“It has been a while and what a while it has been.”
Holidify completed its first year since launch and it has surpassed our expectations by all measures. What started just as a cool idea, turned into a full-fledged startup with more than a Million Visitors within one year since launch. It was a thrilling year for us to say the least. This post is not about our achievements, but the moments which delighted and also surprised us.
1. The one when we launched and the BUZZzzzz we created:
Most of the startups launch and get very mild response initially and then slowly catchup with rest of the world. But in our case, it wasn’t same. We launched on 7th January 2014 and within a day, there were more than a 100 shares and around 5,000 unique visitors to our portal.
2. The one when we were in Top 10 Delhi-NCR Startups of 2014
We got covered by Yourstory.com, even before the launch. Within a few months, we got covered by NextbigWhat, Gulf News (biggest news agency in Middle-East), and more than 50 other media channels. We were cited by some of them as “One of the 17 startups to watchout in 2014“, “The ultimate resource for travel in India“, “Top 10 startups in Delhi-NCR which bloomed in 2014” and “Top 20 Delhi startups which are hiring now”. The best part… we did not have to go hunting after the media guys for a single post. Thank you for the faith and support :)
3. The one when we worked with the interns and got surprised
Being a bootstrapped startup, we could only afford to have interns (mostly students) for a LOT of work. It was a big gamble, but boy, did it pay off? They met or even exceeded all our expectations. Most of them are still in touch and contribute in whatever way they can.
4. The one when a blog post suddenly went viral
Kovid called me to tell me that traffic has gone haywire and the site might crash. My first reaction, was “What Happened? – It was all fine till yesterday”. He replied that a blog post called “17 places to chill in India“ received 20,000 hits in just 4 hours on its own. That post ended up having around 4 Lakh visits in in November.
5. The one when we came on TV and felt Supercool B-)
We have grown up watching TV and this box was always a mystery to us when we were kids. When NDTV approached us for covering holidfy, we were again pleasantly surprised and it was kind of a dream coming true. Here’s the link
6. The one when holidify was part of a Question Paper in one of the premium colleges in Mumbai
The picture says it all
7. The one when we shifted from Noida to New Delhi
From a small room in Noida to a big flat in Vasant Kunj, South Delhi was a big move for us. We created an office-space with proper furnitures and office environment along with Jeevomics, another startup by friends.
8. The one when we made our first revenue
We didn’t make millions in our first year of operations, but we did get started with it.
9. The one when we grew 100X in 12 months without any paid marketing tools
Just before we launched, we were doing around 1,000 users a month, however by the end of 2014, we were catering to an average of 100,000 users per month. This was done in a boot-strapped way without any marketing budget or full time marketing head.
10. The one when we revamped our website and added another 300 offbeat destinations
We wanted to become the main source of information for offbeat destinations in India and aggregating content sounded very difficult initially. But we pulled it off eventually by adding lots of offbeat destinations and will be adding more very soon.
11. The one when we grew from 1 full time member to 3 full-time members
Quitting his full-time job was big decision for Kovid and he could only come full time by September. Kislay, one of my close friends from IIT days quit his job at JPMC and moved from Mumbai to Delhi to join Holidify.