bought re branded by UFone and became a UFone Centric VAS as SMS Buddies, the second one which is headed by none other than our own Dr Umar Saif, who has also been a catalyst for some other startups like   Bumpin and the recently funded SeeNReport.

From an opportunity stand point we have a similar ground to play or in fact a …

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India’s SMS GupShup Grows to 26 Million Users: Where do we stand.

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TechCrunch today announced number for India’s Twitter Like SMS Gupshup . They have grown to an impressive 26 Million you can go for the details here.

We also have here two such efforts which revolved around the same idea, the first one was Mango which was later bought re branded by UFone and became a UFone Centric VAS as SMS Buddies, the second one which is headed by none other than our own Dr Umar Saif, who has also been a catalyst for some other startups like   Bumpin and the recently funded SeeNReport.

From an opportunity stand point we have a similar ground to play or in fact a better one, the mobile phone Subscribers in Pakistan are a whooping 94.3 Million (Source PTA ) which is an impressive 58% penetration. Compared to that our Internet Penetration is standing at only 5 million (source ISPAK) so the PC to Mobile ratio we have is much higher than what’s in India.

I could not get Number for Mango or Ufone Buddies but Chopaal announced in August that their monthly traffic has exceeded 1,000,000 SMS. How many total SMSes travel our network each day would be a very very high number in my estimate.

I am a very non sms type of mobile phone subscriber :) but even for me the SMSes I receive and send cross 50 daily (including all the forwarded messages i receive), and I am sure our teenage group who is always clicking on their cell phones even when they are having dinner or talking to you, they send a lot more.

In my opinion Chopaal has a better opportunity of Growth at this time as Mango is already sold, and our Telecom Operators have a tendency to only focus on one VAS at a time so they don’t spend any marketing budget on a VAS few months after the launch (When was the last time you saw an add or mention of Ufone Buddies). Mango Party was rebranded with UFone and Confiz (the creators of the product) work on a revenue sharing model with them, also according to the interview on CIO (Thaks Adil for pointing it out) they have another deployment with Zen telecom, Chopaal as i know is still going solo, only time will tell which business model is more appealing and revenue generating usually in mobile space the services with telco tend to take off earlier but we have also seen products like twitter disrupt the market without any dedicated telco support.

The only issue that i see facing both of these services and any other which is out there is awareness in masses about existence of such a service.

I am 100% sure that the day I tell my younger sister that there is a service out there which will enable her to broadcast one sms to multiple people with the cost of sending only one sms, she will jump on it without thinking for a second. also the type of user base which is target market for this will not even care if they receive a couple of Advertisement for the cost that they save through this.

From an advertisers point of view this is pure gold, if i can send specific marketing messages to specific people and not just send it out to all this is a value proposition that they would pay a premium for, go tell an Internet Provider that they can send text to a specific age group in a specific city for student discount, and see how they drool, so I am sure that getting revenues for this would not be an issue.

And for any such service at this moment the barrier to entry is very low, who ever moves fast and grows a sizable community will have the advantage. The core to success of any such service (Or any social network for the matter is) to grow as fast as they can. I am sure any one can make a twitter clone today but no one can create a user base of that size.


As noted by our readers and from other sources, i was mistaken in my earlier assumption of Mango being bought by UFone the post is updated, thanks for every one who pointed this out/

Facebook comments:


  • I am pretty sure that Mango was never acquired by Ufone. Infact it is Saas and Ufone is one of the users who have white labeled it as SMS buddies. Mango was rebranded as Simobo a while back. I think there are other telcos who are users of Simobo service as well.

  • I also dont think mango was bought up by UFone, at-least thats what i know from jehanara interview of Mango party owner.

    There is another service out there, and people behind them are those who are developing SeeNReport, but biggest problem with all these services is reliability of the services, from my experience all of these sites are mostly down and their sms delivery is very slow(most of the time).

  • Another one is mobi2weet ( which is a bridge to twitter`+ facebook via sms. It has around 5k users right now but Adil is right about reliability. That’s going to be the issue when a provider is not involved but then even the providers’ own services are slow when the SMS volume is large. Btw, mobi2weet did receive quite a bit of coverage from local blogs at the launch time in August :)

  • ALi, Thanks for the comment, yes we have been sort of quiet for last few months, but now things should change for better

  • You really need to research on the subject before posting a ‘news’ blog. Basing your story on hearsay is not going to add value to greenwhite.
    I dont want to rant too much about GW, but I’m taking this site off my bookmarks as quality of stories posted here are the same as those in our newspapers. Superficial and without getting into confirmed details.

  • @ali, first this article was not a report just an analysis, secondly i did update the post for info that was pointed out in Comments,
    As for your other point of getting confirmed details, usually the response time for some one for facts is around a month and that too some very basic facts (others don’t even reply and come here to bash the author once the story goes out), I am sure for some one who is just doing this as his passion and not a full time paid job, waiting around a month before all the parties respond is a bit time.
    And again even if we put out a story pre maturely (meaning after not getting a response from the organizations) and are flexible enough to change/update it after being provided the correct details I guess thats what a community driven site is all about.
    :) How about you send me an email and I create your account and you show us how to write a good and well researched story?

  • @ali (small “a”) – I dont recall at any point when any of us said that this is a “news blog” – the goal here has always been to provide a space to discuss trends and current challenges or threats faced by the industry and offer commentary, analysis and constructive suggestions.

    And its not run by authors and editors like a newsroom – but by the readers themselves. As Qazi said, you’re welcome to signup and discuss anything you want as well.

  • Heard from the chopaal team that chopaal’s monthly traffic is close to 8 Million SMS/month!! Someone was also mentioning that chopaal’s user base has grown beyond 500,000 users. They also offer a paid service that is used by organizations such as Wi-tribe, Samaa TV (Samaa TV’s site has a chopaal widget). Haven’t heard much about Mango though …

  • @ukhan these stats are impressive they do send out some advertisement through SMS anoincements targetted to tags I guess

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