How we made it to a million users in 2 years

by | Nov 2, 2017

The​ ​adoption​ ​rate​ ​of​ ​mobile​ ​is​ ​twice​ ​that​ ​of​ ​the​ ​internet,​ ​three​ ​times​ ​that​ ​of social​ ​media,​ ​and​ ​10​ ​times​ ​faster​ ​than​ ​PCs. — Emma​ ​Crowe,​ ​Somo.

Two​ ​years​ ​ago,​ ​Zoto​ ​started​ ​out​ ​as​ ​a​ ​mobile​ ​recharge​ ​app. At​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of our​ ​first​ ​year,​ ​we​ ​were celebrating​ ​100k​ ​users.​ ​June​ ​would​ ​make​ ​it​ ​the second​ ​year,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​already​ ​celebrated​ ​1​ ​million​ ​users.

Exponential growth?​ ​In​ ​some​ ​way,​ ​yes.​ ​But​ ​we​ ​know​ ​there’s​ ​more,​ ​so​ ​we​ ​shared​ ​a slice​ ​of​ ​cake​ ​and​ ​are​ ​already​ ​looking​ ​on​ ​to​ ​the​ ​next​ ​target.

That​ ​isn’t​ ​the​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​our​ ​post​ ​here​ ​today. Instead,​ ​we’d​ ​like​ ​to​ ​talk about​ ​the​ ​journey​ ​so​ ​far.​ ​The​ ​voluntary​ ​7​-day​ ​work​ ​week​ ​and​ ​sleepless nights,​ ​the​ ​unexpected​ ​crashes,​ ​making​ ​Android​ ​top​ ​charts, and​ ​that one​ ​time​ ​we​ ​got​ ​over​ ​200k​ ​users​ ​in​ ​a​ ​few​ ​days.


We’re​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​share​ ​the​ ​experiences​ ​we’ve​ ​had​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way,​ ​in hopes​ ​of​ ​others​ ​learning​ ​from​ ​our mistakes,​ ​and​ ​ourselves​ ​learning from​ ​your​ ​feedback.​ ​Because​ ​we​ ​understand​ ​that​ ​this​ ​is​ ​how​ ​we​ ​grow together​ ​as​ ​an​ ​ecosystem,​ ​and​ ​we’re​ ​here​ ​to​ ​stay.​ ​So​ ​why​ ​not​ ​start now?

Everyone​ ​who​ ​has​ ​had​ ​to​ ​market​ ​an​ ​app​ ​in​ ​Nigeria​ ​today​ ​knows​ ​that the​ ​journey​ ​is​ ​a​ ​tough​ ​one.​ ​For​ ​the most​ ​part,​ ​you’re​ ​competing​ ​with our​ ​“oyinbo”​ ​counterparts,​ ​and​ ​their​ ​apps​ ​already​ ​have​ ​like​ ​a​ ​gazillion

And​ ​even​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​able​ ​to​ ​carve​ ​out​ ​a​ ​niche​ ​market​ ​for​ ​yourself,​ ​like Babymigo​ ​did​ ​with​ ​their​ ​app (which​ ​we​ ​think​ ​is​ ​awesome​ ​by​ ​the​ ​way), getting​ ​the​ ​word​ ​out,​ ​driving​ ​early​ ​adopter​ ​downloads​ ​and
engagement,​ ​then​ ​pursuing​ ​growth​ ​is​ ​always​ ​a​ ​problem.​ ​We​ ​faced those​ ​same​ ​things​ ​and​ ​more.

So​ ​here’s​ ​what​ ​to​ ​expect​ ​from​ ​us​ ​in​ ​the​ ​coming​ ​months.

  • Our​ ​first​ ​major​ ​fail​ ​in​ ​product​ ​scalability​ ​and​ ​what​ ​it​ ​taught​ ​us
  • Driving​ ​a​ ​culture​ ​of​ ​growth​ ​and​ ​experimentation​ ​at​ ​an​ ​individual
    level​ ​for​ ​tech​ ​organizations
  • Growing​ ​a​ ​social​ ​community​ ​that​ ​supports​ ​your​ ​brand​ ​through
  • Data​ ​driven​ ​offline​ ​marketing​ ​for​ ​digital​ ​products​ ​and​ ​how​ ​it
    saved​ ​us​ ​millions
  • Creating​ ​a​ ​service​-centric​ ​brand​ ​and​ ​how​ ​to​ ​get​ ​your​ ​whole
    organization​ ​involved​ ​in​ ​customer​ ​service
  • What​ ​we​ ​learned​ ​from​ ​our​ ​first​ ​design​ ​sprint​ ​in​ ​building​ ​Zoto​ ​v3

Throughout​ ​this​ ​series,​ ​we’d​ ​be​ ​looking​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​answering​ ​your questions​ ​on​ ​anything​ ​app​ ​related. Our​ ​engineering​ ​and​ ​marketing guys​ ​will​ ​be​ ​following​ ​each​ ​post​ ​to​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​we​ ​answer​ ​every​ ​question we​ ​can,​ ​so​ ​don’t​ ​hold​ ​back!

If​ ​you’d​ ​like​ ​us​ ​to​ ​address​ ​anything​ ​more​ ​specific,​ ​start​ ​dropping​ ​your comments​ ​below,​ ​we’d​ ​see​ ​how​ we​ ​can​ ​fuse​ ​them​ ​into​ ​upcoming​ ​posts.


Zoto is one of Nigeria’s fastest growing mobile recharge and payment solutions with over a million users. We’re here to share lessons learned on the way.


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4 years ago

Time to learn from our friends at Zoto.

Okonkwo Ikenna
Okonkwo Ikenna
4 years ago

What is a good ratio for DAU to total installs… And how do you trigger users to get feedback from them?

Reply to  Okonkwo Ikenna
4 years ago

Quite relevant questions @okonkwoikenna:disqus . I’d see how we can cover them in the coming posts.

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