Khabri is India’s fastest growing Hindi audio platform with 30,000+  content creators. They help the users discover and listen to the audio content in their local language.


  • How to have a growth mindset from day 0
  • How to get your first set of users
  • How to grow organically
  • What is ASO
  • How ASO helped Khrabi get 500 - 700 downloads every day
  • How to retain customers

    Anyone using the app can easily create and broadcast content. It is justifiable to say that Khabri is the Youtube for the Audio platform. For those of you who don’t know about Khabri, it is a company that started really small and scaled fast, with zero marketing spend. In this blog, we are going to see how Khabri, a B2C company, achieved this. The insights and learnings in this blog were shared by Pulkit Sharma, Co-founder of Khabri in a HelloMeets meetup. Check out our upcoming meetups, here.

    The app is the brainchild of Pulkit Sharma, Co-founder, and CEO of Khabri. Like almost every Engineer in India, Pulkit spent a lot of time traveling to work. Screen time during travel can be really hard for some and this sparked the idea of an App that broadcasted audio content.

    Although the app is a great success now, it was started off during the time when video content was highly promoted. It was in early 2016, and businesses were moving towards video-led content. After battling a lot of discouragements the app was finally released. We have with us, the man behind the app answering questions on how they made it from 0 to 1 Million users organically.


How did Khabri get its first set of users?

The idea of the app was to broadcast news. Therefore, we started with broadcasting small snippets of audio news in an easily consumable manner. We got family and friends to download the app. The first 5000 - 7000 downloads were purely word of mouth.

Once we exhausted the downloads from all our contacts. We had a dataset that we could study. But, the problem was the information did not allow us to draw lines. One thing that we learned as a B2C company was not to try and solve all the issues at the same time.

Therefore, we targeted at getting 50K downloads within the next 3 months. This dataset would allow us to perform analytics. But the question was how do we get 50K downloads in 3 months?

The big break…

For an app like ours, we need advertising. That was the only way by which more people would reach out to us. But, how to promote a B2C company organically?

We reached out to journalists from different magazines and newspapers to write about our app. But, at this stage, we were still curating news articles, thereby making it impossible for press giants to write about us. It was against their policy to promote a news channel.

We then realized the mistake that we were making...

The main idea of the app was to promote content in the national language so that it reaches out to even the rural part of India. In a country like ours, 70% of the population are from rural areas. Once we cracked this, we went after the rural press. We contacted journalists from small towns and villages and asked them if they can spread the word. After this, we started gaining traction. We were getting about 2000 - 4000 downloads in a day.

Diversifying the app

Now that we had the data that we needed, we wanted to grow. When it came to growth, we tried a lot of strategies - blogging, student referrals, Social media groups, etc. But nothing gave us the traction like PR.

On analyzing deeper, we noticed something unique about the viewership. It dawned to us that our users were using our app to gain General Knowledge. This opened a lot of verticals for us. Until then, the app was primarily a news channel. This opened the horizons for a lot of categories such as motivation, self-help, etc.

The classic chicken and egg problem

Now that we had cracked the market, we needed creators. It was difficult to get creators because our user base was still less. And, we couldn’t acquire users because we did not have enough content.

At this point, we started looking out for podcasters. We noticed that a lot of the creators were posting content on Youtube with a static image because there was no platform for audio.

We identified the top 20 creators and suggested that they publish content on another platform such as Khrabi in addition to Youtube. Some of them agreed and along with these creators came their user base.

App Store Optimization

With about 2 million mobile apps available in the app/play store, discoverability is a huge issue.

We understood that there is one technique that is overlooked by many - app store optimization. And, once we realized it, that was also our key for retention.

To break things down, we focused on a few things that worked great for us.

Title: The keyword in the title should rank high in search. We spent a lot of time in researching on this keyword. We rephrased the title multiple times to see what worked for us.

Keywords: The keywords that are used in the description helps you immensely. They maximize the visibility of the app during the search.

Downloads: The more the number of downloads the greater the visibility.
Reviews and ratings: The app begins to rank higher among the competitor apps once it starts gaining more reviews.

How App store optimization (ASO) helped Khrabi get 500 - 700 downloads every day

Before App store optimization (ASO), we were getting about 100 - 200 downloads a day. But as a product, we wanted to evolve. We experimented on a lot of things and listed below is what worked for us. Making these tweaks helped us get 500 - 700 downloads a day.

  • We constantly tested the keywords that worked best for us. A lot of rephrasing to see which keyword gave us better results.
  • We started offering incentives for creators with higher viewership. This encouraged them to write reviews for us and they also promoted Khrabi on their other platforms.
  • We experimented with our Logo to identify the one that caught the attention of our users.
  • We had different trigger points in the app to collect feedback, if the user rated 4 and above, we would send them to the app store. If the feedback was negative, we would get in touch with them.


How to retain users?

  1. Feed customization plays a huge role in retention.

With this change alone, the retention percentage increased from 25% to 50%.

2. Improved search

The search bar in the app was not visible earlier. Users had to go through a 4 -5 step process if they wanted to search for a particular topic. Improving the UI made this easier for the users.

3. Made a feed with top channels

When it comes to an app, Day 0 retention plays a huge role. This is the number of users who launched the app after they installed it. This also decides if the user would return the next day.

We optimized the channel to display the top channels on the feeds to attract users. This increased our retention rate to 40% on Day 1.

4. Push notifications increase response rates

We worked and reworked on the copy and optimal time to send the notifications to our users. A lot of AB testing went into this, we tried using different combinations of smileys, tried different times until we knocked what worked for us.

Bottom line
Each app is different. A retention strategy that works best for one might not work for another. But, once you get your basics right, this should be easy to crack. Test, test, and test, this is the only key. ASO, when done right can drastically influence conversions and increase ROI.

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