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Freemium Summit East: Leveraging Other Platforms to Build a Freemium Business

Manymoon co-founder and CEO Amit Kulkarni used his presentation at Freemium Summit East in New York Monday, “Leveraging Other Platforms to Build a Freemium Business,” to discuss how his company was able to leverage relationships with Google Apps and LinkedIn.

Kulkarni described Manymoon as a “social-productivity tool — I know that sounds like an oxymoron to a lot of people,” adding that it brings a social element to tasks, projects, and work flows, and helps users organize information. He added that some 30,000 businesses have signed up for Manymoon.

On leveraging other platforms in general, Kulkarni said, “Platform users are starving for added-value applications. Platform users are already accustomed to the self-service model. They find us. It cuts out a lot of resources. They are also used to providing support on their own.”

On Google Apps, Manymoon saw its opportunity to target “a qualified audience of decision-makers,” totaling more than 30 million users, who “already had the cloud conversation with someone,” adding that this usually led to direct relationships with customers, who enabled Manymoon for the entire company. “Customers like to pay for quality products,” Kulkarni said.

He added that major advantages of working with Google Apps include its open application-program interfaces, its “great documentation and support,” its straightforward listing process, and the existing demand for value-added apps.

Manymoon sought to connect with as many Google Apps as possible, integrating with OpenID and ensuring compatibility with Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Contacts, and Google Sites. “However you want to use Google, we want Manymoon to be there, as well,” he added.

The company has seen more than 1,000 new business signups per week, with a large percentage upgrading to premium editions, and Kulkarni said Google Apps customers are converting at a 30 percent higher rate.

As for professional network LinkedIn, Manymoon found a lot of overlap with Google Apps, but it also found LinkedIn to be a lot more end-user-driven. The company targeted recruiters and job-seekers. “People really use their LinkedIn profile as their public avatar online,” Kulkarni said, adding that the Manymoon app appears as a Projects and Teamspaces feature within LinkedIn and displays how many projects users are working on without revealing any confidential details.

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