Banned Healofy app returns in a new avatar, faces the challenge of building user base afresh

Healofy, the online pregnancy and parenting platform that was taken down by Google for gross policy violations, faces the formidable task of rebuilding its user base on its new application.The startup, backed by Omidyar Network, BAce Capital, and China’s Babytree, returned to the Google Play store as a fresh mobile application on Sunday. Most of its user base — about 9 lakh monthly active users — is still on the banned application.
Healofy is trying to figure out a way to migrate users to the new application without needing them to uninstall the old application. This method risks losing users who may choose not to take that effort. The new application has so far had a little over 50,000 downloads.
“Our existing users continue to benefit from and engage meaningfully with the older application and we are actively engaging with Google to work out solutions to reinstate it on the Play store,” Gaurav Aggarwal, CEO & Cofounder, Healofy told ET. “While the issue of migration is a purely internal matter, user experience, trust and compliance are absolutely paramount for us. We are working on potential solutions and will be letting our users know the next steps shortly.”
Google removed the application from its Play store last month for violating developer policy. Facebook, which had selected Healofy as part of its FbStart program, has also banned Healofy’s English page on the platform.It is not clear which policies were violated or why they couldn’t replace the old application instead of creating a whole new one. On Facebook’s ban, the company said its English page will be back shortly.
Google, in response to an email query, said that, as a policy, it doesn’t comment on individual apps. It, however, clarified that the company’s policy enforcement guidelines say that, “failure to address violations may result in additional enforcement actions, including permanent removal of your app or account termination.”
Healofy started as a portal focused on pregnant women and new moms in the 21-35 age group. Users can post questions, seek advice from medical experts and others regarding maternity and childcare. It was founded in 2016 by Gaurav Aggarwal and Shubham Maheshwari.
In March, Healofy raised $8 million in fresh funding from Alibaba-backed parenting platform BabyTree Group, BAce Capital – a fund anchored by Alibaba’s Ant Financial. Omidyar declined to comment. Alibaba and Babytree did not respond to emails.

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