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Club Factory, an ecommerce app exploding in India

Source: Sensor Tower

The Signal: Speaking of apps, the app intelligence firm Sensor Tower recently released its Q4 2019 industry overview, which is full of interesting takeaways.

One stat worth highlighting is the absolute dominance of Google Play Store app downloads by India.

For Q4 2019, India saw ~4.8B Google Play app downloads. This figure nearly matched the combined Google Play downloads for the next 4 highest-ranked countries, (Brazil, US, Indonesia, and Russia), which had ~5.6B downloads.

There are a few noteworthy things to say about India’s impressive app download figures:

  • The figure was static YoY (e.g., zero growth from 2018)
  • Google Play Stores make 10x less per device than the iPhone App Store 
  • India has been flooded with low-end Android devices on the back of a massive $50B subsidy from telecom Reliance Jio. Launched by India’s richest man (Mukesh Ambani), Jio provided free calls and cheap data plans in an effort to become India’s largest telecom player (which it has). Future Google Play Store growth in India may slow due to fewer new customers and/or rising prices. 

Even with these caveats, the India Google Play Store download numbers are jarring. The popularity of one app in particular has been rising quickly: Club Factory

Based in Hangzhou, China, Club Factory is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle ecommerce store with 70m users.

The app has taken off in India in part due to the fact that the company takes zero commission from ecommerce sellers.

On the strength of the India market, Club Factory jumped from the 20th most downloaded Google Play Store app in Q3 2019 to the 8th most downloaded Google Play Store app in Q4 2019.

The Opportunity: Here are some potential opportunities with Club Factory and the India app ecosystem: 1) sell products on Club Factory; 2) partner with manufacturers to help offload excess inventory on Club Factory; 3) keep an eye on top India app rankings to jump on future opportunities in entertainment, gaming or shopping.

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