Simply Blood: World’s first blood donation app
Right Place, Right Cause: Donate Blood through Simply Blood .
Kiran Verma is a school dropout from Delhi, who lost his mother due to cancer at the age of seven. Personal loss and loss of others left a lasting impact on young Kiran’s mind and he left his white collar job as Head Corporate Communication at Galgotias group, to launch his social entrepreneurship venture in 2017.Verma shares his altruistic endeavour in a heart-warming discourse with our correspondent. Read on!
Story behind ‘Simply Blood’
I lost my mom due to cancer at the age of seven. Her death was nothing to do with blood but that left me all alone. I realized the meaning of losing your own at an early age. I took an oath that I would do something for the mankind and just after I turned 18, I started donating blood.
Second life changing event took place in August 2016 when one of our community members (we had a WhatsApp community) needed platelets for his mother who was fighting from dengue. By the time he could reach the hospital which was around two-three hours away, the mother expired. That was the day I realized the value of time in critical medical case.
It was Dec 28, 2016, when I got a random call mentioning somebody needed blood at a hospital in Delhi. After donating blood, I thought of meeting the person. I couldn't meet the patient but met his wife and was shocked to know that my blood was sold to her for Rs 1500 which I donated for free. I dialled the number but didn't get any response and realised the person was a tout who was into unethical business.
The same day I quit my job to take up this cause wholeheartedly. I found few developers who were committed to provide technical support to ‘Simply Blood’ for the next few years at a nominal cost. We started our work on the app and website on Jan 3, 2017 and launched the app on Jan 29, 2017.
What is Simply Blood?
‘Simply Blood’ is World's First Virtual Blood Donation Platform. The App is available on Google Play Store and non android people could access the features from simplyblood.com.
A user needs to download and register as blood donor by choosing any date to donate blood. Our App will track user's location on the selected date and will share all the requests within 10kms from user's location. So, even if the user is travelling to other location, ‘Simply Blood’ will notify only the nearest possible needy on selected date by the user.
Anybody could find blood donors using ‘Simply Blood’ though a smart phone for anyone, for whosoever in need of blood. Within three clicks a person could raise the request and the notification goes to all the potential donors available on that date and location.
We never take money and we never make money using ‘Simply Blood.’ We are thinking to go like Wikipedia where they do a fund raising every year for a month and run their operations out of the collected funds.
Addressing problem of both donors and users
Mostly blood donation is done at blood donation camps organised by NGOs, societies and hospitals. But after donation the donor is unaware about who is getting his/her blood. Many times the blood donated by a donor for a noble cause gets sold at a price between Rs 1500 to 50K (depending upon the rarity of the blood) by private blood banks and NGOs. Shockingly a huge amount of blood gets wasted every year due to roadblocks faced while reaching out to those in need. You may refer a report on the wastage of blood here.
When somebody needs blood, he needs to either buy the blood or get the blood donor arranged. To search donor there are many large networks where you could find the number of blood donors. We need to call every potential donor for his availability which takes hours and even if a donor is ready to donate the travel time is quite long. At times we fail to save lives due to such long process.
‘Simply Blood’ is a single solution to these issues. With a database of 60+K blood donors across India and more than 6000 registered donors on our Platform. In 2016 we saved around 13 potential lives from (August to December) through blood donation using our Whatsapp group. Since Jan 2017 we have saved 700+ potential lives across nine countries.
The stumbling blocks
The initial investment for launching ‘Simply Blood’ was Rs 2 lakh. I promoted the company out of my own savings so far, though we have raised Rs 2.5 lakh funds for our next year’s operations through our crowd funding campaign. Team tried for funding but failed as when we applied for personal loan, it got rejected. We went to few VCs but were denied due to lack of ROI in our model. We went to govt agencies as well but failed to get help. Our campaign is running on ketto.org.
Rapid growth indices
The Simply Blood App has reached organically to 170+ nations in less than 16 weeks and has been used by more than 7000+ users in more than 50 countries. It is one of the ‘highest rated’ Android app for Blood Donation on Google Play Store (4.9 rating from 250+ users) and we have more than 100+ students under ‘Simply Blood’ Ambassador Program (SAP). Recently we were awarded "Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017" in India International CSR Conclave 2017 held at PHD Chambers of Commerce.
We have got more than 1800 requests so far out of which we have catered around 700 people through platform (rest excess requirements came in personal capacity outside Simply Blood).
Kiran Verma and Team are currently working on a smart device which could save thousands of lives across the world at a very cheap cost and are looking for funds to develop the technology. We are also working to develop our own innovative module by creating a whole eco-system around it. Simply Blood App are hoping to save a million lives by 2020 using the platform.
Do you think a virtual blood donation app Simply Blood makes a viable business opportunity? Do share your views.