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Russian venture fund Life.SREDA announces LifePad, a project to spark use of tablets across Russia. Last month, we did a story on SmartMarket, a Russia-oriented crowdsourcing platform funded by Life.SREDA. Now we have information about LifePad, a project by Life.SREDA to deliver tablets (iOS or Android) to Russians and to help boost the tablet market in this country.
People wishing to participate are given the option of an iPad 3 or Samsung GalaxyTab 2 and are provided the tablet for free. We’re told that the tablet comes with a free SIM card, but that the user will be expected to agree to a contract based on the tariff that they select. The tablets provided come with pre-installed apps based on the recommendations of specialists. Some of the apps relate to Life.SREDA services (LifePay, MyApps, Instabank), some are apps for recommended Russian services (Basecamp equivalent Megaplan, accounting software Elba, Mint-equivalent Zenmoney, ticket-organizing software TimePad, and organization-directory 2gis), and some are the popular apps you’d expect to find on any mobile device these days (Skype, Evernote, Dropbox). Basically, they are pre-loading a number of services which they feel would be useful to a typical resident of Russia.
I was told that they have already dispersed 1,000 tablets and plan to deliver a million by the end of the year. Their goal is to deliver a million annually and to double the tablet market in Russia. The tablets are distributed through their 800 Life Financial Group branches across the country. I asked about the ultimate goal of the service and was told that this project is designed to not only attract people to other services provided by Life.SREDA, but to try to expand the tablet market in Russia.
There is no question that this is an ambitious project. The goal of delivering one million tablets annually is not small and it will be interesting to see how things play out. It’s not entirely free, as recipients are expected to agree to a contract. The business model obviously relies on in-app-monetisation and acquisition of the new users through mobile channels.
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