What Made WhatsApp Worth $19 Billion?


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When WhatsApp sold to Facebook for $19 Billion people were stunned. What makes this messaging app worth $19 billion? We dove deep into WhatsApp's growth engine to understand how its grown so fast and what makes it so valuable to Facebook.

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What Made WhatsApp Worth $19 Billion?

  1. 1. What made whatsapp worth $19 billion?
  2. 2. The Whatsapp timeline April 2009 October 2009 April 2011 November 2011 July 2013 January 2014 February 2014 April 2014
  3. 3. Whatsapp Growth http://readwrite.com/2014/04/23/whatsapp-facebook-instagram-billion-users
  4. 4. ORIGINAL PROBLEM: MISSED PHONE CALLS Koum, the founder, built an address book app that also showed the current status of your friends. He was tired of missing phone calls while at the gym.
  5. 5. The Early Pivot •  Original app was buggy and crashed •  Apple launches push notifications in iOS •  Koum adds push notifications to WhatsApp •  Users use the change in status to ping each other—the notification becomes the message
  6. 6. The Early Pivot •  Koum realizes he’s built mobile messaging and pivots from address book status manager to messaging app •  User base explodes to 250,000 with pivot
  7. 7. Remarkable Focus on Product •  Laser focus on core user experience—no ads, no games, no gimmicks •  No user acquisition spend •  Focus on maximum utility •  Focus on broad adoption and interoperability, not just smartphones
  8. 8. Co-founder Acton’s admonition hung over Koum’s desk.
  9. 9. Whatsapp’s aha! moment •  The cheap alternative to SMS and MMS messaging with no limits •  Additional features like photo, video and group texting •  Super simple to use—uses your existing contact book, no rebuilding of a social graph •  Cross-platform, not closed like BBM and iMessage
  10. 10. GLOBAL Focus •  Feature phones focus across carriers •  Super-simple to send pictures, video and texts overseas •  Unlocks pent-up text demand from restrictive carrier charges & plans
  11. 11. fastest growing countries: Brazil, Mexico, India, Russia
  12. 12. Word of mouth drives growth •  No paid advertising •  No marketing •  Not a press darling •  “Near perfect market information”
  13. 13. The YEAR LONG TRIAL •  No cost to use for first year, $0.99 per year thereafter •  Sets paid expectation, but eliminates friction from network building •  Creates lock-in and habit prior to charging
  14. 14. Today’s Growth engine •  Facebook effect helps fuel growth •  Face challenges in US market with low messaging rates and in China with tough competition •  Will they introduce voice calling next?
  15. 15. Growth Engines Case Studies of How Today's Most Successful Startups Unlock Extraordinary Growth DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON.COM
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