Going to be listed in Hong Kong, can Soul, which focuses on social media in the Metaverse, avoid the “mistakes” of its predecessors?

One of the reasons why it is difficult to make a social product for strangers is that it is difficult to create a popular product, and the other is that even if you are successful now, it does not mean how long your life will be. Momo is the most typical case.

Many entrepreneurs, even giants and small giants, want to make a difference in the social field, because the economic value and imagination that WeChat and other products can create are too tempting, but few people succeed. Even Zhiwen Group, which once created the ace product in the social field for strangers, Momo, after successively launching more than 10 related products in the social field, such as Kankan, It’s him, Duoyan, etc., has not been able to create a new product for Momo. Strange brilliance.

However, a female entrepreneur with no work or investment experience in the social field succeeded.In the social track where countless entrepreneurs have failed, Soul stood out and submitted a prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Once Soul is successfully listed, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will usher in the first share of the social Metaverse.

Soul is a social app for strangers that matches interests such as pictures and music. Qichacha shows that Soul is affiliated to Shanghai Anymen Technology Co., Ltd. The company was established in June 2015. Its founder, Zhang Lu, graduated from Sun Yat-Sen University. He was a Nielsen data analyst and the CEO of Innext (a management consulting company) in China.

At present, Soul has completed six rounds of financing, and the investor lineup behind it is very luxurious, not only resource-rich giants such as Tencent, but also innovative technology companies such as Mihayou.

Going to be listed in Hong Kong, can Soul, which focuses on social media in the Metaverse, avoid the "mistakes" of its predecessors?

The selection of Soul by investment institutions is inseparable from Soul’s achievements. Public information shows that in 2020, the average daily active number and average monthly active number of Soul are 5.9 million and 20.8 million respectively, with a year-on-year growth rate of 78.8% and 80.9%. In 2021, the average number of daily active users of Soul will become 9.3 million, and the average monthly The number of active users became 31.6 million. Among them, female users account for 70%, and the user group is mostly “Z” generation users.

Capturing female users is equivalent to capturing male users, and capturing Gen Z users is equivalent to capturing the future. After the concept of the Metaverse exploded, Soul took the Metaverse train again. of value.

01 A chance

Without long-term preparation and research, the birth of Soul only came from Zhang Lu’s accidental idea.

Zhang Lu is a person who often has innovative ideas. When she was in her last job, she found that she sometimes wanted to say something, but since she was full of acquaintances on WeChat, she could not send it, and then she sent it to QQ Space, set to be visible only by itself. At that moment, she felt as if there was no such product that could allow users to express their true words at any time and express them without pressure.

So she decided to create this tree hole to reduce people’s loneliness.

When people encounter what they really want to do, they can often put it into practice quickly. As soon as he said it, Zhang Lu started to build the Soul product part-time. Due to insufficient funds, at the beginning, the Soul team consisted of only Zhang Lu for a long time.

She drew a prototype by herself, then found a part-time job to make a set of UI, and then went tooutsourcing company to do a demo. Since she was not from the Internet, Zhang Lu was not clear about many concepts including front-end and back-end, so she could only rely on Google , Baidu. But this did not affect Zhang Lu’s determination to create Soul.

It’s just that the products made by the outsourcing company can’t be used at all, and even the information can’t be sent out. There are always opportunities in crisis. Zhang Lu was pleasantly surprised to find that the information could not be sent, and users would rather take screenshots and send pictures than transfer them to WeChat. “Everyone really needs this product.”

At the beginning of 2016, Zhang Lu decided to All in this project.

Zhang Lu is a very empathetic person. When setting up the team, Zhang Lu was afraid that she would not be able to do it herself and delay the future of her employees, so she did not dare to hire experienced people. The first designer of Soul was only 18 years old. The disadvantage of the team’s inexperience is that the project progress is very slow. The team worked for 10 months before making the first version. Until 2017, Soul’s server often crashed.

But it is precisely because the team is young and inexperienced that the thinking is not easily limited by the accumulation of the past. Soul hit the “heart” of young people from the very beginning. On Soul, users use virtual avatars to communicate and share with everyone. Everyone forms small circles because of their interests, and all words are only spoken to those who understand.

Zhang Lu believes that only products with a high proportion of young people will continue to grow, and interest must be a good direction.

Going to be listed in Hong Kong, can Soul, which focuses on social media in the Metaverse, avoid the "mistakes" of its predecessors?

Zhang Lu’s judgment is not wrong. Soul ushered in explosive growth. In the 2019 iOS market Chinese dating app download rankings, Soul ranked fourth and fifth in revenue. By March 2021, Soul’s daily active users will reach 9.1 million, and post-90s users will account for 73.9%.

Soul’s popularity has led to a new profession – face pinching division. The news of Soul’s face pinching division’s monthly income of 45,000 was on Weibo’s hot search.

Going to be listed in Hong Kong, can Soul, which focuses on social media in the Metaverse, avoid the "mistakes" of its predecessors?

In June 2021, Soul will launch the “Personality Mall” section, where face pinch artists can create their own avatars and sell them on the platform. To become Soul’s face pinch master, the most convenient way is to become a high-quality face pinch master on the platform. As of November 2021, Soul has invited a total of 80 on-site face pinch masters to settle in the Personality Mall.

As for why the Personality Mall was launched, Che Bin, the product manager of Soul, explained, “The launch of the Personality Mall is a part of the co-creation system, which is not only an attempt by the platform and users to build a ‘social Metaverse’ ecology, but also satisfies the Gen Z needs.”

In order to continue to develop the concept of the Metaverse, in June 2021, Soul’s parent company Shanghai Yimen Technology Co., Ltd. applied for a trademark related to “Youth’s Social Metaverse”.The company’s Slogan has also changed from “follow your soul to find you” to “a social Metaverse for young people”.

If a product only has a huge user group, but cannot or is difficult to realize, its investment value will be greatly reduced. At present, Soul’s profit method is mainly value-added services, including virtual gifts and membership subscription revenue. In addition, advertising revenue is also an important source of income for Soul.

Soul’s external caliber is that the commercialization of Soul SSR has already started, and in multiple SSR vertical categories such as clothing, beauty, food, and life, it has accumulated a large number of cooperation cases including L’Oreal, vitality forest and other brands, and opened up the content. , scenarios, traffic, and a closed loop of monetization, and will create a diverse and rich commercial ecosystem in the future to achieve win-win or multi-win.

Soul’s revenue in 2021 will be 1.28 billion yuan, with a gross profit margin of 85%.

In order to maintain rapid growth, Soul does not seem to be stingy with its marketing expenses. In 2020, Soul spent 602 million yuan in advertising, a year-on-year increase of 206.2%; in Q1 2021, Soul spent 450 million yuan in advertising expenses, a year-on-year increase An increase of 777.6%.

Today, Soul has extended its business line to the film and television industry. On June 24 this year, the public welfare film “Sweet Potato Flavored Ice Cream” invested by Soul and Zhang Lu as the producer and producer was released nationwide. The film tells the story of Biubiu, a Taiwanese boy from a modern city, who was sent to his grandmother’s house in the rural areas of the Mainland due to family changes. When he first arrived in an unfamiliar environment, he was faced with the rejection of “wild children”. Biubiu felt conflicted, unfamiliar, and helpless in his heart. Full of curiosity and a desire to be recognized, biubiu finally chose a story to face bravely.

According to Wang Chong, director of “Sweet Potato Flavored Ice Cream”, the commonality between the film and the Soul App is “cleanness and healing”, “If the woods in the film contain children’s good memories, then Soul platform contains hidden treasures. Thousands of great friends are sincere and colorful little beauties.”

02 Intense competitive environment

Although Soul has performed well in terms of user data and revenue, the competitive environment it faces still does not give it a chance to breathe.

Although the old competitors Momo and Tantan are already in a state of “gone tomorrow”, from the third quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2021, the number of paid users of Tantan has dropped from 4.1 million to 2.5 million. Nonetheless, the size of Momo and Tantan still deserves Soul’s attention.

Zhiwen Group’s financial report shows that in terms of user data, Zhiwen Group’s MAU reached 114.1 million in December 2021, compared with 113.8 million in the same period last year. At the same time, the total number of paying users of its live broadcast services and value-added services in the quarter reached 11.4 million (excluding repeat users), including 2.5 million paying users of Tantan APP.

In terms of revenue, the net revenue attributable to Zhiwen Group for the whole year of 2021 is 14.5757 billion yuan (about 2.2872 billion US dollars), and the annual net profit not measured in accordance with the US GAAP is 2.0371 billion yuan (about 319.7 million US dollars).

Old-fashioned competitors still have strength, and new players usher in explosive growth.

According to media reports, DST Global, an institution that invested in Soul, will lead another social product, BeReal. Soul is a paradise for users to dare to express their true self, while BeReal encourages users to be their true self. On BeReal, users can only take photos at random times and upload them within two minutes. To ensure photo authenticity, users must turn on both the front and rear cameras when taking pictures.

How popular is BeReal? Data shows that in the first quarter of 2022, BeReal ranked in the top ten in the AppStore in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and other regions, and the cumulative downloads have exceeded 10 million.

Similar to Soul, BeReal’s user base is also dominated by young users, with 80% of users between the ages of 16 and 24.

Going to be listed in Hong Kong, can Soul, which focuses on social media in the Metaverse, avoid the "mistakes" of its predecessors?

Recently, NetEase Cloud Music also launched a social app, MUS (Music with US), whose Slogan is “Music connects you and me”.

If BeReal and MUS cannot compete directly with Soul, they can be ignored for the time being. Then PoliQ definitely deserves Soul’s attention. PoliQ is a startup company focusing on two-dimensional virtual social networking. It launched a virtual social product “Vyou” at the end of 2020.

A few days ago, ByteDance just completed the acquisition of PoliQ. It is reported that more than 50 team members, including founder Ma Jiesi, have been integrated into the ByteDance Pico social center. The threat of PoliQ to Soul lies in the fact that its founders are experienced in the VR field. He has served as the head of VR industry applications and the senior director of VR and AR in HTC and Xiaomi respectively. The two may face each other in the social field of the Metaverse.

One of the reasons why it is difficult to make a social product for strangers is that it is difficult to create a popular product, and the other is that even if you are successful now, it does not mean how long your life will be. Momo is the most typical case. Therefore, our evaluation of Soul can only be that, with the concept of the Metaverse, Soul is a project with great commercial value in the short term, but in the long run, the future is unpredictable and the situation is unknown.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/going-to-be-listed-in-hong-kong-can-soul-which-focuses-on-social-media-in-the-metaverse-avoid-the-mistakes-of-its-predecessors/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

Like (0)
Donate Buy me a coffee Buy me a coffee
Previous 2022-07-07 11:43
Next 2022-07-07 11:45

Related articles