The Maldives is a small island nation with only a population of approximately 420,000 people. In contrast, the population of Colombo alone was over 2 million people in 2012. Yet, this tiny island nation has an active music industry with many talented musicians. However, due to the market being so tiny, musicians can only earn an income by playing live gigs or creating soundtracks. But one startup aims to disrupt and change the music industry of this tiny island nation. Say hello to Lavafoshi.
The roots of Lavafoshi lie inside another Maldivian startup called Kodefly. Born in 2011, Kodefly is a boutique design & development studio in the Maldives. The startup was founded by two young entrepreneurs, Ali Haris and Hussain Inad. Soon, the two young entrepreneurs had built a reputation of building complex solutions for some of the largest companies in the Maldives.
When Abdulla “Alho” Nazim – the co-founder of Skytours Maldives heard of Kodefly and their reputation, he hired them to develop a system. As they worked together, Haris found that he had technical skills and Alho had great ideas. Together, they wanted to build a truly disruptive Maldivian startup.
In 2016, while Alho was traveling and Haris was pursuing his higher studies in Sri Lanka, the two met at Park Street Mews. This was where they first discussed the idea of building an entertainment application. After many more discussions, they had laid out the blueprint to create a Video-On-Demand application in the Maldives. They would call it Lime VOD.
In October 2016, Haris moved back to Male and the duo began working on their new venture. But this new venture was sunk before it began. How? iFlix entered the Maldivian market and partnered with Dhiraagu, which is the largest telecom service provider in the Maldives.
Haris and Alho saw that they didn’t have the funding or content to compete with iFlix. So they went back to the drawing board. They would spend weeks brainstorming ideas before they noticed that Maldives were avid music fans. And then they saw the problems faced by the Maldivian music industry.
People did use services like Gaana and Spotify. But neither service was easily accessible for Maldivian artists. So they decided to build a service which would help make the industry sustainable. And so they came up with the idea for a local music streaming service. This would be a streaming service that was exclusively for Maldivian music.
The service itself would make money through subscriptions and advertisements. Meanwhile, they would also pay artists a certain amount every time their songs were streamed. And to encourage original Dhivehi music, they would pay more for artists that published original songs on the new service. Initially, this music streaming service was called, Reethi Lava.
And so work on the began on building this music streaming service in December 2016. The duo then approached Mohamed Mirusan, who was a mutual friend that joined them as a financial partner. A month later, the new year dawned with the team having finalized the initial designs. These designs were just a collection of mockups. But that was enough for them share with artists, close friends, and family members to get some feedback.
The team then shared these designs with artists, close friends, and family members to get some feedback. Much of it was positive and with this feedback, they began developing the app in February. As development began, the team expanded to include two developers, a designer, and a social media manager. Together, the team shared a space with Kodefly to make Lavafoshi a reality. Initially, the team was hoping to launch the app in June or July.
But they didn’t follow a strict schedule. And with each countless iteration, people kept sharing feedback and the app didn’t stop growing in complexity. As the app grew even more complex, Inad joined Lavafoshi as its creative director. Finally, the team decided, “Let’s just launch it!” On the 15th of August 2017, Lavafoshi was officially available on both Android and iOS.
Once they launched, Lavafoshi had to conquer a challenge. This challenge was Yonder Music, which entered the Maldivian market in August 2017. Just like iFlix, they too formed a partnership with Dhiraagu. Yet this time, the Lavafoshi team was confident enough to launch and take a risk.
They felt they had a solution that catered to the local market. And true enough they did. Soon after they launched, they had gathered an audience of 11,000 users. Today, they have an audience larger than Spotify does in the Maldives. The biggest highlight for the Lavafoshi team was when people started comparing Lavafoshi to Yonder Music.
Lavafoshi is putting up a good fight against Yonder Music. However, they still have another challenge that they need to conquer. That challenge is the poor internet. Haris elaborated on this saying, “If you get 5 Mbps now, you may not get it the next minute. It’s not a stable connection.”
It’s not a problem they can fix entirely because it’s an external problem. The only thing they can do is minimize the problem. And to minimize it they plan to implement local caching, prefetching, adaptive and progressive playback.
In case you’re lost, local caching refers to storing songs on the servers of ISP’s or telecoms to ensure that they’re loaded faster. Whereas if you’re already listening to a song in an album, prefetching refers to downloading the next song in the album before the current song ends. Finally, adaptive and progressive playback refers to adjusting the quality of the song in a manner similar to YouTube videos.
So what’s next for Lavafoshi? Evolution. Internally, the company aims to evolve into a fully automated business. One where AI handles all of its day to day activities. For the rest of the world, this startup aims to evolve from a music streaming service to a social network. A social network where anyone can listen to songs and share them with friends. So if you’re curious to try out Lavafoshi, you can download it now on both iOS and Android.
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Seedstars, a global organization based in Switzerland promotes, connects and invests up to $1 million USD in emerging market startups through their exclusive startup competition held in over 60 countries.
Seedstars, a global organization based in Switzerland promotes, connects and invests up to $1 million USD in emerging market startups through their exclusive startup competition held in over 60 countries. Last year, we saw Seedstars come to Sri Lanka for the first time. LayUp was selected as the winner of the first Seedstars Colombo, which was held last year. LayUp then went onto represent Sri Lanka as a finalist at Seedstars Global. Eight startups will be competing at SeedStars Colombo 2017.
The winning startup will receive an all-expenses paid trip to both the Seedstars Asia Regional Summit in Bangkok. They’ll also win a trip to Switzerland to compete at the Seedstars Global Summit for equity investments of up to USD 1 million, and to meet with international mentors and investors.
(Thursday) 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
MAS Innovation Center
#50 Foster Lane, Colombo
Mobile Application Security Beyond Compliance Speaker Christopher Stewart is an IT Infrastructure and Security Practitioner with over 11 years of experience including cyber defense and Governance & Audit areas. Here's your chance to
Mobile Application Security
Christopher Stewart is an IT Infrastructure and Security Practitioner with over 11 years of experience including cyber defense and Governance & Audit areas. Here’s your chance to catch Christopher’s session on Mobile Application Security: Beyond Compliance.
Sign up via Email [email protected] | Call us on 011 4713290
*Priced at Rs. 500 (free for CSSl members)
(Monday) 5:45 pm - 7:45 pm
Prof Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha, Colombo 00700
Startup weekend-Trincomalee Beach Calling entrepreneurs, Growth Hackers, Dreamers, Rain Makers and Startup Catalysts to change the world in 54 hours! Bring your creativity and skills and Join Startup Weekend Trincomalee
Startup weekend-Trincomalee Beach
Calling entrepreneurs, Growth Hackers, Dreamers, Rain Makers and Startup Catalysts to change the world in 54 hours! Bring your creativity and skills and Join Startup Weekend Trincomalee ,Friday 27th to Sunday 29st Octon,2017 at Trinco beach hotel, Trinco
What’s Startup Weekend, Anyway?
Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon – 54 hours of fast and furious prototype development through to exploring potential markets and pitching. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to build lasting relationships with co-founders; mentors, and investors.The real value comes from taking an idea from concept through to execution using Lean tactics and working under high pressure with the best startups.
Google for Entrepreneurs is the global partner for Techstars Startup Weekend Program, including Startup Weekend, Startup Next and Startup Digest. Google is a sponsor of Techstars Accelerator Programs. Techstars collaborates with the Google for Entrepreneurs campuses across the globe to support engagement with entrepreneurs everywhere.
What You Can Do?
In short, Startup Weekend shapes the lives of many people as a starting point as entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts. Ultimately, it’s an amazing spring board to get started on something (a new business, career at a startup or great relationships).
Come pitch, join a team, iron out your business model, and build away! In just 54 hours teams will come together to create startups from scratch and learn about entrepreneurship in a hands-on and meaningful way. Developers, designers, business experts, and makers will come to build prototypes and launch startups that use hardware or software to interconnect us all and change the world.
WHO GOES TO STARTUP WEEKENDS?
Experienced business people or budding entrepreneurs, Creative designers, Coders, growth hackers who are looking for new ideas and wanting to challenge their skills – Startup Weekends are a fun and exciting way to to upskill and test yourself in the world of startups
WHAT DO YOU DO AT A STARTUP WEEKEND?
Starting from 6.30 PM on Friday registration will be done, Welcome speech, Dinner, Startup pitches ideas chosen and lasting teams formed. By late Friday night you’ll be on your way with goals set and roles assigned.
Saturday is all about validation – contacting potential customers and checking out if there is really a market for your idea – and reacting fast if you need to change. Meanwhile if you’re a developer or a designer you’ll be furiously building the product.
Sunday is about making it work and preparing for the final pitch to a panel of carefully chosen judges. Throughout the process mentors from all backgrounds will be on hand. (link to timetable)
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER
Celebrate! We’ll put in place a follow up event, and there will be other opportunities, including our Co-Starters program.
What is the benefit of attending Startup Weekend ?
Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go. It’s like an MBA in a weekend.
2) Build your network:
This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or a even an investor.
3) Co-Founder Dating:
We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.
4) Learn a new skill:
Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are prefect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
5) Actually launch a business:
Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
6) Get face time with thought leaders:
Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as mentors and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
7) Save money & get stuff:
Startup Weekends cost $40 (less for students). Your ticket covers seven meals, snack, access to exclusive resources our global sponsors, and all the coffee you can drink.
8) Join a global community:
Join over 30,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
Facilities for the Attendees?
Mentors : Whether it’s growth, design, or prototype,you’ll find a mentor who can help
Free WIFI: You will Get Free WIFI Access from our Telecom Partner
Meals : Morning Refreshment Plus Lunch and Dinner
Community Perks and Discounts : Take advantage of perks and discounts offered to all Startup Weekend participants from the Global sponsors.
Much More: Whatever you are building, our sponsors and community have put together some fantastic resources to help you build your idea.
october 27 (Friday) - 29 (Sunday)
Trinco Beach Hotel
326,Dyke Street, Trincomalee