GoldenCircle is a professional networking platform that follows social 2.0 principles; the platform helps unlock professional & business opportunities for experienced professionals; founded by Ajay Thakur & Sahil Sharma, based out of Bengaluru, Karnataka.
With Social 2.0 in place, professionals on GoldenCircle can focus on building professional relationships & knowledge sharing; instead of worrying about followers, likes & any vague social proof. GoldenCircle is a privacy-first platform whose business model isn't about collecting personalised data for showing ads.
"We wanted to build a social platform where users genuinely feel joyful, and less anxious, less pressured & would not care much about Digital-Social validation. If you see, most social platforms were designed 10-15 years back for one purpose - to make users spend more time on their services to serve ads by any means, be it by optimising for its users to seek more social validation or by amplifying the spread of fake news & hate speech to get users attention back to these social media platforms at any cost, more eye-balls, more the ads revenue. What have these platforms resulted in? The majority population, addicted to these services, are less happy, have reduced attention span, are less social in real-life, and are more anxious - a 24*7 never-ending rat race of chasing more likes, more followers, and endless social validation. Netflix has created an excellent documentary, "The Social Dilemma", which is the exact problem we're trying to solve at GoldenCircle." - Ajay Thakur
The duo struck with the idea of building GoldenCircle while they were brainstorming on the celebrity-paid cameos platform idea, where they had to take back-n-forth flights from Bengaluru to Mumbai to onboard influencers & celebrities; they realised networking is complicated for the majority of professionals and still required vague social proof, instead of their actual work experience or contribution they have made.
"GoldenCircle platform does not have follower counts, like counts, follow requests, connection requests, and other inboxes. Instead, every member is rewarded with Karma as the only number for their contribution to the platform by posting insights or contributing to discussions on the platform, just like in real life. Karma also helps our members to filter out noise vs signal for messages they receive.
So far, following the social 2.0 principles; has worked well for us, collectively, our users have posted over 11,000+ Insights, and on average, our top users have posted 300+ insights. If you see, other professional networking platforms have become more about showing offs and boosting self-ego; all you see is their users' celebrating promotions and congratulating and less of actual sharing of insight or personal learning. On GoldenCircle, you will not find this behaviour.
We believe the future of social media will not be based on the like economy. " - Sahil Sharma
Both the founders have diverse experiences. Before starting GoldenCircle Ajay, has founded Burffee, social publishing platform, and was a Head of Developer Experience at FusionCharts, where he was responsible for improving product & developer experience for 80% of Fortune 500 companies. A college drop-out, hailing from Pangi valley, a tribal area located in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, Ajay has been building products & technology at GoldenCircle.
Whereas Sahil was Heading Digital Marketing at Rapido & heading marketing for multiple startups before starting GoldenCircle. Sahil has scaled marketing to 3 million rides a month at Rapido, which resulted in Rapido becoming the #1 Bike Taxi app in India. Born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Sahil has been working tediously growing the platform member base & developing its business & revenue initiatives at GoldenCircle.
"I find GoldenCircle very interesting for Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and People in Senior Management in the corporate world. The shared insights, information, and expertise are a real gem for any budding Entrepreneur or Management Professional. GoldenCircle has come a long way to stay focused and Clutter free of Advertisements." - Ravi Iyer - Head of Sales, Reliance Jio
"GoldenCircle has broken a heist with a fantastic platform. It is functional, contextual, and relatable. This is what I like the most about this platform. I'm sure in times to come; it will be a significant Indian innovation." - Mihir Singh - VP Marketing, Vodafone Idea
GoldenCircle, with the majority of senior professionals from large companies and the platform, has been able to build a loyal member base, which is using it every day, for networking and sharing insights. GoldenCircle is Currently available for iOs and Android. Apart from being add-free & social 2.0, the platform offers a variety of features, which includes One Tap networking, Favourites Feed, Micros to consume subject-specific content and Discover for exploring like-minded professionals with similar interests.
From a business & monetisation standpoint, GoldenCircle is a rare bootstrapped social-media company. It has already started generating revenue & GoldenCircle plans to be profitable in the next few quarters with the help of its recently launched feature "GoldenCircle work" which allows its members to apply for mid-to-senior curated roles. GoldenCircle work offers OneTap Apply for all jobs, upfront salary transparency, perks & direct recruiter-applicant chats. Companies of all sizes are hiring on GoldenCircle, from Unicorn to Series B -to Series A.
"For a social product, it is essential to create economic incentives early on for its users; with our work feature, we're bringing speed, transparency & fairness to the hiring process, which is usually discussed in later rounds. On GoldenCircle, it is upfront for professionals looking out for new job opportunities; it saves a lot of time for both company & applicants to make the right choices." - Ajay Thakur
"To turn the "Make In India" & "Startup India" visions into reality, Indian Entrepreneurs must build sustainable businesses; sustainability is essential for the continuation of our growing economy, and it is easier for our startup ecosystem to thrive globally." -Sahil Sharma
As startup funding is slowing down globally, founders are focusing more on unit economics and building sustainable growth with less burn. GoldenCircle is also building monetisation features to help its business content creators generate leads for their products & services without relying upon ads. Instead, the platform will focus on direct audience-to-creator interactions.
It is exciting to see how GoldenCircle is changing the game in the social media industry without an Ads business.