional Chinese medicine therapies and stuff like that and they would say oh we’d call about grandma will call about auntie and uncle but there’s no place that it’s actually documented so I said okay maybe I’m really onto something then I decided to make sure that I could actually make money from this because great I could build a product that people would want but is it actually viable as a business or as a hobby website for me so I called up F MCG company milk bread in Singapore and I decided to pitch to them and I said okay I have this website and by the way I the website was actually the first iteration of Asian perrin was actually a template that i bought from template monster for one hundred and fifty dollars and so I put that up you know got all of my friends to join the facebook fan page for this website and then I called up the fmcg bread and I said okay i have this parenting website it’s very similar as i told in my concept might be should my mission and they said okay it sounds interesting let’s have a meeting with you next week I didn’t tell them I was living in New York at that point in time so I said okay say what so I was sitting at home and I was like going should I spend two thousand dollars and fly back home to Singapore and meet with this company or should I not I said okay if I’m actually going to take this seriously I should so I bit the bullet and you know it’s another excuse to go home and eat my wonton me and so I took the first like back home created a media kit did not know how to create a media kit so I called up one of the competitors in the US and I asked them to send me their media kit and then I ate it and Asian eyes the whole thing and and I went for the meeting and they were impressed and in two weeks time they sent me an invoice order and they said we’re willing to spend six thousand dollars for a one-month campaign to engage with your mother’s I didn’t tell them I didn’t even have the business registered so I decided to then register the business in order to be able to process the check and that was how asian parent was started so in 2010 I hired my first employee in 2011 I launched Malaysia 2012 I launched another niche website that just looked at pregnancy because I realize especially in Singapore parenting and pregnancy of two separate things all together a pregnant woman does not want to read about parenting she doesn’t want to be freaked out she only cares about that nine month process and what’s gonna happen during labor and delivery and she’s super engaged and the same time parents are ready to tell you all the gory scary stories of like you know labor and she that she doesn’t want to be exposed to that yet so pregnant on issue was the second side we started in 2013 we by then we were already making maybe about a half a million in revenue and we had about seven to eight people and I decided that this is a viable business I have about a couple of hundred thousand uses on a regular basis let me actually go and do fun race so I did my first round of fundraising it was my pre series a we raised about a million dollars from land rock capital and then we expanded to a stop strength of 15 I then entered into the tile and market expanded launched into philippines by 2014 I was a staff strength of 30 and then earlier this year we raised venture capital from vertex ventures and so now we’ve raised about 4.5 million in total we have a stop strength off at any given point between 80 to 100 people and the one thing that now we started to focus on is as she develop the product properly so all this while we were you know we were running as a web press website first we were at ya cut the blood press website then we became of our own custom code but it was never product was never something that we really focused on until the beginning of this year and then we hired a lot of Engineers Android iOS developers still looking for a lot of engineers oh and data science team and then we launched into india this year as well so that’s a summary of my tickle media journey but based on my experiences so right now we hit about 6 million users in five different markets we make millions of dollars in revenue and our we wear the number one parenting website in singapore thailand philippines number two in indonesia and top five in india so besides that i wanted to just find out what do you guys think is what do what do these two apps have in common you guys know what these two apps are fantastic yes so color and wave what do they have in common bingo they failed so why did they fail so let’s look at color first so before I go on I just want to find out how many

of you guys actually work to create your own in-house product or run your own startup versus creating apps for other people so sort of like vendors so do we have more people who are creating their own in-house apps for their own company or yeah show of hands ok great so you all are building your own products mostly so color color raised 41 million us from VC funding they had Sequoia they had been you know they had a lot of height before launch in fact they closed the fundraising round before they even launched out the product so the but the problem with color was that in its first six months it first started off as this photo sharing party app you would go to sort of like a social network where you would share for to see I can’t even explain it till now and after six months I realized that wasn’t working so they actually pivoted their business and they created a video app social sharing thing which also didn’t work so the concept was just too foreign it was it was it was marketed very very well but the moment people started using it they realize there was no need for this product the product was very advanced but for the average user it was to advance it had too many belts it had too many whistles the same thing for a wave wave was actually touted as the ultimate email killer I think thirty percent of users waste three or more hours a week on emails just it’s like a total waste of time and so we wanted to actually be the platform which would combine email chat and productivity but because they had too many things going on with the average user downloaded wave they didn’t know how to use it so that’s one of the problems that i noticed with developers and now that I work with a lot of developers they like to build out features before testing and finding out if users really want it so most things that developers and a building is just too complicated you guys are advanced people the average because there is nowhere as close as advanced as you guys so you may realize that you know this is a feature you want right now but the average user might just want that feature in five years time so to begin with what I realized the three things that they actually did wrong was they didn’t spend enough time on customer development they built great products but no one wanted these products and then there was a lack of unique selling point for each of these products because they tried to sell too many different things that the products are doing so for example colors well it’s marketing message was just not clear right from the beginning with photo then it moved on to videos so by the end of it a user doesn’t know what this app as she stands for and then again it doesn’t resonate with your target users so this is a reality in the app store right now we have 1.5 billion apps in the App Store 2% of app developers bring in fifty percent of all revenue that means there are a handful of companies that are building apps at people one most apps do not make any money most apps don’t have many users the average developer makes one hundred dollars a month for his app so you put in all of this effort building out a product that you think is amazing but nobody downloads it nobody uses it so and this happens time and time and time again the nine nine out of 10 startups will fail and a number one reason they’ll fail according to Business Insider and I’m so sorry that I’m quoting something like Business Insider here but they make products that nobody wants so how do you build apps that people love so I spoke to three founders and these are some of the more popular apps here in Singapore carousel 99 baki pas so carousel is actually a pre-loved marketplace and it targets the younger audience so mostly teenagers youth who buy and sell clothes nature and all kinds of stuff so Marcus had a very good advice for everyone here he said start with a small problem don’t give up in the process of trying to solve that problem our core value proposition didn’t change but the way we tackled that problem over time did Darius at the same a very similar thing as well so he looked at finding a problem as well so what was interesting though was that Marcus looked at finding a small problem but there is decided to find the hardest problem so pick a hard problem you care about and if you keep trying to attack it you might build something that would be really worthwhile bakit ba ba keypad sort of like a carousel for mothers so they sell

they only specifically target the mom audience or the dead audience and they sell buy and sell pre-loved baby stuff so for marigold she said talk to your customers we built a very basic minimum viable product and then iterated based on the data we collected and the conversations we had with users great advice so I think what I’m trying to want to try and say here is that don’t go around building out different kinds of features the first and the most important thing that you really need to do is market research you need to find out we don’t first of most developers hate it when I say this but you need to create a business plan a business plan which tells you why are you building this is there actually a market size for this is this just a unique problem that you and your friends are facing so and I’ve experienced a lot of this because sick of media we probably actually created four or five different mom breads but some of the brands did not do as well as asian parent because the market was not big enough so for example we had a brand called Caitlyn Caitlyn de was just targeting the expat parents over time we realized that wasn’t a viable business because in Singapore we only have thirty thousand babies born every year if we take it that you know expats represent 10% of this population you’re talking about 3,000 kids a year that you’re actually catering to that’s way too small so it’s an expat mom you might actually feel it’s a huge market because that’s your whole circle around you but if you actually really look at the numbers it’s a very small market so it doesn’t become a business it just becomes a nice hobby website so creating a business plan is really released important find out what’s your unique selling point what is it that you as she want to go out to mock it with for asian parent i was very clear parenting advice for asian parents it will hate how everyone who who went to the website anyone who even looked at any of the apps or anything it was very clear to them what they were going to get from this and another thing that i think a lot of developers need to think about is how are you going to monetize it because at in the beginning yes nobody builds products because you want to make money from it but over time in order for the product to be successful you need to be able to monetize it so don’t don’t ignore monetization you also need to do market research you need to send out surveys you need to speak to people and you need to get out of your comfort zone so don’t if you’re even developing a product here in singapore don’t just do your market research with Singaporeans do your market research with everyone around the region because each first the way each person behaves in each market is going to be so different and you might realize that okay this product works for Thailand for example and not necessarily for the market that you initially wanted to launch it and you also need to figure out if your market is nish enough because if you try to go for something that’s too big you’re going to draw it out you also need to so one of the things that we did as well and I think that really worked well for us was that we went really Minimum Viable Product right it was a template monster template and we for us that was to test it to figure out if people actually wanted such a service if they didn’t want such a service and we knew that we would kill it and we would not end up building it you also need to market it a lot of times I think people feel okay and this is something I noticed even in my own development team Alvin sitting here heads up our engineering department and it he’s working on some super sleuth products which I’m going to talk about in a couple of minutes and one thing elvin always does is he creates these beautiful just beautiful features and designs and mock-ups and then I tell him how are we going to get uses for it and he’s like I know how are we going to get uses for it that’s your problem so so developers like to do that right like they don’t like to think about marketing but the whole idea is that marketing comes hand in hand so you need there’s no use if you create this amazing product but nobody knows about it so figure out are you going to go for SEO if you’re going to do SEO then you need to SEO your apt description as well is your you know are you going to get influencers who are going to be the initial users you can’t just rely on the tech community unless you’re building out a text product for the tech community so while everyone here clamors to get featured on techcrunch or tech in asia or or e 27 you know if you’re trying to get the general mass-market user should you really be clamoring for that TechCrunch article or should you be clamoring for the BBC coverage so you really need to put things into perspective you also need to track your progress a lot of times I notice with my in-house team is that they’ll build out the product and then they’ll say Oh a be testing happens later on but no AP testing should happen right from the beginning you know every small little thing you need to decide why you have small little things in your website or in your app so I’ll give you an example we’ve been we’ve got the new design for

asian parent ready for the last four months we’ve tested it out with a number of users we’re dying to roll it out because the current site just looks awful and but when we go and speak to use this about it then we show them the new designs and we speak to clients they freaked out because people don’t like change people have been seeing the same thing for the last six years it’s like going in and giving craig craigslist a facelift most people are gonna revolt around it so we experienced the same problem as well but we end up making small little changes so at any given point in time we make twenty percent changes to our app or our website and we also a be test every change we make to make sure that it’s really things that people want and the last thing you should be worrying about are doing is fundraising so i really i really like my startup dirty because i got to do so much of market research and really understand my audience I don’t think this any one who understands the Asian parenting market better than me in the in the whole of Asia and that’s because I’ve had six years to study this market it took me three years before I did my first fundraise so I’m really glad that we bootstrapped it and we tried to figure out how to make money right from the beginning it also meant I didn’t take a salary for the first two years and then I took a very small salary before you know starting to pay people well as well so everyone in our company has very good employee stock option plans and ultimately if you’re building a product that you know people want you know the money is going to come in at some point but don’t worry about fundraising do not fund raise before you actually launched out your product because you might end up having to go the colorway so what are we building now so with a years of experience working with this niche market I’ve come to realize a few things about the Asian parenting market the way the asian moms behave is definitely different from anyone anywhere else but the way moms in general behave is just different moms weather than the US or Europe or Singapore its motherhood is one of the most overwhelming thing that could happen in fact Parenthood is one of the most overwhelming things I’m sure fathers here could attest to that it’s life-changing you know you so from suddenly from being a woman you become a mom and and you don’t know how to behave and you’re confused and there are a million and one different feedback that you get and advice that you get from different people you read different websites you get different feedback you speak two different people you get different feedback even your own mom could be giving you things that are just completely outdated and against wa chose policies and living here in Asia went that crossroads right because we’re exposed to a lot of Western we’re exposed to a lot of Western literature and we’re exposed to research but then some of it conflicts with some of our Asian traditional beliefs and we’re also co-parenting here in Asia so we live without you know whatever our in-laws tell us matters here in Asia so it’s no longer just you raising your child but your mother and all your father-in-law your meat every one has a sayin that how you raise the child it really takes you know a village to raise a child here in Asia so looking at the behavior of these moms we realize that the one thing missing for them is really a social network just for moms so that’s what we’re actually building out its launching out in quarter for of this year we have our Android app ready so pretty excited about it but the reason I’m bringing that up right now is I feel like I’ve had so many years of doing market research that now I actually know how to build a product that people really want it and the fact is that we’re starting off by still going small we’re starting niche we’re still looking at the same audience that we’re already comfortable with which is asian moms we’re looking at it we’re launching it out in singapore in india and malaysia first so it’s the english-speaking markets we also notice within mobi when they were looking at some reports from m.o.b we realized that Asia actually has the highest app install rates and it’s the demographic that’s installing apps in Asia is below the age of 30 and parents in Asia are also below the age of 30 so the first time a woman becomes the mom in Asia is about 25 to 26 years old and the most beautiful thing about it is that we actually get to market to our existing database of 6 million users so one of the key insights that we realized was because i don’t like building out products and select sort of done the whole MVP thing so we knew that we wanted this new social network would be a cross between Facebook and whatsapp so we decided why not just create a facebook group and create whatsapp groups so now we have about 60 different facebook groups our facebook groups have about 30,000 uses in each group these groups are very very intimate so it

would be things like breastfeeding moms Singapore breastfeeding moms Thailand and we started watching how they actually interact with each other and we notice that the waist moms chat on groups is very unique the average mom so for a website like Quora q an equal website you’d have ninety percent of people looking and ten percent of people responding to questions or answers on Facebook groups to do with parenting you would have forty percent of people answering at any point in time so they’re very engaged because it’s such a small niche community so an example of the Singapore breastfeeding moms group on a daily basis we have at least two thousand to three thousand questions and answers going on every single day and this is a country which only has 30 thousand babies born every year then so we were like okay so Facebook’s fantastic right but Facebook has some of its own limitations so we said okay these moms actually want to chat with each other in real time facebook is more about questions and answers so we decided to set up whatsapp groups to see whether we would see the same type of behavior crazy engagement so we sent out a survey among our mom’s to find out who wanted to be part of which what’s up groups so we created a hundred different whatsapp groups viber groups and line groups dividing the moms up according to the month that the baby was born in and the country that they were in so we had a gen 2016 mom grew from Singapore we had a februari 2016 mom group from Thailand and we wanted to see how did he actually chat with each other we would limit the group size to 50 to 100 people and we started noticing that if if I don’t check my phone for an hour and a half I have about a thousand miss messages and it happened in every single country that we tested it in it happened across line what’s up and viber so based on those two hypotheses it was very clear to us that we had to create something that was specifically targeting these asian moms which allowed them to find each other to talk to someone who is going through the same exact milestone as them the main thing was discoverability right I’m a breastfeeding mom right now or if I’m a mom who’s party trading my child I don’t know which of my friends are party trading at this exact moment and I want to speak to her because I don’t want to speak to someone who’s been through the potty training process because I need to rent I need to talk about how frustrating this processes and I want to feel like I’m not alone so what they need is a community so based on these two hypotheses we decided we’ll come up with a mobile-first social network for asian moms so look out for it launching quarter part is here thank you oh and if anyone here is looking for to join a fast growing startup feel free to LinkedIn me or email me

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