Smsblocker hits 500K downloads on Android, less than 2% paid; Adds call blocker

16 Nov, 2012

Spam SMS blocking app Smsblocker, developed by Pune-based startup Optinno Mobitech Pvt Ltd, recently crossed a milestone of half a million downloads on Google Play or the Android marketplace and has introduced a new feature for blocking unwanted calls last month.

Smsblocker blocks spam SMS on the basis of filters like keywords, sender name or mobile number. All the SMSes blocked are stored in a log in the app. Last month, it also added a call blocker feature, which enables blocking of up to five phone numbers from pesky callers. An updated version is also round the corner.

The app has both a free ad-supported basic version and a premium paid version. There is 15-day trial version that gives the user all the premium features of the app and after the expiration of 15-day period if the user doesn't upgrade the basic features keep running. The premium version costs Rs 199 ($4.50) and comes free of any ads. The paid version was launched 10 months back, whereas the free app went live early 2011.

Sagar Bedmutha, CEO, Optinno Mobitech Pvt. Ltd, told that out of the half million downloads (on Android) 5,000-10,000 are paid users.

He said 90 percent of the total user base is from outside India. "We are not really focused on the Indian market as such. It's a global app and the Indian market in terms of Android adoption is itself around 5 per cent of the worldwide market so according to that our figures are suitable," Bedmutha said.

He added that out of the paid users, around 12 percent are from India.

The startup's future plans include localisation of the app. It is trying to make the app relevant to the area since every country's spam patterns and guidelines differ, the app needs to be customised.

"Tie-ups with mobile operators and localisation are on the cards right now. Every country has its own language and spamming pattern and regulation so it makes sense for us," according to Bedmutha.

The company is cash-positive operationally and looking for funds now. Stating that market is interesting for mobile application companies which are doing well, Bedmutha said they have already refused some offers for investments and acquisitions.

Earlier, talking to Techcircle on TRAI's DND (do-not-disturb) norms, Bedmutha had pointed out the flaws in the regulation and stated that there is space for players like Smsblockers despite regulatory efforts to spot spam SMes.

He said: "The fact that TRAI regulation comes every six months or every year says a lot about it. The users want control in their hands and Smsblocker gives them that."

Early this month, TRAI asked telecom operators to take additional measures to control SMS spams on their networks for the subscribers.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)