Shanghai’s women entrepreneurs gather for ‘Superwomen in Data’ on June 22, 2017. Women experts take the spotlight as they share their know-how in data, digital space and entrepreneurship.
Superwomen in Data is a series of innovative conference on digital topics. A team of exceptional women organized the event as a venue for sharing their valuable experience in the digital space.
In line with the event, we bring you Shanghai Rendezvous. Every week, we will be interviewing one of the five awesome women participating in the event.
This week, we sat down with Rachel, French entrepreneur and co-founder of 礼好吗 Lihaoma
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Rachel, co-founder of 礼好吗 Lihaoma. It’s an AdTech startup that improves brands’ engagement through gamification.
I also lead an entrepreneurship program at Shanghai University. I’m involved in Startup Grind Shanghai as a managing member and in French Tech too as a mentor.
Recently I became a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year for IPWS’ Women Leadership Award 2017.
Can you introduce your company: Lihaoma and how the ideas were born?
Lihaoma turns advertising into entertainment.
Here, users play branded games to win branded rewards. We’ve even helped 350 brands like Feiyue, Budweiser and Dunkin’ Donuts multiply their ad engagement ten times over!
In fact, the Shanghai government awarded us as the most innovative startup last year. We also got selected to join last year’s first accelerator in Asia, Chinaccelerator.
The app was originally designed to send digital gifts that people picked up in the real world. But we have pivoted a couple of times in the course of three and a half years.
The idea came from the founder, Benjamin Claeys. He was living in China, and he wanted to send gifts to his family in Belgium, to bring the digital back to the physical world.
What advice would you give to those who want to launch an app in China?
Apps are expensive to develop, not flexible, lengthy to update, and hard to maintain. Plus, they need many IT specialties which make them a nightmare to develop and manage.
Finally, user acquisition is very hard. 50% of apps get deleted within an hour of download. 90% get deleted after a month. They are also super expensive, count 20-80Y for a single user acquisition.
Why have you chosen to become an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship chose me! My father is a psycho-analysist and my mother a film editor. No one around me was an entrepreneur before, so I never saw myself as such.
Leaving my corporate job was scary at first. The uncertainty of what the future would look like was very draining, but now I’m hooked!
I love experimenting, seeing products and people evolve and blossom alongside me. The energy and passion that runs through the whole startup industry are enjoyable for me.
What are your bigger successes in your professional life? What are your biggest failures?
I got a couple of successes and many, many failures.
A very big milestone happened last week actually. We hit the 10,000 views on a campaign for one of our Taobao client, 大脑布, with no budget. The project was also done through a first time experiment with micro KOLs.
This was huge because it validated a hypothesis. We have been wondering about a theory but didn’t manage to get started. We went through a first time experiment with micro KOLs.
I can also think about when we hired our developer Justice, I had the feeling to go from blind to seeing.
We were finally able to understand what was happening on our app and how users were behaving.
We got to see what was working and what wasn’t and it was such a revelation. I spent countless hours looking at the data and I found excel spreadsheets exhilarating for the first time in my life!
I also absolutely loved it when one of my junior staff Angela contradicted me using data to prove her point.
We have been implementing many data-driven tools. We used Hubspot, Mixpanels, and Google Analytics to manage the team and take decisions. It was wonderful to see her buying in, and winning an argument against me with my own weapons.
A lot more total fuck ups happened in the course of building this company.
For the longest time, we thought our downloads were going well. That was until we discovered we were recording downloads and website registrations on the same level. Massive disappointment for us and our investors.
I cringe when I remember the countless arguments we had in the co-founding team. That was before we understood that there was no right or wrong. Then we realized that the opinion that mattered most was the customers’.
Going through the Lean Startup’s Build, Measure, Learn loop showed us the right direction. I wish I had discovered it sooner. It would have saved us a lot of time, energy and protected our relations.
Finally, I guess the biggest mistake was to wait for a year and a half to launch the beta version. This was way too late. We really only started working once the first version was out.
What’s your advice for women to help them to succeed?
First of all, you need to define what success means to you. Is it to have a work-life balance? Would you like to travel often? Do you want to reach the board of your company? To prove your parents wrong?
Find out your motivation, then assess according to your personal definition of success.
Trust yourself, accept setbacks and challenges as part of your journey to success. That’s super hard! Honestly, I’m still struggling with that part every day. You’ll need inspirations and mentors to guide you along the way.
Is being a woman in a digital environment with a majority of men an advantage or not? If yes, how do you use it?
I come from the beer industry, have 3 brothers and have been France’s Kung Fu Champion 8 times! So tell me about a male dominated environment.
I can’t remember this ever really bothering me. Actually, having a vagina served me a couple of times, as the startup community celebrates women more and more. But I remember feeling like every day was a fight and I’m fortunate I don’t feel that way anymore. If you see life that way then there needs to be a winner and a looser and that makes everything very stressful.
What does it take to be a “Superwoman in data”? Why do you believe people see you as one?
Oh my, I have no idea. Laurence (organizer of the event “Superwomen in data) why did you choose me?
I guess it takes to break prejudices about male and female’s strength, to embrace being logic and analytical, as well as pragmatic. It takes to not be afraid to make mistakes and let the customers surprise you through numbers.
To know more about the event “Superwomen in data” on 22nd of June in Shanghai. Scan the QR Code below and follow them on WeChat. Or register directly on this link.