Website – Zlen
Founder – Snehal Gersappa
Co-Founder – Ashwin Datye
In today’s world, social media has reached new heights. From millennials to aged people, no one can think of spending time without their beloved cell phone and social media. This excessive love for social media comes with various incredible blessings and new undaunted challenges.
Let’s face it – as users, we cannot control the social etiquette of people. The reality is that most people don’t even have it. At this juncture, two brilliant minds recognized this glaring social media problem and took on the responsibility of solving it.
The behavioral pattern of social media apps
Snehal Gersappa and Ashwin Datye started their extensive research to find out how social media apps behave. They realized that most of the problems today were related to online privacy and the invasive nature of social media. This is how Zlen came to light. But the challenges didn’t end here as the biggest challenge was executing this incredible idea.
They gradually started building a whole team under their joint leadership and dedicated their days and nights to make this impossible project a reality. Finally, in August 2021, they launched this user-friendly app called Zlen.
How does Zlen work?
With Zlen, users can decide how many people they really want to be in touch with daily, that too without any impediments and obligations.
You must agree that today, almost everybody with a functioning mobile phone has an account on social media. Everyone is on social media, especially in our social circles, from your boss to the delivery person. And in the current scenario, more often than not, these people end up unnecessarily interfering in your private life. For example, think about those annoying bosses who ping you with work whenever they find you online or that annoying relative who pings you with a “Hi” whenever you post your achievements or photos from a night out.
Now the question is how to stop it! It is at this moment, Zlen comes to your rescue. Zlen gives you the freedom to get in touch with people on your own terms. Through this fantastic app, you can now enjoy a social media experience by having the power to control the number of people getting in touch with you.
Forget detective ads
Let’s understand this within an example. Let’s say you have been looking for shoes online for a while. After some time, you will find various shoe advertisement companies on your social media while scrolling your news feed.
How does this happen? Well, we all know that this is how artificial intelligence works.
The most annoying part is when you are speaking to someone or checking an interesting post, and the ad pops up in between. We are all mostly aware of this ad tracking, but it would be nice for once not to be disturbed by it. If you are hunting for an ad-free environment, you have to make Zlen your best companion.
Get your ZlenCode
It’s pretty straightforward. When you download the app, you get a unique alphanumeric profile code known as ZlenCode that is exclusively assigned to you. If anyone wants to send you a connection request to enter your private social circle online, they must know your code!
You will also have a QR code, which your closest friends can scan to connect with you, for those with lazy friends out there!
In short, if you are looking for trouble-free social media access, install Zlen now!
Exclusive Interview with Snehal Gersappa
What made you strike this business idea? What inspired you to start this company?
Snehal – A big problem that I noticed and experienced was the blurring lines on social media between personal and professional life. Every possible person could have access to you through either a messaging app or a social media app. Even when you want to have some downtime and relax, it is always in the back of your head whether someone from work will catch you online. Or if you post something, then what XYZ from work or a family member might think about it. There was no segregation of social circles, which would ideally make life much easier and stress-free.
When did you start your business?
Snehal – January 2020
What does success mean to your company?
Snehal – When there will be a safe & secure private space for users which will help segregate their personal and professional lives, enable them to enjoy the best aspects of social media, and share their feelings without the worry of being trolled or targeted by strangers online, we will consider Zlen as a success!
How are you performing currently?
Snehal – Officially we launched Zlen in the month of September 2021 and within 20 days we have managed to get more than 4000 downloads.
What is the biggest risk to your company?
Snehal – To catch up with the regular feature up-gradation by current players and create a niche for Zlen through leading innovation since we do not want to club as a replacement, which we are not.
What are your plans for the funding?
Snehal – I have infused the initial capital till the app reached the product viability stage. We have successfully achieved pre-series funding from an investor. Others are approaching us as they have seen enormous potential in the app, and we are currently in discussion on how to take it forward. We are being approached by various investors currently and are in negotiations with them to acquire more funds to scale up operations.
What is the biggest challenge you faced during your start-up setup?
Snehal – Since our project is very complex, finding perfect resources to execute was the biggest challenge we faced at the start. Fortunately, we have managed to have a great core team that has made it possible to get Zlen online!
What does growth mean to you and your business?
- Number of active users
- Benchmark for privacy and creating your private inner circle
- A place where people associate with being away from crowd to be at peace
- Winning users trust and making them feeling part of an exclusive community
- When Zlen will be synonymous being with your most trusted people – like if you are connected on Zlen – you are amongst the inner circle – To share exclusive and rich experiences across all aspects of life – which would be the Zlen Experience
How does your product stand different from others in the market?
Snehal – Zlen is more about keeping your space private. Unlike other social media platforms, no one can search for you on Zlen by using just your name, phone number, or email address. A person needs to know your unique Zlen Code to connect with you. Zlen is not here to replace any existing social media. However, we are here to help create a space for people where they don’t have to worry about strangers on the internet but at the same time get to enjoy the experience of socializing with those, they trust the most.
There is always a sense of obligation on social media; even if you have a private account, people will know that you use the particular app. More often than not, this will put you in a catch 22 situation if someone you know but don’t really want to connect with approaches you.
Where are your start-up services spread?
Snehal – We are a product development company which is into developing exclusively one app ‘Zlen’.
What does it feel like to be the founder of your start-up? How does it feel to get up every morning and getting on to work?
Snehal – I have always been a dreamer, someone with the future in mind but feet firmly planted on the ground. Zlen is born to not only address the needs of society but also make a positive impact in the current social scenario.
And after 17 years of work experience across marketing & business development, getting up every morning to work for my own venture gives me great motivation. Since the start of Zlen, I approach each day like my first day, with the determination to give it my best shot and to learn new things along this beautiful journey.
Where do you see your business standing in the next 5 years?
Snehal – We have made our company vision clear right up to the lowest level of our organization. In the next five years, we see ourselves as an exclusive brand where users are proud of their private Zlen circle & proud of being part of the Zlen Community. At the same time, we want to create an aspirational value for those who are not part of the Zlen Community.
Zlen will create a niche amongst available messengers & social media since it is an amalgamation of both and be a way of life rather than just an application..
Who supports you to stand this business and how?
Snehal – As they say talent wins matches… but teamwork wins championships. Ashwin Datye my co-founder has led the charge and placed us where we are in terms of tech development. With his years of experience in technology, he has put in his hard work into developing the product. My team has been the strength that drives the company and for the last 15 months have worked tirelessly day & night to make our dream come true.
To support my decision to start this venture my family has been behind me since the start which has given me the motivation to make Zlen a success. I would also like to thank & acknowledge our pre-seed investors who have shown faith in us and have backed us at critical times with funds to keep us going and achieving our goals.