Tell us what WithMe does. So WithMe is an idea around social validation and what we realized was today people have so many choices, so much information around internet that they find themselves unable to make a decision and when they have to make a decision, they typically do their research, but before making a final decision, they will go to someone they trust, someone they believe is an expert and that's how they will make a decision, you know based on those recommendations. So these people become influencers and what people are looking for is trust and expertise and it happens across various lifestyle choices. It happens in fashion, you know “What am I going to wear today for office?”, “How should I dress up for this party?”, “Where can I find you know the best looking accessories or shoes?” know myriad of questions. Same thing happens in places like food: “Where should I dine out today?, “Is this place good?”. So, you know, you know what I'm going about. Yes. So that was the idea and we wanted to test this out on a kind of platform or some kind of sector with people do it kind of everyday or let's say, you know at least make a decision once a week and that's why we chose fashion to start with because in India now, people view it on a daily basis, you know, what is the new stuff happening both in the celebrity space, you know high street fashion or normal street fashion. They're like a bunch of things that teenagers are actually going about and there’s success of Instagram in India. So that's the reason we chose to operate in that space and we kind of built an app both on iOS and Android. The purpose of the app was you can quickly reach out to your friends and experts, crowdsourced experts on the platform who can provide you an opinion. You know, what you should wear, what will look good on you and then we topped it up with, you know, several other features that are required to make decision handy like your profile. You know, what kind of fashion do you like as such, you know, then at the same time if experts are giving you opinion, there should be a feedback loop for them. So they also get rated and you know, their expertise level gets determined on the system. So, you know whole whole bunch of stuff that you typically do to build a social. Okay, awesome. So you have a whole bunch of stuff there. Right, I would like to put you to the test, right? Let's say you are looking for an investment, right? And you managed to get hold of a top investor, angel investor. He said right, just walking out to the taxi, he said you have 15 seconds before my taxi arrives. How would you pitch your idea to him? You have 15 seconds. It's a social network where you help people make decisions by various influences that they trust. Awesome. That's a great pitch by the way. So how did you come up with this idea? I mean, you have other three co-founders as well, but what what motivated you? What's the driver behind this? So essentially the idea was not the driver to begin with, the idea was, the driver really was to do something on our own and being from private equity space, me and my senior colleague at IDFC, we’ve looked at, you know whole bunch of sectors & spaces, understood and then invested and you know worked very closely with promoters to build that business up. So we were quite sure that you know, whatever business we want to do, you know, we will be able to pick up the rope. So that will not be a problem. So the first thing that happened was we actually got together and formed a team, which according to me is the most important thing and after that we are looking at few ideas in the travel space and this insight actually came from travel because we were discussing with few people, like how the idea of traveling to a place comes to your mind. And you know, we discovered that typically it happens when you look at some of your friends’ pictures or you have any discussions or you know in a bar or over coffee, you know where he went, how he spent his vacations and that's how the entire decision-making around which place to go starts from. So we thought you know, that's an interesting idea and but the problem in travel is you know, typically you do twice a year. So that's not a good enough idea to test it out. So therefore we wanted to do it something which has a higher frequency and that's how fashion came in. Okay, so you are actually looking for ideas and then you, while brainstorming you bumped into yeah fashion with this idea WithMe. Correct. Wow, okay. So I thought well, I'm not sure how true is that, but I heard from people you have to be passionate about something and then you start up something. How, what do you think about that? I mean, but you went other way around, right? So being passionate is important and I don't think entrepreneurship can happen without that, but you don't need to be passionate about an idea. In fact, I would rather say that you should be very... you should have the capability to look at your idea dispassionately as well. Because sometimes when you’re just way too passionate, you may not look towards the downsides or you know, the pitfalls of that idea. The way it may never happen, right? Think about Google Glass for example, so when you're too passionate about an idea, it becomes, you know that difficult but the passion in all four of us was that we wanted to do something together and we wanted to do something entrepreneurial. We wanted to build a business that lasts. And that's what actually brought us together and that's where we started thinking about you know, what should we actually start in? Okay, so you have started one. So how is it going so far? So it's been an interesting journey. There have been some struggles and what we realized was that the idea maybe a bit too early for Indian space given the fact that people who are shopping online are quite too few. So we still in the process of you know, figuring out whether to scale it up or you know, scale it down. Currently, you know, so that's that's the introspection process that's going on right now. I mean, why do you think it's too low people who are shopping? I mean, well, there are only maybe about hundred million online users, internet users or something like that... a hundred or a couple of hundred million, maybe out of them, 10-20 % are shopping online, but that's still a good number, isn't it? No. Actually the ticket size in India are quite small. So if you look at the revenue model from that point of view, it becomes way too difficult to scale it up to a large number. I'll give you an example of Polyvore which kind of started all this phenomena around 2008- 2009 in US. Yahoo acquired them last year. So these guys, if you look at the typical US transaction in the fashion space, it will be close to you know on average 50 to $100 per transaction and then there are there's a huge advertising market on top of it. In India, there are roughly 20 to 30 million users who actually shop online and 80% of the online sales happen for electronic standard items, not for fashion. So it's a pretty small market from that point of view roughly 2 billion dollars. You know within that market, if you start actually segmenting people, you know, people above 35 or below 35, people above 25 or people below 25, that will also take away a whole bunch of market. The problem that happens is once people reach the stage of 25 to 30, we observe that by that time their fashion choices are set and they don't have too much time to actually think about it and therefore between the age of 25 to roughly 40, people, especially women will be either focused on their families, kids or career and at that point of time, they don't spend too much time. So that's not really a target segment that we could have owned to start with. So we were looking at a much younger target segment and that resulted in further reduction and you know ticket sizes, that typically happen. So overall what happens is it reduces the market significantly. Wow, that must be tough. So let's say how many active users would you have on the platform now? So we were running close to 8-10,000 monthly active users about two months or one and a half to two months in the launch of MVP. Then since you know funding has become quite difficult in India as well. So we decided to conserve capital, reduce our spends on marketing till the time we actually figure out what's the right way to grow in this business. So then then we reduced it... I think now it’s shrunk to about 5,000 monthly users. Yeah, that's probably that's pretty much current numbers. Okay, what was the revenue model originally? So, the revenue model was really about when you have these influencers helping you make the decision. You make the decision on the platform. So let's say you want to buy something you buy it up and once you buy from any of these online platforms, there is an affiliate sales revenue that comes from each of these models. So that is one and the second is a lot of these brands, not the bigger guys, like Amazons, Flipkarts and Snapdeals, but a lot of small boutiques are actually coming online and they also want to promote their product. So if you actually use some of these influencers working with them to push the right product to the right user, where all the three stakeholders in the system are happy , you know, you can again kind of get a commission for the sales that you do and along with that you can do sponsored listings, sponsored content which generates additional revenue. Okay. Are you generating any revenue now? Uh, no...because the idea to begin with was that you know for the Social Network you need to have a critical mass. You need to have mass of at least a hundred thousand users to start monetizing both on the monetary side, as well on the advertising side, as well as on the affiliate sales. A reasonable bunch of revenue. So currently we were providing links, but we were not charging any revenue. It would have been too small any which way. Yeah. Yeah, it looks like. So I mean 5000 to 100,000. That's almost 20 times, right? Correct. What's the plan? I mean, how are you planning to go there? So that's where the discussions are going on right now internally? Because the customer acquisition cost in India is quite high and if you cannot bring that cost down significantly, now by a factor of 5. It's almost impossible to make money in this revenue model. So that's where the discussions are going on, you know how to clearly identify, how to reduce that cost of customer acquisition down. Wow. What? I mean, I'm sure there are other guys in the same space, right? The guys who were the Roposo or somebody, who has a similar thing. So they are going after similar audience, but their take is slightly different. They follow an inspirational model. So their view is you publish a photograph of a celebrity or a blogger or something on their app and using the tags of that particular photograph, you show recommended items below. You know, the way Amazon shows you when you're trying to buy something, right? And they believe that based on those inspirations people are going to buy the stuff below and you know, that's their business model. Okay. I mean those guys have backing from like Flipkart guys and all that. Yes. Okay, right. And you raised some funding as well. Yes, we did, we did. So it all happened during the idea stage itself. So we wanted to make sure that what we are thinking is not just plain air and there is some merit in it. So we went to a few influential investors in the fashion space and told them that this is what we are thinking, you know, would you like to become a part of it? And happily three or four of them actually got convinced. They came on board. Wow, but now you need more users, huh? Correct.Now again you can raise it looks like. So now it looks like a catch-22. Egg & chicken, you know. Now you need more users and to generate the revenue. Correct, correct, correct. So it becomes that much more difficult, I think. Currently, funding situation in India is quite tight.