The future is mobile for Female Daily Network

  • Acquires J-Tech to enhance mobile strategy, stay relevant and boost customer base
  • Aims to launch an e-commerce platform to complete its mobile offerings
The future is mobile for Female Daily Network

 

INDONESIA is home to 92 million Internet users, 45% of whom access the Net through smartphones. As the nation's largest online beauty community platform Female Daily Network (FDN) realised very quickly that it needed to focus on building its mobile customer base in order to maintain its position at the top.

“Almost 80% of Female Daily's traffic comes from mobile devices. It was enough to create a sense of urgency for the company to come up with a good mobile application,” FDN chief executive officer, Hanifa Ambadar, told Digital News Asia (DNA) in an email response to questions posed.

“Indonesia is definitely a mobile-first country that was very fast in terms of adopting social media. This helps companies like us to grow. Users are online anytime, and we can catch their attention throughout the day,” she continued.

In order to enhance their mobile strategy, stay relevant and gain new customers as well as members, FDN recently acquired mobile development company J-Technologies (J-Tech).

J-Tech began as a US-based mobile application startup. In 2015 its entire in-house development team moved to Indonesia to reduce costs, while keeping its user interface and experience (UI/UX) design team in the US.

FDN paid an undisclosed amount to acquire J-Tech whose CEO Han Kao will join FDN as its chief product officer.

"I am delighted to join Hanifa and her passionate team and extremely excited to build innovative products that will enrich the lives of such a strong and captivated audience as Female Daily’s," Han said in an official statement.

Hanifa had quickly realised that designing a decent mobile application was not easy as you have to put everything you want users to see in one tiny page. It must be enough to make visitors want to stay for the amount of time needed to become familiar with FDN's offerings.

“We have grown so much over the past few years with very minimal technology deployed and just a tiny tech team. It has helped us reach where we are now, but in order to scale the business, we need good technology and a dedicated tech team,” she admitted.

“And we are also done with outsourcing our tech projects, as it costs us time and energy. It also does not feel safe to share more about what we want to achieve. An acquisition was the perfect answer,” she added.

Hanifa feels that the technology and tech team will determine FDN’s future and with J-Tech on board, she believes FDN will have enough ammunition to win over the online beauty community market in Indonesia.

Mobile app and e-commerce
FDN began as a female-focused online blog in 2005. In 2014 the company secured US$1 million (RM4.11 million) series A investment led by Ideosource, followed by Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV), and Convergence Ventures.

In, 2014 Hanifa was chosen as an Endeavor Entrepreneur and participated in its International Selection Panel. The experience resulted in FDN’s shift in its business approach to focus on one vertical. The company chose to devote itself to beauty.

“One of the things I learned during my entrepreneurship journey is the importance of focus. It is better to focus on one vertical and claim the throne. We are not there yet, but until we get there, beauty will be FDN’s main focus,” she said.

The platform offers articles, product reviews, as well as a community forum for members to exchange information and experiences on beauty topics. It has over eight million page views and two million unique users per month, with 450 new registered members per day.

FDN is planning to launch its basic mobile application next month, and will slowly add more features until the mobile app is enhanced enough to have its own e-commerce features next year.

“The beauty market has huge potential, and this is the market that we want to win. With e-commerce, we will complete the circle,” Hanifa added.

Research firm Euromonitor International predicts that Indonesia will enter the top 10 global skin-care markets in the next four years. It will also see a 10% to 15% average annual market growth rate.

“The big picture is how to stay relevant in Indonesian's women's eyes. How can we be a part of their everyday livesand provide them with a one-stop solution for their beauty needs through technology,” she explained.

Hanifa said that every effort is now being made to scale up by growing the community, securing Series B investment before the end of the year and improving the UI/UX of the mobile app.
 
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