SuperLemon is a WhatsApp plugin for Shopify Stores that helps send automated & manual abandoned cart recovery, order and delivery notifications to users and also being a WhatApp CRM.
SuperLmon was founded in India by engineer duo Preetam Nath and Sankalp Jonna. After graduating from college, both founders joined the same startup Goodbox which is where they met for the first time. Armed with a host of lessons on entrepreneurship, Preetam finally left his job at Goodbox to start his business in 2017 and Sankalp followed soon after. First up was a QR code scanning app for scanning menus at restaurants. The product did not get much traction primarily because consumers preferred to read a physical document when they were at the restaurant.
Next they pivoted to a tool that could convert an article to an audio file. That did not take off either even though they won appreciation from users.
In hindsight, Sankalp thinks their failure had to do a lot with poor market research. “When we started, we thought we would build the product first and then find customers who might use it,” he recalls. “We never stopped to think if anyone was actually going to use it.”
💡 Micro SaaS Lesson: Find a persistent customer problem first and then build a product to solve it.
Third time lucky
A friend introduced then to Shopify. Preetam had earlier tried his hand at drop shipping and had a basic idea of how eCommerce worked. This time they started researching customer reviews of apps in the Shopify marketplace. They tried multiple keywords. They narrowed down to those keywords where the top-rated app did not have a very high rating, but did have a high volume of app reviews. One such keyword was WhatsApp.
It took them less than a week to design a WhatsApp plug-in for merchants on Shopify and help them interact with their clients via the messaging app. With Shopify’s technical support, they rolled out the app in 2019.
💡 Micro SaaS Lesson: Don’t just keep building in private. The key is to ship it fast.
14 months after launch
- 20,000 active merchants (users) on the app
- 1,500+ paying merchants (customers)
- 450,000 automated WhatsApp messages sent in June
- 2.2 million WhatsApp chat messages initiated in June
- Highest rated 5.0 🌟 app for all things WhatsApp with 500+ reviews
- Users from 50+ countries around the world
Customer Acquisition Model
The primary and only source of customers war the Shopify platform. The app depended on ratings and reviews of active users to get more traction. However they faced competition as similar apps started aggressively seeking review and ratings surpassing SuperLemon.
💡 Micro SaaS Lesson: Once you get early traction add other marketing and distribution channels
The pricing challenge
Like with any new SaaS app, the founders faced the eternal question - what is the right price? Initially they raised prices just after getting early success and their top plan grew from $14.99 to $19.99 to $29.99. The result was that the growth in user base slowed down. Why? Well, most eCommerce operators have thin margins and are price sensitive so they will go to the cheapest competitors who will keep catching up with you fast.
💡 Micro SaaS Lesson: Price your product according to the value you deliver and the customer’s willingness to pay. Pricing is iterative and discovery based.
Summary: The Real Deal
- Name: SuperLemon
- Type Of Company: SaaS/Product
- Target Market: Shopify Stores
- Category: Customer Service
- Founded: 2019
- MRR: $25k by 2020
- Founder: Preetam Nath and Sankalp Jonna
- Funding Source: Bootstrapped
- Exit: Acquired
- Acquisition Price: Undisclosed (Estimated 300K+)