BizNewsConnect

Neeta Chawla

Kiko TV app checks political & porn content menace

Made-in-India social e-commerce platform zooms ahead

India has banned 118 Chinese Apps. With the Make in India narrative gaining significance by the day, we at BizNewsConnect connected with Neeta Chawla, Chief Strategy Officer - KIKO TV, India's first AI based short e-commerce and entertainment video making platform. KIKO, which allows users to do in-app shopping while enjoying the videos, has registered a meteoric rise. Currently, KIKO TV offers more than 75,000 videos of different genres like comedy, workout, travel, food, educational, fashion & makeup, and product reviews. 

In the candid interview, Neeta says 'politically inflammatory content and porn are 2 major issues that we see getting flagged and blocked by our system every day. People have easy access to such content on their phones and group messages and many do try to upload to "check" the quality checks of an app. However, our system has been able to detect all objectionable content 100% and we haven't had even a single breach till now.'

The interview:

BizNewsConnect: What is the main aim of launching Kiko TV?

Neeta Chawla: Kiko TV has the primary objective of being a Video shopping app, with inclusion of Live Streaming Videos from sellers for real time buyer seller interaction. Live Video shopping is the future of social commerce, and kiko aims to be the first mover and leader in this space.

BNC: Which technology are you using?

NC: The technology used for the app: Kotlin and Swift latest version with Node and Hapi on server side along with WebRTC and AWS for video streaming.

BNC: What is the level of investments you have planned – now and next year?

NC: Our primary use of investment will be on user acquisition (both consumers and sellers) and on technology. Once we cross a 10m installed base we will look at raising another round.

BNC: Are you the Made-in-India response to Tiktok?

NC: Short Entertainment Videos are just a small portion of our product. Tiktok was a pure Short Video platform, with ad revenue being the primary source of income. Even at the huge scale it was at in India, the Indian side of the business was losing a lot of money as it will take some time for apps to make sufficient revenues solely from ads to cover their cost of doing business. Our revenues will come from Video Commerce and Live shopping on our app, enabling sellers to have a new way of connecting with buyers. So, we are actually the Made in India response to something India has not yet experienced! We will be what other apps could not become.

BNC: Insta and some other apps launched their own video clip apps. Do you see that as competition?

NC: As explained above, our competition are not other Short Entertainment Video players. Our competition will be other Social Commerce apps, most of whom do not yet have even static video features. We will be an Interactive TV shopping Network on an app, with 2 way buyer seller communication.

BNC: What kind of employment/self-employment generation are you looking at?

NC: Employment/Self Employment on our platform will come in huge number through users generating and uploading content, and getting paid for content that gets engagement. Additionally, creators will also have options to promote products sold on the app and earn revenue share on those sales.

We will also enable small stores to launch their in app stores, and connect them with potential buyers who would normally not be within the physical reach of their actual store. And get the regular 2 way interaction experience with buyers during making a sale.

BNC: Any plans to get into other aspects of apps such as gaming?

NC: Our upcoming app version also includes a game, and we do plan to bring in games into our app. However, the intent of our in app games will be to provide another level of entertainment to our users and an additional opportunity for them to earn in app currency.

Our app is the first Short Video App, where users get paid to watch, like, share, upload videos and this earnings can be used to shop in the app. The games will add another way users can earn in app currency and stay engaged with the app.

BNC: How do you propose to push it as a Desi app, other than saying Made-in-India app?

NC: As we bring in more sellers on the app, we will be helping small stores (who are all Indian!) to bring their inventory online and reach an audience they would have never reached. In the post COVID times, this will be a welcome addition to their source of income with lower store footfalls, and connect Indian sellers with Indian buyers. The platform is intended to help Indian sellers reach to a new buyer audience.

BNC: Some say Kiko sounds like a Chinese name! What is your response to it?

NC: Kiko is actually not a Chinese word at all. Kiko has meanings in 2 different languages, in Japanese, Kiko means "To be Happy" and in Spanish, Kiko means "An Enjoyable Salty Snack".

So you can think of us as a healthy tasty snack for the mind that makes you happy...which is NOT Chinese by the way.

 

Also Read: Instant Hit, Made-In-India KIKO TV App Raises Rs 2 Cr From HNIs

 

How we chose the name Kiko is also quite interesting. The entire team, along with our advisors came up with many names for the app. We collected names for a few days. The best 10 options were then put to public vote, all friends were asked to invite their friends from their groups as well to vote. Over 3,000 votes were taken from a cross section of people, who opted for their no.1, no.2 and no.3 choice.

The name Kiko won by a HUGE margin! It was also no.1 choice for the most number of voters. It’s a pleasant sounding word, it’s NOT Chinese, and the connotation when you mix its meaning in 2 languages, that is. "a healthy tasty snack or the mind that makes you happy" is really quite interesting!

BNC: How has the growth been so far?

NC: With very little effort, purely by word of mouth, we have crossed 100k users and we have already onboarded 20+ sellers. Our store annualized GMV has crossed Rs.3.5 crores, all this in just a little over a month! We expect to accelerate the growth going ahead.

BNC: If I ask you as a user why should I download the app, what will you tell me in 140 characters?

NC: Its KIKO! Its a Healthy Tasty Snack for your mind to make you happy! Plus you make money to enjoy app features, which you can use to shop on the app!

BNC: Pornography, cyber crimes are matters of great concern for parents today. How does Kiko plan to tackle this? Has Kiko or its clients come across any such invasions?

NC: Kiko AI is designed to detect pornography and other objectionable content. The AI learns and gets better with time. Additionally, our videos also have a flagging option, where a user can flag a video and it goes into manual review. Politically inflammatory content and porn are 2 major issues that we see getting flagged and blocked by our system everyday. People have easy access to such content on their phones and group messages and many do try to upload to "check" the quality checks of an app. However, our system has been able to detect all objectionable content 100% and we haven't had even a single breach till now.

BNC: One of your latest features being shopping while scrolling through the videos. Wouldn't it interfere with the fun of watching videos? How do you plan to tackle this challenge?

NC: The shopping videos is a different channel which doesnt interfere with the entertainment videos. So when you are ready to shop, you click on and switch to the shopping "channel" and then you start seeing shopping videos! Awesome isnt it!

BNC: How big is the mobile gaming industry? What does your latest gaming feature focus on, is this a possible strategy to beat competition?

NC: The mobile gaming industry is very huge, but as explained earlier, we do not intend to become a hardcore gaming app. Our in app games are only a way to give more engagement and entertainment to our users, while our primary source of revenue and our business as an app will remain Video and Live Shopping.

BNC: There are several kiko related things like cosmetics. Kiko Milano, for instance, Kiko Cosmetics Doesn’t this create confusion for Kiko TV?

NC: Kiko Milano is an Italian cosmetics brand. There is no other relevant brand called Kiko in the Indian market. Searching Kiko India only gives results of kiko Milano. They have only 8 franchisee stores in India. It’s interesting to note that Kiko TV already has over 20 stores in a month of launch.  Besides they are in a different domain, and hence we don’t see any possibility of confusion.

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