in Business, Friend, Podcast, Product

S1 E4 – Sidharth and Somvir

On a mission to rebuild real human connections locally, worldwide.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sidharth.jpeg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is somvir.jpeg

Somvir and Siddharth are co-founders of MyScoot platform which helps people discover great local experiences and meet amazing people through house parties. They are part of the Y Combinator Accelerator program and are fired up to change the way people build and develop social connections locally all around the world.

“By the end of this week, there will be 50 people who would have met each other through something that we’re doing”
Enjoy my conversation with Somvir and Siddharth

Show Notes & Links

Transcript Follows

Madhav 0:07
Today, my guests are Somvir and Siddhart, Somvir and Siddart are co-founders of my scoot platform, which helps people discover great local experiences and meet amazing people through house parties. They’re part of the Y Combinator accelerator program and a fired up to change the way people build and develop social connections locally. All around the world. very amazing story that you’re building around my school wanted to step back a little bit where did you guys meet and how did like Were you involved with somewhere so that in like, campus drift or try my tutor any of those adventures or were you not? Well?

Sidharth 0:47
Yeah, so we we connected via some some project that you know. So you need some ideas and we’re discussing it out back. So he was not His own venture metamodel is helping the student community of study diversity and other universities.

Be based in that’s that’s how we got to know about so we ran his amazing marketing skills and

Madhav 1:19
so you guys met at the university?

Sidharth 1:23
Not really he he was part of the university, he was running the organization called abstract languages, which is more of a sudden based organization helping our students with information around on what’s happening in the universities, how to help students, you know, in in getting into that college phase, right, getting them various internships, helping them you know, acquire skills which can help them grow in their in their career, right.

Somvir 1:54
Yeah, and then we met through a common friend. I mean, I was looking for people who are really more experienced than Me at stuff and just wanted wanted their guiding guidance and the thoughts on what we’re doing. So I met Sid carton so he was a third co founder so I met him just to brainstorm ideas and stuff and we kept in touch and then they when they they came up with the idea and then they started they asked me to sort of help out and then I joined normally here

Madhav 2:24
okay cool, cool. So how is like campus drift is behind you now or is that still going on?

Sidharth 2:34

Madhav 2:38
you have drifted away from that.

Sidharth 2:44
Solving much bigger,

Madhav 2:45
right? Right. And you need all the energy and all the focus you can to get behind this enough

Somvir 2:58
let you what we want to Jeez, I think I’ll be happy. I’ll be more happy than running campus drifts.

Madhav 3:08
Yeah, no, seriously I yeah, absolutely. And this one’s like just a very high level idea of after looking at your website and stuff, it seems like it’s pretty promising. I mean, first of all,

there is a lot of good reasons why people should get out of the house and meet others. And you know, have less face time there is research showing that FaceTime in sorry, screen time is really not helping. People are becoming more antisocial than social.

And so this is this is one in that good sense. That’s one thing and of course beyond that you guys are trying to make it sort of like Airbnb, and party and real fun way of engaging with new people. Right. That’s amazing. I will get into that. Definitely wanted to touch on Take us back a little bit. I know it’s a little harder when you have two guests on the show, but take us a little bit back Sumerian to that I mean both of you if you will, where you guys like you grew up in Delaware like you grew up in Delhi is that

Sidharth 4:17
yes I grew up in Delhi have a pretty you know streamline structure of my life education and then you know, job typically our middle class by would go about you know in this career like take science PCM then do engineering side work with MBA be streaming live in impacting like, very focused in terms of things. Yeah.

Madhav 4:46
Okay night. Yeah.

Somvir 4:49
all over the country. So my father was in the army, and I had to travel with him to different states and then after, right Did my schooling so I actually did my schooling from Delhi. And then I got into the university. And that was the time around when I started, at least getting into business and startups and my first pseudo startup did pretty well in terms of giving me some money and I taught I don’t need education now. That was stupid. Be honest. So I dropped out and then that’s how it all started.

Madhav 5:29
So you’re you’re one of those famous dropouts. Or you will be one famous will come later. Just curious, what was the startup that you said you made money on?

Somvir 5:48
Simple PR and offline marketing? garden we nothing about PR and offline marketing. We’ve been doing it to get to projects and and there but it was Two Three people. And it was enough for two college students to live. So I don’t need no money. Yeah, so it was stupid.

Madhav 6:09
Sure, no, that makes sense. How did it like? Was that something that you had in your family somewhere? Like in terms of

Somvir 6:18
pretty middle class family pretty well does parents who believe I should have done engineering and you know, which I can’t imagine naturally.

Or basically, I’ve gotten some steady job or something. So I am the devil in the family.

Madhav 6:40
And we need more of those. That’s That’s cool. That’s cool. And how about you see that like you had any sort of inclination, I think from what you said, You’re a good boy. Just Yeah.

Sidharth 6:55
Dust you know, starting up as such, it doesn’t just

Madhav 7:02
What nights do

Sidharth 7:05
I was caught up by the entrepreneurial happen TV, you’re facing a problem with me and we have batchmates from Madagascar. Right? So we’re working in different phones and you know, every weekend, you know that there is a urge to you know, chill out and every time what happened was like after you graduated from college, not all your friends are around you and feed, right? so happened that most of the weekends we used to end up together at the same bar. Right? Okay. That’s when the idea came up. Hey, why don’t you introduce me to your friends. And that’s where it all began, which will house party for our friends of friends. Right? We might have experience I ride my fence me Robin, I’m the guy who invited his friends and we to a house party for offensive and it was it was pretty cool. People love the whole vibe of you know, meeting new folks and then our More more generic relate when you know instead of just dropping into the game show playing games having a good time. Right. And that is where, you know, people wanted us to throw more versions of these kinds of fence parties just, you know, rule out a Google form in a page from when people started sending us into some outside also mean we’re taking social profiles that time kind of faking it. That’s when it all began.

Madhav 8:29
Wow. You actually started Yeah.

Sidharth 8:35
We have to you know, to the startup we have to be entrepreneurs. This happened you know, after after a few after a few versions of these friends of friends parties, and we we gave us a shout out and and you know how it works in the media right one one whose story a media platform does everyone picks it up and all of a sudden we had like, tons of ladies in our in our Google Form. clarifier you know, what do you guys do?

So that’s how it all began.

Madhav 9:09
That’s a pretty scrappy, like, you know, what Paul Graham would call as? Don’t scale, right?

Somvir 9:17
Yeah, I remember our MVP was a Google form and of mobile wallet called paideia. Nothing. We did so many house parties on that. It was just that used to ask for some data around your social, social life. And based on that we used to sort of customize what kind of people are we gonna call for a party and we send invites, and that’s when you know, the real experience happened because we used to structure these parties as well when they happen, so that but

essentially it actually it rose from just being just having the intent of meeting new people in a fun way. Mostly And then since we involved house parties, it became in a fun and safe way, because it’s very important.

And so I mean, bars is not safe in India to be on especially for females, no place is safe to be honest. Although we’re trying to do our best, everyone is trying to do their best. But then again, this whole idea of going into a stranger’s house, yeah, with 1015 other strangers as a different routine for someone. So these are the pillars on which we wanted to build a business once we decided that it’s going to be a business now we wanted, we wanted it to be fun, we wanted it to be safe. And most importantly, we wanted people to socialize, no matter what they do. The core of the idea is and I think always will be socializing in a different way. You know, coming face to face,

express yourself in instead of, you know, fakely trying to impress people on social media.

You let yourself you’re trying to crowd You want so I think organically grew from there. To be honest, this was not like a set business plan with them they had in mind. It was just in the initial days it was just, you know, let’s meet more folks, because I think you will enjoy

Sidharth 11:19
the point was like beta friends of friends we were living in that bubble of, you know, just engineers and babies. Yeah, that’s that that was our circle. And and once we started doing these house parties, we ended up meeting a lot of folks from diverse backgrounds and I’ve met amazing folks and make friends with you know, some some really good people have different banners, I’ve met musicians, I’ve met artists, I’ve met lawyers, I’ve met professional horse riders, professional entrepreneurs, that that’s that’s where it all started rolling up. A like this is this is something like really cool you know, you get a lot of people and you get to you know, have diverse perspective. tapes from from these folks are not as bad, but usually happen if you travel. Right. When you’re traveling to different destination, that’s the time you meet people from from different backgrounds. Right head. Right? through a house party and you get to meet folks.

Madhav 12:16
Yeah, that’s actually very, I was intrigued by that idea of, you’re not actually getting out of the house to go meet people. People are coming to you. And meeting I mean, it’s just best of both worlds. I mean, it’s it’s just fabulous that way, in terms of like the initial vision, like what was your initial vision for this when you started this was it just take like, Hey, we’re having so much fun meeting friends of friends. Why don’t we just see if we extend this because people are asking for it? Well, or was it more really like the way you’re talking about it now which is the Airbnb of social

Sidharth 12:58
events like it sleepers it was more around socialization it was it was more around, you know, meeting new people. That was the problem that we personally face right living in, you know, the set of friends free hardware fakes and not everyone was free every time even even for so he started like multiple cities because of his that’s transferable job. And he found it like a really difficult to make difference. We talked you know, it’s isn’t just us who have this problem. Are there more folks that out? And when we do these are these these house parties that are the time where we realize, you know, that that the problem exists for our folks, because we’ve seen, you know, people who are coming to our house parties, we used to talk to them informally. Hey, what what else do you do for socializing? So they told us, you know, they have tried dating apps, they’ve tried, you know, going to various activity based classes. But it all boils down to you know, the factor of socialization doesn’t come into picture because people are more focused into activities. In dating sites. The lead time is huge. You have to first impact Seo says embrace the articles in your photo and with your words and with your personality. And still you’re not sure you know it better how that person will turn out. Right? So in this case, it was a more genuine you just go Be yourself, you know, have a good time is a bunch of strangers, what you know kind of faded that’s that’s what people say, right? Because of because of our backgrounds, right? Because initially we just gotta focus on atomic night. So that’s that’s how it was initially, about the problem that we want to solve for ourselves and then finding more folks who had a similar problem and then you know, where as men we started doing it more often that’s the time we realize okay, this is much much bigger market potential, if we pour into experience

Somvir 14:48
Yeah, I mean, another way to go that is that, you know, it initially honestly started as meeting new people meeting actually people from different backgrounds, and then as and when we say kept talking to people and kept realizing and people people kept telling us where was this before? Now? I mean, when when you got a school, why was

what are you doing it? Yeah. And be important. Yeah, this small problems that people face in socialization, socialization. And to be honest, these are really small but important problems and that kept on adding to the idea of meeting new people. And now the version of that is that he actually came to the conclusion that, you know, socialization in India and around the world, to be honest, is pretty broken. It is pretty limited to screens and apps and stickies and swipes and so superficial and yeah, they drive you towards being a fake personality online. Right, right and you are somebody else offline and that creates a gap and you will where a lot of people go into depression. So the world economy Forum has depression due to digital screens as the second biggest problem to humanity after climate change. So that’s huge, right? That is where we actually also came about. We also realized after talking to people, so what started as just a fun way of meeting new people a more real way, turn into, you know, let’s put our heads whatever small heads we have to change how we socialize. I mean, how people socialize around us and how they can possibly socialize in the future.

Madhav 16:36
Current current perfect sense, I mean, makes perfect sense. And in terms of product, like market fit, you don’t you don’t really have to do much because you, you kind of ran into it. It looks to me like there was no oh, let’s build this out. And let’s, let’s test it out. And let’s figure out if there’s a market need for this and let’s see there’s a fit for this and all that. In theory that how probably lean startups would do it, but for you, you kind of ran into it. You know, you you ran something that really gel very well with people and people are actually asking for it. There was a lot of inbound requests and so sort of help you. I guess, in that sense, is that right? Yeah. It was not a big deal for you.

Somvir 17:23
We got the early interest in monetize from early adopters, people who are more social in nature. We applaud people who are fed up of existing experiences, and who don’t mind trying new, new technologies, to be honest. So that was really small niche circles that we found. And obviously we’re since then we’re trying to build from there. Yeah. But in terms of product market fit, we didn’t actually ran into it, but also right now we’re in the journey to actually find product market fit at scale. We want to find a replicable model because Ours is a very local product because you have to meet people in the city. So you have to start and run a lot of cities, you’re in right now, in middle of sort of figuring out how to do it at scale in a particular city so that we can replicate it to, I don’t know, 100 cities around the world or something. So yes, no, I mean, we know that, you know, this is an idea where, with which people are arriving, people have a need for it with the process of what is the best way to sort of give it to them? It is it? I mean, just the app and just you booking the party and just attending the party, or do they need more features? Do they need to interact with people before and after? These are small answers that we need to find, to find the best version of the product to give it to them, but inherently the idea and the core is something that people want and this has been validated again and again by a lot of people.

Madhav 18:55
Yep. And so far, you’re right now in Delhi, sorry. Go ahead to that.

Sidharth 19:00
saying we did receive a lot of inbound interest from multiple places like not not just from Bangalore, Mumbai, our tier two cities like LA, or San Diego, etc. Right? So idea is we have folks are Your what? disperse at different locations, right? How how this concept didn’t work is like what Tony was. So we were sitting with as we go hyper local, right, I finding different kind of experiences, you know, around my vicinity, we don’t, which makes it easier for me to you know, choose the options and go there. Right. So that’s that’s what we’re trying to do now. Making it making it work and hyperlocal like finding folks providing them different kind of experience in a particular cluster, right in inner city. And once that works, you have a replicable model that can take to other cities and make it work.

Madhav 19:52
Right, right I believe. I mean, like Airbnb, for example. I remember so Listening to Brian chesky. I mean, like, you know, it’s talking to Paul Graham about how he has so much traction in New York and this. And the GPG was like, What the hell are you doing in San Francisco? Right?

Unknown Speaker 20:14
from the horse’s mouth.

Madhav 20:18
Meet me. So you guys are right now like just to get a scale of where you are in terms of current operations. Where are you now where you live right now?

Sidharth 20:29
So currently live in NCR Delhi, NCR in Bangalore. Right. We’re focusing more around Google currently. Our plans of expanding the kind of experiences that we want to provide. Right.

Somvir 20:47
So, mall city, we have a lot of millennials live there because they all of all the companies are head. So a lot of people come from other states and are living in independent houses and millennials looking out for new experiences. It’s supposed to place for us to run our experiments. We do all the things that work in all three cities around Delhi NCR and Bangalore. And Sierra is a cluster of four cities. So Delhi NCR in Bangalore, we do everything that is already we know is working. But all our experiments are right now focused. And that is something that we’re pretty positive about achieve. And as soon as that is done, we’re going to go ahead with 510. Universities.

Madhav 21:28
Got it do when you talk about like, the events? Are they curated by you? Okay, right now, are they sort of like, you’d sort of design the experience and stuff like that, or is it just left to the host to design what the experience is going to be? Is it going to be a mafia game but drinks and this and this or is it How is that so so we do a bit of hand holding is we’ve done you know, close to our requests. house parties with various teams, which have been, you know, curated from the folks who are like our early adopters.

Sidharth 22:07
Yeah, right. Let’s try this out. Let’s try this out. Ever seen what works, what doesn’t work? What created the templates of, you know, 10 to 15, house parties that that are super liked by the users, which are super engaged, super social, super fun, right? So we have we have those templates for the folks who are not clear about what they want to do.

And then the host like, you know, people who have some like really crazy ideas like that, that they want to try a neon blue house party or a masquerade, murder mystery, right?

So there are people who the people who have you know, their own ideas, and we try them out, and the ones who are you not sure about about the idea that what they want to do, they just want to socialize, we give them the templates that we have that they can plug and play. So essentially,

Somvir 22:53
the model that we follow is more of a partnership model.

I mean, we’re known for our maimana was easy but but hosting parties and socializing is pretty new to India because,

Madhav 23:11
yeah, it’s pretty related or

Somvir 23:15
not to talk to us. Yeah. So people are not that accustomed to good, engaging events, I’ll call them just parties because we do everything from a tea session to boardgames night to a crazy drinking in house party, we do everything. So these events, people are not accustomed to engaging people there. So in a way, we try to handle them right from the journey of putting up the event to successfully hosting one we send someone from our team also to all events, to act as a co host and sort of make people feel comfortable and help the host and engaging people wherever they lack. And our goal is to sort of pseudo drain these holes, after two three parties into hosting one on their own so that the sorted for life.

Madhav 24:03
Yeah, no, that’s perfect. I think that’s, like you said, I mean this kind of new experience, not only socializing, but also doing it this way. It’s even newer, and it’s sort of breaking new ground here. And you need to be able to establish a few

Somvir 24:23
how much brains we put into an engineering game coming up with crazy and stranger engagements. All this amazing MBA minds are put into coming out the next two truths and a lie.

Madhav 24:35
Or two truths and a lie. That’s one of my most favorite icebreakers. Yeah, it was an ally Murphy. I actually played I love organizing these games I there’s a game called wearables, which is very similar to mafia. And it’s one of the most popular games I’ve played with people here. It’s really especially good when you played with 20 plus 2025 people. It’s amazing. Okay, well, so yeah, I can see that Your creative brain is going off trying to do this new icebreakers. I mean, I know you get, you do get a lot of questions around, like you mentioned earlier, you do get a lot of questions around what is this? Is it safe? And then you have to go back and like, it seems to me like you’ve developed some sort of verification process like five step. So that like, I mean, how did you

Somvir 25:28
initially it was mostly us manually screening people to find the right social fit. From there, we developed a process of sort of assigning attributes to someone’s profile, and just taking those attributes and that is something that we’ve automated a bit. So now what happens is we now actually are open for people to join parties pre verification, so when they sort of send their interest to join a party, they have to complete their profile give us their social profile. comes to us our algos and gives plaques on the ones that we don’t want on the platform gives a go to the ones who really, really want on the platform. And then there are some people that alpers unsure about. Yeah. So yeah. And then from there, we manually either we talked to them, we check out their profiles, whatever is necessary, we verify their profiles. And once the profiles are verified, they normally they go to the host. And then the host has all the powers to approve decline. So the host is also a part of the verification process, because every person is different and the party will be different right? Now they’re even with the kind of price they need will be totally different. So the host has all the same this they can approve, decline the request. And then finally, once the event happens, we have this ratings and review system, which we have, which is Bill willing, internally, we don’t display anything apart from the ratings of the event, but we will get us into each other. So So let’s say I moved on. Got to behave badly in a party I people will sort of rate me one star and then it will be it will be flagged in the system and we will know and we can turn out these people. So ideally, in the long run we’re building this community of really curated folks who have been either verified socially or by different hosts and by their peers also, so that is the kind of a wholesome system

Madhav 27:24
it feels like I don’t know if you watched Black Mirror

Somvir 27:29
Yeah, I start introducing it that we only have a lot of black mirror you know the rating system we’re doing that

Madhav 27:37
actually doing

Somvir 27:39
like putting be will like that made so people live a big life. Yeah, we want to be real stuff. Yeah,

Madhav 27:46
this is for sure. Yeah, stuff.

Sidharth 27:49
that people are at their best behavior in the social situation. That’s that’s what it ensures and ratings are not displayed anywhere except for for Europe. Somebody who’s doing something wrong, we get to know about

Somvir 28:02
it. And that’s it. folks get filtered out, yes. And a social in nature also. So you’ll attract all kinds of profiles, right. And if I’m not able to give my users, my customers, people who love meeting new people, and we’re really authentic, if I’m giving them, let’s say, Eclipse or bad people, let’s say, we’re not individualizing, who just were attracted by the sense of the platform, then there’s no point for us to run the platform. So we have to curate that crowd. And for that, I think the best easiest way is to ask other people, how do you feel about this person’s social behavior, right, and if that feels Well, that’s validated by different people at different parties, I think that is a huge indicator of that, that that person is not at least not fit for our platform and moving forward, even not fit for other platforms as well. So five years from now. Let’s say you start a co living startup. And you have to that is there is a huge social angle involved there, right? And if I’m able to provide up, if you take my login letter log in via scoot, and if I’m able to provide peer reviewed ratings to you. So it could be super easy for you to wake people, because they’ve been like they’ve they’ve been rated by a thousands of people they’ve made. So that will be something that will sort of change how you get to know about people and what kind of data that you have.

Madhav 29:35
Yeah, the does the does the person who was blacklisted didn’t even get a second chance or is that how does

Sidharth 29:46
he kind of banned him from the background for a certain duration? is not a major fast if it’s a minor thing that somebody’s got. Yeah. Yeah. Was that Christine de la is Person God God is asking for, you know, someone’s number two, what people did people like the other folks took care of the situation right.

Somvir 30:11
Now, that is mostly the problems revolve around people getting a little. Maybe I tend not be at their best that isn’t the most leaders. And I mean, I’m sure in other cultures around the world, people have seen it, the people will be accustomed to the country, part of the social gatherings like that. But you really want to create that for me, to be honest, that is something we’re really stubborn about, to at least to start with. And then I think so the social angle of having 15 good people in the room will also take care of the whole thing.

Madhav 30:50
Sure. Makes sense. Yeah. I think I mean, it’s super important to get some of these fundamentals right. So it’s very trusted and people feel safe and mean, it’s not like you go to a bar and you have any anything better right now, right? I mean, you go to a bar, there’s no right there’s no rating, all kinds of creeps are there,

Somvir 31:10
I’m sure he will go to bars, one you need friends to go to Broadway. Partially in India, we’ve been to the US we’ve seen at least people come alone also just chill out at the bar and they somehow maybe talk to one or two people, but India you need people to go, right. And then the small problems I was mentioning and Siddhartha was also mentioning that you don’t have your friend circles three all the time. And then you can’t invest all the energy into you know, making a plan and then five people dropping out of it and then you convincing them to come right even if you end up at a bar, let’s say alone on so let’s say you’re a very social person and you’re full on experimenting with your life. You who you end up alone, also at a bar, but other people have come with friends so they’re not open to talking to new people and in India,

Madhav 32:00
Yeah, the setting is not right. Say hi to a stranger that that would be creepy in a bar.

Somvir 32:07
And also no matter how great how normal a person I am on, I suppose and I am. If I approach you or anybody else in a bar in India, I, some people have this notion of that notion that a creep is coming to talk to me. I mean, why but we have this notion, and we were fed up of that

Sidharth 32:29
people have their own social God that they’ve put up, yes. They’re not sure, you know, out of, you know, five out of 10 people or six or 10 people are not not worthy of your time, right. So you don’t want to you don’t want to invest time in betting who’s the person who’s coming is right or not, right.

Madhav 32:48
Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah. Did you work for them? You do. That’s amazing. That

Somvir 32:56
they have to just all they have to do is enter and just Play some fun games and by within two hours of entering the party, they are friends with people they start by being with people. And I’ve seen siddhart so enthusiastic about how big out how many peoples in what different kind of connections have met

Sidharth 33:18
by us good. So that’s that’s something that’s really rewarding for us. We’ve seen people meeting their friends after 10 years, we’ve seen founding companies with the folks that they’ve met in school parties with people you know, painting becoming best of friends I’ve seen people who have who are living in the same vicinity, they came to the same house party became best friends that have thrown house parties are a platform together. So that’s that’s kind of really, really rewarding for us that that motivated

Somvir 33:47
two women, to women, both new to the city don’t have a social circle, don’t know where to hang out with. And, you know, they end up at a school party. They buy it Obviously being new to the city and you know other things in restaurants and then they become best friends and then we see because we also become friends with them. Then we see them hanging out everywhere.

Every time they’re going out. She’s with her. That is pretty rewarding. People have started dating via school people have started companies as you as he was mentioning, people have found jobs.

Our interns we got through school are the our experience head Swati was reading our complaint was that was our host first. So tons of friends and ideally we’re getting our employees also becoming the next

Sidharth 34:42
use case so

Somvir 34:44
can’t can’t be more happier. I mean, that is something to be honest, at least. I’m sure this is for him also. Yes. Also that is something that drives us to you know, wake up every day and go to work, no matter how stressful it is. And it is stressful to be

Madhav 35:02
I’m glad you brought it up. I was going to ask you so far whatever you have talked about it looks like you’re you guys are having the best of everything is hunky dory and you having a party like Tell me tell me

Somvir 35:19
thinks that everyone thinks that, you know, yours is the best transparent job life in the world. All you do is party party party and attend these amazing parties meet these amazing people. But there is a lot of work that is going behind making these bodies happened. And to be honest, we’re having sleepless nights and really frustrating mornings because

Madhav 35:44
Tell me couple of like those things like what is keeping you awake at night or what’s worse, some dark moments or something that really you know, maybe you have self doubt yourself like what the fuck am I doing here? You know are Am I doing something? What? What while for people? I mean, like, Did you have any sort of moments where you felt like this is just not going to work? Let’s throw in the towel or No, not yet.

Somvir 36:13
Not yet throwing

Madhav 36:16
you you do

Sidharth 36:17
you do get stressed you do get stressed multiple times various things or idea is right now we are working on scaling this this thing you know, and at times it happens when the experience goes down, right in some of the cases when you’re feeling right, and that is when Well, we all feel bad. Because the way we have built this thing people had amazing experience, they talk or talk to this about or talk about this with their friends, right. And that’s how we acquired a lot of users on its own organically and in y scaling. You know, if one or two things go off, that is something that that’s hurtful and that is that is something that you know, kind of makes us have that that kind of frustration behavior. So it’s You have to find the right balance between the quantity and while you’re growing up. Right. So that is that is where at times we get, we get kind of understood.

Somvir 37:09
Also, and also this is this is a problem that there’s not like a work the Laker playbook, which we can refer to because somebody else has tried solving it. We don’t we don’t find people to try even tried solving it. It’s a new problem. And essentially, our goal is to replace Facebook Linden and render at once through one platform to Yeah, and there are and these these companies are so big in Denzel, that they’re solving huge problems and we will have to solve all of them at once. So there are so many frustrating problems, to be honest, who answer we don’t have currently and we’re in the process of finding out and then there’s a lot of failure involved in that. Lot of frustrating moments. And more than that, no, and a lot of numbers to hit in what is involved in that scale. Basically So you have to do everything perfect everything, we have to do everything for us. And we have to go into uncharted territories to find out on search. And all this has to happen really fast for us to stay alive also and for this to grow also. So that is like a pretty stressful ordeal on its own. That is what keeps us awake at night. But But to be honest, when you wake up in the morning, I wake up in the morning every day, and I think by the end of this week, there will be 50 people who would have met each other through something that I’m doing because of school and and essentially two people who become let’s say best friends and are hanging out later, 20 years from now, even if you’re there or not there. If somebody asked them where did you guys meet because you’re such good friends and said there’s something called school legacy that we will leave at least

Madhav 38:51
so yeah, no, I like I like the way you guys are thinking about like 20 years from now kind of thing that’s your your

Somvir 38:58
internet connections right. We’ll stay on A lot of them will stay alive for short. But we made good friends through school only

Sidharth 39:04
Cotto read amazing friends. And that’s what it’s all about. You getting to me, you know, great connections fast food, right? And that’s why people are actually talking about it.

So So when people think that we’re solving for parties will solving for having fun, we’re not we’re actually solving for connections, we’re solving for better socializing, good conversations.

And house parties happened to be the right fit for solving this problem. Because it’s fun because it it can enhance conversations and it gives you the freedom to even bring the economic factor or in in all of it, right, you get to make and save money. I mean, this enhances the overall experience at once. Yeah,

Madhav 39:52
absolutely. Switching gears a little bit just to want to know how you got or what your experience was around yc You know, applying for it, was it? Is there a yc sort of India? That or did you have to come over and present to folks here?

Sidharth 40:12
Oh, we had to come to California to go there. So talking about the preparation actually, you like getting serious about our business, we are hitting our numbers and we were trying a lot of new things. That it was not that we yc mine but you’re doing you’re focusing on our business, trying out new things, and you know, scaling the number of folks we have a lot of people who are coming back. So that’s that’s how, you know, the preparation work for us. And around October was a diamond when we were

Somvir 40:43
already funny, to be honest, I was sitting with the three of us, right.

And we all we do is, I mean, just talk shit all the time and work,

right. So this like, I just read somewhere I see applications are open Then, let’s say let’s build this application. Let’s see how much we can fill this one because I’m bored, I’m doing something I’m bored. Let’s do this. And, and funnily enough we fill that application and got a call for video interview interview like holy shit.

Madhav 41:22
You made that application process also sort of really fun like this is good way of doing it.

Sidharth 41:33
It was super fun

Somvir 41:39
to submit this one minute video about your business and numbers and it took us five hours to shoot a one minute video. And I think two meals it also it also took two meals we order twice in between because you’re still hungry. One minute Yeah,

Madhav 42:03
but then tons of fun was the, it seems like I mean, obviously you got in, like, what was the takeaway from anyone else aspiring to be a yc? team?

Somvir 42:15
I think personally, I think, if you want it’s, if you’re thinking about getting in, please go any startup accelerator you’re thinking about, please keep ice at the top of the list. Yeah, it’s exciting to get melodica to meet so many people who have done so much already that they have most of the answers that you’re scratching your minds to you and they give you give you amazing perspective to your business. And it’s, it’s really amazing the community of entrepreneurs you get to meet and if you are planning to go, I would suggest, just just know a bit about your business, not a bit like a lot about your business, and the kind of stuff you’re getting into and it’s Super Amazing if you have some kind of traction to validate what you’re doing. So if you have that I think you should try. Because yc doesn’t mind how many times a person is applying, at least from my experience. One of our batch mate was I think it was a sixth time he applied and he and you’re so enthusiastic about so why is he doesn’t mind it? And even they will track that from one application to another. What is the progress that you made on this start? How serious are you about it? So I think it’s a great date to go for it.

Sidharth 43:38
I would say the two major takeaways that that I would put it out would be it opens up for you a super amazing network. Super Amazing network of like really, really good folks who have done some amazing things in their fields and and they have been through that journey, right. So you get to know when you’re starting up what what kind of problems you face. You know, issues you face and how to deal with them. That’s one second is they make you think about your problems, they don’t give you solutions,

they make you understand how to think and structure things, right? What are the smallest of metrics that you should focus and how, at the same time, you should be focused on the bigger vision?

Right? What what what exactly are you building? So I can these two are two major key takeaways from from yc. Apart from of course, the funding

network of investors you get exposed to,

Somvir 44:31
and I think the, I think I found them pretty founder friendly and founder oriented in their nature. I mean, there are a lot of things we didn’t know about around funding, structuring companies running product development cycles, you know, how to deal with investors, what is a good deal, what is a bad deal, how to behave, to be honest, how to even fundraise. There’s this whole method to fundraising and getting it done, how our perspective shouldn’t change about our business, no matter if we have money or not. So there are a lot of things that it’s especially a first time founder won’t blow and they really help you out because they have this whole founder friendly mentality. And the partners there have built startups and have gone through that, that journey. So they know it. So have you been

Madhav 45:20
busy or difficult?

Unknown Speaker 45:22
Yes, yes.

Sidharth 45:27
You can, you know, you can set up timings with them. You can set up meetings with them, you can discuss your results.

Not just you know, it’s not just fixed with the partners that you have to get access to all partners, right, if you have some specific problems or you want to discuss around your business, right. So yeah,

Somvir 45:46
everyone, actually everyone advisees super. So yeah, yeah, I mean, even in the aluminized. I mean, it was talking to walking and talking to him about some Some easy one should problem that was facing, like any enthusiastic, and I feel I get, I’ve started getting that feeling as well as in, you know, all the other other batches that come after me and I’ll really help them out when I can. And I think that is the culture that I see. Yeah, they promote it. And I think everyone there is like that. So that is, I mean, you you feel part of something, and then something where everybody’s trying to make a huge difference in the world in their own way.

Madhav 46:32
Got it. And you mentioned you guys also got some lessons from yc sessions in terms of, you know, structuring deal structuring meeting with these investors talking to them pitching all that. So did you guys I think you raise some funds from lightspeed or maybe lower Is that right? Yes. One from lightspeed India. Yeah. What was that experience like? What What do you think went right and what you think went wrong with Going from yc demo day to actually meeting with investors and talking to them about this. Was there anything very different from pitching to IC?

Sidharth 47:11
o Not really. The investors mainly obviously, you know, get into a little bit more detail. Right? I yc. It’s more about you, quickly pitching your idea, your vision in two minutes of action. Right. When when you go investors, they get into a bit more detail, how your numbers are, what your passion is, you know, utilizing the money that you’re getting, right. They get a lot into your traction, the business model that you have, right, they understand how good it is, what exactly do you need money for? Right? So that’s, that’s, that’s the key, I think, the key key things that that they focus on the investment. So I think once once a devotee was done, we had we had a decent traction, the kind of The kind of attention that we had in terms of users were coming back again and again. Right and, and spreading the word for us, really helped us you know, get to those

Madhav 48:12
repeat you some big like high net promoter score sort of thing, word of mouth is

Somvir 48:17
mind blowing. Everyone was blown by that.

That that for those three months are meant for To be honest, like, work, just work and, you know, build your stuff. for that. I mean, ultimately for your lifetime, but for that demo, they also like achieve some goals, set them with their goals and achieve them. And this whole fundraising process is at least from my and some of our batchmates experience it a little Lindy in terms of if you compare y z and other investors I see makes quick decisions. But other investors taking our time or meeting them you think, yes more key holders, holders and decision makers and you meet multiple people you have to go in sometimes you have to say the same things, right? But it’s okay. It’s necessary if someone is going to put their money into you. I mean, essentially everyone in the seed stage sort of it at the end of it macro, they put it on the team, because you don’t know about numbers are working right now. They might not work two months from now. It’s the team will figure stuff out and build it right. So ultimately, the distinct entrepreneurs, and it’s a little indie frustrating, and yca. And now also us, we believe that it’s not work, this very small body of work, and you should get it done as fast as you can and go back to work.

Madhav 49:54
Right, right. Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a nice segue into what moonshot I mean, like just coming towards the end of the questions I want to ask you guys and get some. What’s your moonshot for my school? like where do you really see if it’s fully executed and really out in the world? Where do you see this

Sidharth 50:15
would be like, you know, our different kind of experience like a board gaming party or poker house party or salsa, salsa evening, right or networking, brunch happening in each society, in each in each room around you. So that you know you don’t have to think twice before going there. You can just walk up, walk right into do next was society and attend, attend a party and meet up.

Somvir 50:44
And the idea is to just bring it this new way of socialization. Currently, everything is so digitized and fake ideally like five 710 years from now. In our mind, what we see is there’s this platform which helps people socialize Different ways, not just parties, not just events, my people going on trips together might be offline properties where people come and meet new people. And the requests, get these conversations some way or some other way that it can take a lot of forms. But right now we’re focusing on offline but I did this will be a platform where socialization happens super meaningfully. And people get to take have real connections while staying true to who they are. So this will be happening online also in in some form, it will be happening offline also.

But the idea is to take people away from the existing social networks, we don’t like them. We don’t like them

Unknown Speaker 51:50
to build more meaningful, professional connections more meaning deeper

Madhav 51:55
and deeper connections,

Somvir 51:56
connections, everything and the present options are not enough. We want to replace them. We want to be super big every time you think about stepping out of your house or every time you think about any form of socialization Smoot has been for you, that is a moonshot.

Madhav 52:14
It’s like, if I went to I mean, I’ve traveled many countries as part of my job. I mean, anywhere I go, if I went to a Starbucks in Rome, or if I went to a Starbucks in Hong Kong, I can expect a certain level of safety, certain level of quality, certain level of, you know, ambience and everything, right. And you are trying to create that kind of physical spaces where I mean, I’m, I’m in Austin, Texas, I can go to a school party and feel that kind of like, that’s, that’s where you guys are going. That’s amazing. That’s really amazing, very fun.

Somvir 52:48
There are a lot of cultures out there in the world, which actually are even, I mean, was then India, Southeast Asia, take Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and stuff. So you sort of try to see What works there? And how can people socialize more, they’ll be more open about stuff. And I think that is an in a way it will it will also lead to a lot of social changes as well. Your talk and talk politics in more in a more meaningful way immediate climate change to meet and talk, what is the difference that you can make towards social causes? Also, there’s this whole I mean, we totally skipped that there’s this whole sector of creating micro entrepreneurs through the platform. So let’s say if you if you are a salsa teacher, right, right now, he’s in India, you have apps to whom you pay a little bit of money and they give you leads of people who are looking to learn salsa, right, and they have to convert them yourself. betterment where we threw a wine and salsa house party, at a friend’s place who is the salsa teacher, so we will game make new people have fun heated up A small 30 minute salsa session where people got to learn for five steps. And from there, he got three people to sign up to his dance class. So it’s socialization fun and you know generating like no

Madhav 54:13
other leads.

Somvir 54:17
Without paying us anything, actually, they are actually getting to make money through that phenomena that go to that will that will be applicable to get artists was right those pain those psychiatrists, a lot of people, right. So that will that will open up a whole new door to what the platform means. So there are a lot of things in our mind that are bubbling up. What I would just focus on now scale was parties section at least, where we didn’t get to go to other people homes, and have a better experience. Lots of different ways you can take it and there’s so much to be done. There’s so much work to be done. You guys seem super smart and excited.

Madhav 55:02
Just last couple of fun, but more than anything, you’re really having fun and I think you love something and having fun doing it. I mean, good things will come out of it. Just last couple of fun questions. I probably shared this with you somewhere. If you could write anything on a full moon that the whole world can see, what would you write?

Unknown Speaker 55:26
What would you write said?

Somvir 55:29
I would I would, I would write step out and socialize,

Madhav 55:33
step out and socialize.

Sidharth 55:37
Set your mind to just like

Madhav 55:49
me, and then I don’t know if you guys are into books or podcasts or whatever. Is there is there one that you have shared with friends a lot like a book or a podcast or anything That required you to get going.

Somvir 56:03
I have a book I recently told a lot of people about was Sapiens. Yes, yes. Well, you are Noah, right? Yes, yes. I mean, his style of thinking is a little different. I found it pretty amazing. So I told people what we don’t actually get enough time to read and listen to podcasts. Because that is always worth finding your

Sidharth 56:29
thoughts around how you know Airbnb scaled up.

Right? Yeah.

Somvir 56:44
Like that.

Madhav 56:46
One last question. If you if you could tell, not that you’re old. If you could tell your younger self, something now that you have been through a particular journey.

Somvir 57:00
Leave, I’m only yet

Madhav 57:02
quite young already saying hey, listen to this high schooler. What would you tell your son

Learn to learn to be more organized, more disciplined in life. Don’t be like a young brat doesn’t always want to do things his way. There are some things that work well. And which, which you don’t think work well. So that is good. I asked my younger self to learn that about to say

I tell my younger self to experiment.

We experimented with things. I’m the guy who was a more conservative and I think that’s what that’s what

Madhav 58:03
Both ways so that’s good. Thanks so much, guys. It was such a fun. I felt like this was one of my school parties sexually.

I really, really sincerely wish you the best I didn’t get it, obviously talk about what you’re thinking next what’s plans for the next year and big launches coming up and all kinds will hopefully meet again and chat more.

Somvir 58:36
Figuring out how we can provide the current experience at scale and replicated to other cities. That is something will be heads down for the next two, three years and then we’ll focus on the next big thing inside.

Madhav 58:50
Yeah, perfect. I wish you all the best with that

Somvir 58:52
amazing meeting you virtually

Madhav 58:55
Thank you Here if I’m if I’m in India next time I’m going to definitely Yes, yeah. Another thing you guys want to connect with you guys, we’re gonna connect with you. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, my school,

Sidharth 59:09
or something like we don’t i don’t i’m

Madhav 59:10
a millennial Instagram, Instagram. He’s on

Somvir 59:17
Instagram. I’m trying to get him to work on Instagram skills. So he’s honest people on Instagram everywhere

Madhav 59:32
how do we look you up somewhere on Instagram if

Somvir 59:35
it’s got any other so @somviryadav

Madhav 59:39
three we’ll put that in the notes and you

Madhav 59:47
Thanks so much guys. Enjoy peace, love you my way

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