Breaking down the recipe of Samosa’s success

Fresh off its latest funding round of $7 Million lead by Xiaomi and backed by Sequoia, Samosa Labs is on track to conquer the vernacular space in all of India. Not just as their product analytics partner, but as someone watching them from close quarters since the beginning, Apxor heartily congratulates Samosa Labs.
Since the introduction of video based content back in February this year, Samosa app’s Daily Active Users increased almost 10 fold in the last 6 months to upwards of 5,00,000 users. User Generated Content echoed the same growth with more than 5000 users uploading content every single day on the app.
Well before the introduction of video based content and their viral growth, Samosa already was a popular app with a loyal user base. Here’s a closer look at the possible ingredients in Samosa’s growth story.
User wants, user gets.
Team Samosa meticulously tracked and understood their users. This became a driving force behind their content and product decisions. They kept track of the type of content that is engaging their loyal users the most and monitored what these users are searching for and sharing from the app.
They began with a qualitative analysis of their app’s users. They held surveys and directly spoke to their most loyal users about what they would like to see in the app. Outside of the app, they went to great lengths to understand what these users are passionate about, what motivates them and what brings them joy. Equipped with this rich information, they were able to build an accurate user persona and tailored their app to the users.
All of this granular data lead to some assumptions about the usage of their app which they were quickly able to validate quantitatively by analysing user behaviours and observing the trends among them.
Mastering growth methodically
Growth is a factor of virality and retention, more so for a social app. But it is retention that matters more when it comes to sustainable long term growth. This is explained in detail in this article on Andrew Chen’s blog. Andrew Chen is a well known tech influencer and a growth advisor.
As shown here, the week on week user growth changes as a factor of retention and virality. This tree exactly describes where users that exist in a given week come from and helps understand growth.
To explain this, consider an app with 300k users in week 0,
  • A 14% increase in week 1 virality will lead to 64k users in the app in week 7
  • While a 14% increase in week 1 retention will lead to 98k users in the app in week 7
Clearly, changes in retention have long term effects that have a greater impact on growth than equivalent changes in virality.
Samosa mastered this by working on their retention and successfully impacting their growth. They understood what behaviours form a habit in their users to come back to the app every week.
For example, how many videos watched will lead to users to come back into the app again and again, what behaviours in the app directly correlate with their KPIs. They drove more users to emulate the same behaviours and created a habit forming app experience.
Experiments with rapid growth
The timely campaigns accompanying newly released movies have been hugely successful in the Samosa app. The face filter for the promotion of Superstar Rajinikanth’s movie Kaala in June this year has done immensely well with upwards of 2 million views to these videos collectively and User Generated Content of 8000 videos.

The team at Samosa delivered these features to their audience in a way that they are easy to understand and adopt. A user was nudged in real time with a simple walkthrough on using this filter which lead to a 150% increase in User Generated Content.
These strategies fared well for Samosa in mastering their growth metrics. With an influx of organic downloads every day and a concrete retention strategy, Samosa is on track for guaranteed growth.
We are happy to be a part of Samosa’s growth journey and are proud to be their product analytics partner. Now that they have established themselves as the social app in the South of India, new challenges lay ahead in conquering other frontiers.

Akhila Nageswaram

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