If you are an avid reader, you would find yourself reading online very often. Kaffae is an extension that helps you keep track of your online readings and gives you a report every morning. It is a great way to engage more productively with what you read and will enhance your long term memory. Venture Mirror in conversation with Masatoshi Nishimura, Founder of Kaffae, learns more about this extension and how it can help you manage your online readings!
What is the startup/product about? Give us a brief description of it.
Kaffae is an extension that helps you remember more from articles you read. It tracks your online reading automatically and gives you a daily report popup every morning. You will have a chance of micro reflection that is known to enhance your long term memory. You can also see the reading visualization, adjust your reading behaviour, and find references when needed.
Inside the platform, it offers a community where users can exchange their reading list easily and share their comments on what they’ve learned every day.
How many co-founders are there? Please introduce them and their backgrounds.
Masatoshi Nishimura, Founder of Kaffae
How did you come up with the idea? What motivated you to do this?
I’ve been an active user on Goodreads for years. It all started as a place to collect the references to all the books I’ve read. Then I started noticing the power of writing a review to help me memorize the content of the books. After all that, I noticed keeping up with your friends’ reading list is really encouraging towards lifelong learning.
As I went through that journey, it became clear to me that I was missing a large chunk of my online reading. So I started making something similar for my online reading – a place where you can easily visualize and remember your reading as well as a place to update your friends with your reading.
What is your target market? Why do you think your product will appeal to?
The target market broadly defined is those in early 20s who take their online reading seriously.
Surprisingly to my initial assumption, there is a stronger user pull from the international audience. Strange enough, many of the customer support requests come specifically in Spanish. I speculate they are viewing online reading as a place to practice English. I’d like to start pushing the product and marketing effort towards that direction to reach those global audience.
What are the marketing plans apart from the product hunt/beta list launch? How are you planning to acquire new users?
On the platform, you can share the entire daily reading list with your friends. That link building will help with SEO and word of mouth can happen organically. Another approach I’m planning is to integrate with other bookmark managers. Kaffae can be a complementary tool that save automatically to their existing accounts.
Do you have a separate dedicated team to take care of marketing (digital marketing/traditional marketing)? Which digital platforms are you focusing more on?
Not at the moment. There are only basic social network like Facebook and Twitter where I announce the new features.
What according to you is the biggest challenge that you faced? Is it product development or marketing or scaling or … ?
The biggest challenge is definitely marketing. Coming with engineering background, the product development was straightforward. Only once the prototype had been built, I started going out into the market to collect feedback. What I knew little of was marketing involved way more than just announcing their product on the forum. Many of the professionals have their own campaign strategy that goes by days or weeks in advance to plan for feature announcement, collect email listings, etc.
Who are your competitors/alternatives? What sets you apart from them?
Many people associate Kaffae with Pocket. Pocket is an easy to save link manager that syncs across devices. Unlike Pocket, Kaffae builds your reading list automatically without the need to click save. That was ideal to me as I wanted to collect every reading that happens. It saves your time spent as well on each article.
What are the future plans with the product/startup? Any new features you are planning on?
I’m investing heavily to pick up on the latest AI/NLP trend. There must be a new opportunity users would appreciate. One of the areas I’m particularly looking into is an automatic summarization of what you have read so you can quickly go back and review your activity.
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