The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sense of fear and anxiety among people, where they are worried not just about their health, but also relationships, jobs, and career. In such trying times, one may seek for reassurance that their future will be bright by someone who is looking into their star signs or ‘kundli’.
These insecurities and anxieties have driven the demand for AstroTalk, a New Delhi-based astrology startup, which is now generating around Rs 30 lakh in revenue per day compared to Rs 14 lakh revenue during May, 2020.
“Whenever customers are feeling sad, depressed, or anxious, they come to our website or app and speak to an astrologer. Following this, they come out feeling much better and comforted from the prediction that things would be better in the future,” says Puneet Gupta, Founder & CEO, AstroTalk.
Founded in 2017, the startup is also witnessing a change in the type of queries from customers. Prior to Covid-19, the overwhelming priority among its customers was around relationships, marriage, etc., but now the focus has shifted to career and jobs.
The pandemic has created all types of insecurities on the jobs front, with many companies downsizing their employee base. Further, the work from home scenario has kept many people worried about their career growth.
“Around 35 percent of our queries has now shifted to jobs or career. This is only increasing,” says Puneet.
Growth during the pandemic
The startup not just gives predictions to people about their future, but in trying times like these, it has become like a therapeutic centre.
Puneet says their internal survey with customers revealed that a vast majority of them come to their site when they are feeling low and go back relaxed after speaking to an astrologer. “They need an assurance that their future is secure,” he says.
The team at AstroTalk
AstroTalk keeps the identity of its users safe, and they can get on a call or request for a report from the startup, which is a big comforting factor as many of them generally do not like to be seen near a astrology centre.
In fact, Puneet says that one of the celebrities visits their website whenever things are not going well for her, and goes back feeling positive as the astrologer would have given optimistic picture based on her star signs or kundli.
A majority of AstroTalk users are in the age group of 21-34. Now, it is witnessing around 65 percent of its users being women.
Given the current demand for AstroTalk with daily active users (DAU) of 50,000 and monthly active users (MAU) of more than five lakh, the startup has rolled out several initiatives to meet the growth requirements.
“We scaled very fast since May last year and our current focus is on hiring the management layer to improve our customer retention,” says Puneet.
AstroTalk is now looking to create a leadership team, which can handle the growth initiatives of the startup. Puneet feels its business has scaled fast, but they have not put enough effort on the engagement part.
“We have been very transactional till now. So we need to create initiatives, which will improve our customer retention,” says Puneet.
Towards this end, it is looking at several initiatives around its content, which may be in live format, free reports, daily horoscope, etc.
AstroTalk is also moving towards a freemium model, where it will provide certain services for free.
“Covid has increased the engagement on our site and people are looking for quality content. If we can produce such content, then consumers will spend more time with us,” says Puneet.
Besides, it is also working on further improving the quality of astrologers where it has leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to measure their performance based on various parameters and customer feedback. It has got around 1,500 astrologers on its platform at present.
According to Puneet, based on the performance parameter, it has managed to increase customer retention where the users are spending more time on their app.
“Our growth has been consistently good and we should be a Rs 150 crore by end of this financial year,” says Puneet.