Sagoon is an online social commerce platform that facilitates an amalgamation of social networking and e-commerce. On this virtual platform, users connect with other like-minded people and earn reward points for sharing their personal experiences. It is evident from the motto: Connect, Share and Earn. Initially incepted in 2009, it was further developed into its latest avatar which was launched in November 2015.
Conceptualized by Govinda Giri, Sagoon had a humble beginning as a search engine which provided customized search results based on people’s needs and preferences. He upgraded Sagoon’s business model and launched its new version for social collaboration, on noticing a shifting trend in online user behavior and interaction.
How Sagoon Came into Existence
Based in Washington DC, Govinda Giri ideated Sagoon when he found that there was no single platform for users to shop online, chat with others, exchange information and share experiences at the same time. They used to indulge in different activities on different sites. Going from one site to another site to do shopping, redeem coupons, use cash backs, etc. is troublesome. That’s how Sagoon emerged as an all-in-one platform for online shopping and social media activities.
Sagoon has three cofounders: Govinda Giri, Swati Dayal and Kabin Sitoula. With more than 15 years of experience in information technology and enterprise solutions, Govinda Giri is the chief architect at Sagoon. He is responsible for developing communication tools and designing network infrastructure. He also leads in product strategy. Swati Dayal from Lucknow has 8 years of experience in product design & development for the web and mobile devices. Being Sagoon’s product and operations head in India, Swati takes care of strategic planning and innovation. She is responsible for delivering on company goals and objectives at the same time. Kabin Sitoula joined Sagoon with over 20 years of experience in finance and marketing. He acts as community outreach specialist at Sagoon and builds marketing strategies.
The Business Model
Sagoon has a unique business model since no other platform is built around the concept: Connect. Share. Earn, according to Mr. Giri. The unique feature of the business model is Social Smart Card which will be launched by the end of 2016. It is going to be the real game changer because social media users automatically receive online shopping cards nowhere. However, Sagoon treats Pinterest, Snapchat and Facebook as its competitors. Sagoon’s online shopping card allows users to spend money, earn money, redeem coupons and gift their loved ones.
Sagoon has successfully maintained its position in competition with others till date. “Sagoon is like a rolling stone. We strive to keep the product evolving with fresh and innovative concepts,” says Mr. Giri. Sagoon will gradually integrate futuristic applications including Social Smart Card to go ahead of competition. Sagoon is accessible online and on mobile devices through its mobile app.
The biggest challenge that the founders of Sagoon faced at the initial phase of the startup was difficulty in finding the knowledgeable and experienced employees. “We didn’t want to take any hasty decision while hiring. We contacted several colleges and interviewed their students for different positions. We also tried to get good resource from our network. Fortunately, we ended up recruiting right candidates, who are now the strongest pillars of Sagoon,” says Swati Dayal.
As of now, Sagoon has more than 381947 users from India, USA, Canada, Bangladesh and Nepal. Most of the users fall in the age group of 22 to 34. Moreover, there are one million users in the waiting list. The users have, so far, reported 4134662 activities like sending messages, sharing secrets, creating schedules, making to-do lists and sending reminders. Sagoon has registered 838112 till date. On an average, each user spends five minutes on the platform.
The revenue model comprises digital card reselling, digital coupon reselling and advertising fees, out of which the company gains 10%. Sagoon’s target audience comprises social media users. With its user base estimated to reach 1.5 million by the end of this year, Sagoon is looking to increase its percentage of all transactions. Sagoon’s revenue model is focused on the evolving social commerce market worth $300 billion. Presently they are eying on revenues worth $571,500 for the year 2017.
Future Plans and Goals
“Instead of penetrating the market in different locations at a time, we target locations one by one. We create our base to establish the product in one place before moving on to the next. After making our presence felt in some parts of the US, we are currently focused on Delhi in India,” shares Swati Dayal while talking about the vision and mission.
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