Wasabee, the friendly bee logo and a play on words, its the new social app that wants to take on the WhatsApp style communications market, and try something a little different. In the past few generations of social apps, IM and voice have been central to making apps like WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat take over app stores in countries around the world. SMS on the other hand has been left out of the new social messaging trend, with more social app developers using it as a method to verify user phone numbers but not part of the main offering of their app.
Wasabee is trying to changing that. As well as IM and voice, Wasabee is also using SMS to offer a new way for its 2 million+ users to call and text for free. Powered by in-app ads, users can earn credits to be used to make app to phone calls and SMS messages across the world via their Android app.
I caught up with Panos Papadopoulos, Founder and CEO of Wasabee, to see how their app is using SMS in a new way, and growing rapidly!
“Our team started building Wasabee in early 2015, and launched the first version in mid-May” Pannos told me. At first, his team of 5 based out of Poland wanted to offer free SMS messages, with the added feature of phone calls and mobile top-up. Wasabee came in response to the acquisition and rapid growth of the messaging app WhatsApp, which got Pannos’ team thinking about how to build the next social messaging app.
In less than 1 month, Wasabee has over 2 million users across the world, with strong user bases in Southeast Asia, Brazil, India, and Turkey. On the Google Play store, Wasabee has a great score of 3.8 with some 19,000 reviews of the app.
Wasabee has been using Sinch to power their app to phone VoIP calls, and flash call verification to verify their user base. “Our team built the messaging app and then added Sinch in the first version, and we aim to be a one stop communication app”.
“Sinch is a convenient, global, competitive offering with great and reliable quality – better than a landline”
I asked Pannos if he needed any help from the Sinch team. “No. It was all pretty straightforward and the hardest part was to integrate all our moving parts into one app: SMS + Voice + Topup + IM!”
In the coming months, Wasabee plan to focus on growth of their app, build an iOS version and expand in their popular markets. “Android is more user friendly for these types of application and has better penetration and a bigger market opportunity for these types of apps in the countries we are targeting”.
We can’t wait to see how Wasabee grows, and you can learn more about Wasabee and download the app from their website.
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