McClure interviews Felice Grinda at 500 Startups’ PreMoney Miami event on Friday. By Nancy Dahlberg / firstname.lastname@example.org The secret to building a healthy ecosystem, according to Dave McClure: Write checks. Of course there is a little more to it, he said, but it’s really key, particularly at the seed stage…
The story: “I’m not going to say it’s easy to have two kids and run a company,” says Cleanify’s Justin Potter. Families and 20-something tech entrepreneurs don’t generally go hand in hand, but Potter-who operates on five hours of sleep as the father of a six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son-considers running his own company a dream come true: “If I had to do it again, I would.
In Partnership With: Can’t Make It? Follow this event to get an email the next time it’s scheduled. Sign-up not required Follow Sign-up not required Follow Elizabeth Yin Co-founder, LaunchBit and Head of 500 Startup’s Mountain View accelerator Elizabeth Yin is is the co-founder and CEO of LaunchBit, an ad network for email newsletters.
Sean Percival is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups. He has a focus on Bitcoin investment and is running an accelerator in Mountain View, California. He has impressive career path and rich entrepreneurial experience – started his first Internet startup in 2006 and his second company in 2008 and has managed to successfully sell both of the companies with impressive return on investment.
Bitcoin Latest Price: $285.86, down 1.56% (via) -Prominent digital-currency news service CoinDesk has slimmed down its editorial team. The move reflects broader changes in bitcoin’s development now that a 2013-2014 surge in retail services – and the ad dollars that came with it – has taken a back seat to the institutional build-out of digital-currency technology.
Five years ago, Dave McClure decided to strike out on his own and start a little venture firm called 500 Startups. At the time, the pure ambition of giving his seed-stage investment fund that name sounded crazy (classic Dave!) and many questioned his plan to invest small amounts of capital in a massive number of startups.
At our recent 500 Startups PreMoney conference in Miami we used Meerkat to live stream the full conference to thousands of people worldwide.
Since its launch just a few weeks ago, Meerkat’s blown up.
Below is the graph of installs and stats for the Meerkat iOS app. According to the company, it hasn’t done paid acquisition to get this traction.
Meerkat Installs Growth (Feb 21 – March 21, 2015)
Meerkat iOS stats
- 50,000 installs in 30 days (souce: App Annie) and 300,000 total users (source: Techcrunch)
- 10,000+ video streams created in 30 days
- 2,000 average new installs per day
- Meerkat has been featured by Apple over 46 times on the iTunes homepage since its launch on Feb 21, 2015 (source: App Annie)
- Notable users include many media & technology influencers:
- Notable PR events that generated the most retweets for #Meerkat:
- Product Hunt
- Jimmy Fallon
How can Meerkat keep growing?
Is Meerkat just a fad? What happens to traction if/when the hype wears off?
Let’s take a look at 7 ways that Meerkat can sustain its growth momentum through the framework I created called Startup Metrics for MOBILE Pirates.
1. App Store SEO
According to Mobile Action, an app optimization company, Meerkat is scoring ‘F’ (scored 11 out of 100) in overall app store optimization.
Even with the bad overall score Meerkat is #1 with the following keywords:
A few potential keywords that Meerkat should optimize for would include: vlog, live podcasts, tweet, on air, streaming video, videos, etc.
Two ways Meerkat can optimize for these keywords:
1. Systematically include these keywords in their app descriptions
2. Add these same keywords to its iOS app store keywords tags.
Even one or two more additional keywords can add to organic search traffic and downloads.
By the way, a great resource for app store optimizations: http://bit.ly/appcheatsheet
2. Mobile Web SEO
Meerkat has a well designed web page (displayed via mobile browser), but one recommendation would be to make the iOS Download button more front and center.
3. PR (Blog, media, forum)
Meerkat has done an excellent job with PR and has already received over 500 media mentions in the past 30 days (accordingly to Google Trends).
I believe the most important PR move which started the whole Meerkat phenomenon was their Product Hunt release:
I don’t believe Ben and the Meerkat team actively reached out to Jimmy Fallon for him to meerkat. However, going forward, getting celebrities, media outlets, live shows, popular video gamers (similar to Twitch model) would greatly help to strengthen its viral growth and get even more addictive and longer-form content.
4. Social & App Referral
Meerkat should strive to score an A+ rating in terms of social sharing and interactions via Twitter.
One smart thing Meerkat did was build every single interaction (video broadcast, comment, likes) into the product to be broadcasted on Twitter.
Twitter has since limited Meerkat’s access to their social graph which will impact new users ability to auto-follow. If you are like me and downloaded Meerkat before the Twitter limitation, Meerkat should already have access to your social graph and you will automatically follow any new user joining meerkat who’s in you Twitter’s followers list.
The Twitter restriction means new users will have to follow people on Meerkat one by one manually. This will for sure slow down its growth, but definitely not the end of the world.
The best way to mitigate Twitter’s impact on Meerkat would be integrating with Facebook, Weibo, Wechat or any one-to-many mechanism.
5. Mobile Ad Network (Incentivized or non-incentivized)
At this point in time it’s probably still too early for Meerkat to invested into purchasing downloads. I would recommend not focusing on this until they close out their venture financing. And when they are ready for paid installs, I would start with Twitter mobile ad then slowly roll out super targeted Facebook mobile ad when its integration is ready. I would also buy super targeted mobile ad on video related apps.
I would recommend launching launching an Android app as soon as possible for Meerkat.
According App Annie, the Vine app, which is in a similar space, has about 9.2 million installs on iOS and another 9.7 million installs on Android. Android has been a big growth channel for them and I believe it will have the same impact for Meerkat.
7. International Market & Localizations
My final recommendation would be for Meerkat to strongly consider localizing their app for international markets.
According to App Annie, the top 10 fastest growing countries for Meerkat are:
I recommend Meerkat to localize in German, French, Spanish and Portuguese (for Brazil). These markets will further it’s growth where Twitter has a strong foothold in each of these countries as well.
I would not recommend Chinese/China until Meerkat is ready to integrate with Weibo and Wechat, because Twitter is blocked in China.
Hope you enjoyed this post as much I did writing it.
Special thank you Susan, Zafer, Jess and Andrei for your input!