valuation pegged at $1 billion. It is backed by US venture capitalists Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.
World over, the app is currently available only for Apple ioS users. In India, it recorded over 8,000 downloads last month and triggered passionate debate amongst startup mavens torn between listening to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech or plugging into Musk’s
high-profile tete-a-tete with Vlad Tenev, the chief of trading powerhouse Robinhood Markets, on the saga of the meme stocks.
On Clubhouse tonight at 10pm LA time
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1612126570000
India has so far seen a total of 12,000 Clubhouse downloads, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower.
“’Let’s do a Clubhouse’ has become a phrase now, it means ‘let’s get together and talk’,” said Snapdeal’s co-founder and angel investor Kunal Bahl, who was recently a guest on a Clubhouse session. “It is a new space for knowledge and opinion consumption that has been created.”
And what’s more, it can be accessed only through an exclusive invite boosting the aspirational quotient of the digital salon, that is expected to offer Android accessibility soon.
I’m planning a Clubhouse room for Thursday where I’m going to try to make actual hiring happen. Planning to focus o… https://t.co/AY3UFEt15j
— Sidu Ponnappa (@ponnappa) 1611985008000
Bahl believes that Clubhouse’s live audio format offers an element of authenticity that will spawn a new generation of creators who will monetise their skill and knowledge about specific topics that others value.
Since its launch in March last year, Clubhouse has been downloaded 2.4 million times globally on Apple’s App Store. Nearly 1.3 million of those downloads came in January alone, US publication AdWeek reported on Jan. 26, quoting Sensor Tower data, underlining its status as one of the world’s most coveted virtual clubs.
In India, those interacting on the elite platform include fintech leaders like Cred’s Kunal Shah, Zerodha’s Nithin Kamath and RazorPay’s Harshil Mathur, edtech entrepreneurs Gaurav Munjal of Unacademy and Zishaan Hayath of Toppr as well as Farid Ehsan, co-founder of ShareChat.
I figured many people couldn’t join @elonmusk clubhouse room. So will share notes here:
— Kunal Shah (@kunalb11) 1612159334000
Clubhouse works by allowing people to join pop-up audio chat rooms that disappear when the discussions end. Once in the rooms, users are segmented by moderators. Users can join any chat room, see who is speaking or listening. They can also ask questions if permitted.
“I joined late last year to hear some interesting folks from the Valley. My experience has been good because the format allows a free-flowing discussion. It’s a running conference all the time,” said RazorPay’s co-founder Mathur. “Clubhouse allows people to be free and casual.”
Mathur has so far attended several discussions, including ones on electric vehicles, the US-India venture ecosystem, and the one by Musk recently. He isn’t the only one who believes that spontaneity of discussions among people and the authentic nature of conversations is what makes Clubhouse tick, especially as the pandemic curtails in-person meetings.
I’m discussing “How to start angel investing in 🇮🇳 India” with @pallavn. Tomorrow, 3 Feb at 11:00 AM IST on Clubhou… https://t.co/gRRQvVd1WQ
— Paras Chopra (@paraschopra) 1612268957000
“There is something about hearing people’s voices that makes them approachable and also familiar. There are a bunch of people I have been interacting with on Twitter for some time but I haven’t ever spoken to them or met them. But listening or talking to them over Clubhouse…it is much better engagement,” said Aamna Khan, co-founder of Binks, a tailoring platform for women. Khan has started a book club on Clubhouse.
The Indian Startup Club is among the biggest groups on the app in India with about 4,000 members. The group has organised several rooms where Indian founders come to talk about their entrepreneurial journey.
“People are allowed to be vulnerable in Clubhouse. You don’t have to worry when talking about controversial stuff,” said Kuldeep Dhankar, who is one of the admins of the Indian Startup Club. “Usually people hold back when talking but on Clubhouse you can be yoursel.”
Clubhouse in india is exploding with smart people doing great rooms. Here is one I am looking forward to. https://t.co/j0lWtWl9cF
— Kuldeep (@ku1deep) 1612189013000
Dhankar, who was formerly with payment app Clevertap, has invited several Indian entrepreneurs to talk about their story on Clubhouse, including Snapdeal’s Bahl, Kamath of Zerodha, Jupiter co-founder Jitendra Gupta, and Vineeta Singh, the co-founder of SUGAR Cosmetics.