Spotlight: How LeMi Apps Navigated Issues With Google Play to Provide Value to Businesses

businesses marketplaces

App marketplaces like the Apple App Store and Google Play provide plenty of opportunities for mobile businesses. But they also present risks for those who become too reliant on them. For example, changing policies can lead to existing apps losing their status.

LeMi Apps has experienced both the highs and lows of these marketplaces. And the company is still around to provide value to its customers. Read about the journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers communication Android apps for small business marketing automation.

Apps include:

  • SMS Auto Reply
  • Keyword SMS Marketing AutoResponder
  • Auto Reply for WhatsApp

Business Niche

Focusing on SMS instead of web solutions.

Founder and CEO Michael Ginzburg told Small Business Trends, “Our point is to offer businesses (mainly small) and self-employed very cheap solution for Pull SMS Marketing (auto reply to clients requests). We do not compete with countless push SMS marketing web based services.”

How the Business Got Started

By bringing together people with multiple skill sets.

Ginzburg says, “LeMi Apps was started in 2009 by a group of people who came from very different backgrounds but were all experts in the mobile field in one way or another. We took our combined skills and knowledge and came together to create apps, focusing on specific areas, such as productivity and business utilities.”

Biggest Win

Participating in a Facebook program.

Ginzburg explains, “LeMi Apps has been accepted to the Bootstrap track of FbStart, Facebook’s program to help mobile startups succeed. Our apps were chosen ‘because of impressive development and potential for continued growth.’”

Biggest Risk

Relying on third party app stores.

Ginzburg adds, “In 2019 Google Play restricted use of sms/calls permissions. We lost 17 of our apps (about 500K users) that were sold on Google Play. Partial recovery took two years +. Now we have four apps on Google Play – 1st place in communication auto reply apps, sms marketing etc. We also start selling on Amazon app store and finally in 01/2021 started selling on our website restricted versions of our apps.”

Lesson Learned

Diversify your offerings.

Ginzburg says, “Our goal was to control specific areas of sms communication niche. It was probably the wrong decision.”

Company Mascot

A rubber duck.

Ginzburg explains, “If somebody needs to discuss some work issues and everyone is busy at that time, usually he has been recommended to ‘talk to the duck.’”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: LeMi Apps

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.