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With nearly 100 million downloads, Kdan Mobile Software is now making the leap from B2C to B2B business, expanding its software solutions to the education and corporate market.
Kdan’s foray into B2B business involves the launch of an app series named "Creativity 365" and which provides cross-device, cross-system, digital content creation tools for offices and schools.
The developing content ecosystem is expected to encourage even more creativity and sharing.
The Taiwanese software company is betting its apps will be an important bridge between the areas of consumer and professional software, providing greater ease of use and lower price points.
Kdan Founder and CEO Kenny Su said “we cannot always use the same business model," as he tries to displace larger software giants from the market such as Adobe and Evernote.
He is looking to offer a simpler, more affordable suite of applications targeting creative content and sharing.
Su said Kdan’s cloud platform currently has 2 million subscription members paying a monthly fee of US$10 along with an annual fee of US$60.
He says subscription income alone will allow the company to break even this year and potentially turn a profit next year.
Kdan’s series of five flagship cloud platform apps have exploded to some 60 million downloads in just half a year.
The number is estimated to break 100 million in the first quarter of next year. Such download volume is rarely seen in Taiwan’s app market.
Su explains his decision to lead the company from simple B2C applications into a more complicated B2B business market is based upon the constant need for innovation.
Su cites as an example Cheetah Mobile, which also started with cleanup tools and quickly expanded to include content and media.
"Now software as a service (SaaS) is even migrating towards B2B!" Su said, adding that even Evernote and Dropbox are beginning to steadily grow in the B2B business. But he noted that in Asia, few start-up companies are doing SaaS, and he hopes to bring Taiwan's software tools to the rest of the world.
Su described the B2C applications as having less stickiness in the market than those in B2B, but that B2B takes considerably longer to build as a business model.
Once a viable B2B customer is established, the customer will be less likely to switch to other services. Thus, the nature of B2B customers could provide more stable growth for Kdan.
Kdan’s "PDF Reader" app has been selected by Google Play as the best domestically produced app.
Furthermore, “Creativity 365” will re-integrate the original product line, including its flagship of five creative apps: PDF Markup, Pocket Scanner, NoteLedge, Animation Desk and Write-On Video.
This will provide a full range of functions including word processing, scanning, multimedia note taking, hand-drawn animation and video editing.
These will all be offered on the community Kdan Cloud platform.
This will better allow users to engage in real-time creation of content and sharing across the platform.
Kdan hopes to also launch exclusive back-end management systems for B2B clients to facilitate administrators in setting up special user permissions.
Su said he found that many users have their own software tools, but he hoped user groups would choose Kdan apps as a way to allow them to share and collaborate.
This sharing could be done regardless of whether the work took different forms such as documents, multimedia, video, or animation. Through a joint platform, real-time simultaneous online editing services can grow and expand.
According to Su, the next step will be the development of products in three distinct directions.
First, providing tools for users to create content. Second, development of common writing, editing and sharing capabilities. The third direction is finally solving the problem of communication.
Kdan's next targets for expansion will be the education and corporate markets, with the company looking for animation and PDF editors to see increased demand.
For corporate clients, Kdan intends to provide customized content, such as internal file signatures and customized value-added services.
Regarding educational institutions, Kdan plans to provide a free three-month trial, and has already begun contacting some of the world's leading schools.
At present, the US market is set to occupy 40% of marketing resources, with bellwether schools being contacted first.
In the Asian market, the first target markets will be Taiwan, China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao.
Initial contact will be through online marketing, followed by contact through channel activities.
Established in 2009, Kdan has a physical presence in China, including in Shenzhen and second-tier cities such as Changsha.
These offices do everything from R&D to business operations. The company anticipates that by the first quarter of 2017, it will set up an operations team in Beijing.
While the B2C sales approach typically appeals to a vast array of customers, B2B requires a more targeted approach that involves enlisting enterprises that often have thousands of employees who need to be linked on a single platform.
Another difference between the two business models is that B2B focuses on establishing enterprise networks and solid supply chain systems, while B2C is focused on a need for economies of scale and competitive pricing.
As Kdan continues to grow and expand, it’s only natural for the firm to explore new market opportunities across different platforms and regions, and now business segments.