Making a safe digital playground for kids with Gonzalo Rodriguez (Papumba)

Subscription User Journey Podcast Education Kids

In this episode, Gonzalo Rodriguez, CEO of Papumba, shares the app’s success secrets such as being featured on the App Store, creating a trustworthy environment for kids, keeping a close relationship with Apple, and continuously optimizing the in-app experience for young users and parents.

Educational app for children have become increasingly popular in recent years, with skyrocketing competition in the market. In a recent podcast, we sat down with Gonzalo Rodriguez, CEO of Papumba, a safe digital playground designed specifically for kids aged 2-7, offering a variety of educational games, books, videos, and audio stories that engage and educate young minds.

  • Creating a trustworthy and safe app for kids

  • Being Featured in Apple App Store

  • Generating 40% of additional revenue by localizing the content 

  • Improving the adoption of annual plans to increase the lifetime value

Read the key takeaways from the conversation and don’t forget to listen to the full recording!


Secret 1. Creating a trustworthy and safe app for kids

 In the particular world of children's apps, the company has faced common challenges and tackled them effectively. They have managed to work through regulations, integrate external links without compromising the user experience, and adhere to text and voiceover guidelines, demonstrating their commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable app for young users.

The company has learned that it is essential to have its app available in different languages to reach more customers and gain the parents’ trust.

Papumba's commitment to safety and credibility is evident through its prestigious Mom's Choice Award, which boasts the "Gold Seal of Approval," as well as its kidSAFE certification. The app is also 100% ad-free, blocks all In-App Purchases behind the parental gate, and does not allow access to other applications or external links while in use. 

Secret 2. Being Featured in Apple App Store

Gonzalo shared that being featured in the app stores helped the app boost downloads and make it easier to reach new users. He also stressed that while rewards and recognition are important, the primary focus should be on creating a great app that meets the needs of users. 

Secret 3. Generating 40% of additional revenue by localizing the content 

Born in Argentina with a strong collaborator base in Latam region, the app was primarily developed in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. But with a growing demand in countries using other than those languages such as Indonesia or France, the team has worked hard to translate the content such as text, voice-over, and games into multiple languages and ensure that the translations are accurate and user-friendly.

While this process was challenging in the beginning, they have gained the know-how to streamline the process. Today, the app is offered in 15 different languages, leading to 40% of additional revenue.

Secret 4. Improving the adoption of annual plans

Gonzalo also shared the importance of improving the adoption of annual plans to increase lifetime value.

He noted that while the app has been successful in attracting new users, there is still room for improvement when it comes to encouraging users to sign up for annual plans. To address this, Papumba’s team has conducted a series of experiments aimed at improving the onboarding process and making the app more appealing to users. By reducing churn and increasing the adoption of annual plans, they are continuously striving to increase the app's overall lifetime value.

Gonzalo Rodriguez Subscription League Episode

More about Gonzalo

Gonzalo Rodriguez is an accomplished Argentinian entrepreneur and passionate CEO with a deep love for parenting and education. As a two-time startup founder, he currently leads Papumba, a VC-backed Edtech platform focused on helping families around the world raise confident and ready-for-school children. As a devoted father to a 2-year-old toddler, Gonzalo understands the importance of providing high-quality, expert-curated content to support children's development.

Episode 24 Sneak Peek

About localizing the content

“Even though the US is our biggest market, outside of the US market there are more than 200 million families that have kids, and they don’t have many choices in their native language. We had a lot of people downloading the app from different countries like Indonesia and France. We had to build a team of translators and voice-overs working on the localization. We because good at it and now it’s cost-effective. Now 40% of the revenue comes from outside of the US and LATAM.”

About getting awarded by Apple

“Parents are very careful in choices they make regarding technology so being featured by Apple is important because we need to be very good with everything that comes before using the app. Those awards are great to inspire trust.”

About the adoption of annual plans

“In my opinion, it didn't make much sense to offer an annual commitment in the beginning so we went with a monthly. But after iterating for the first time, we included an annual plan with a nice discount, and suddenly 40% of our user base started to prefer the annual plan. So that was mind-blowing for me.”

About keeping a close relationship with Apple

“We decided to talk to Apple and Google from the very beginning. They have been giving guidance and we have been asking for support. We are partners and we share revenue.”

Episode Topics at a Glance

  • Introduction to Papumba

  • Challenges of approaching the Kids category

  • Keeping a close relationship with Apple

  • Getting featured by Apple

  • Boosting credibility and appealing to the parents

  • Optimizing the content for young children who can’t read

  • Localizing the content to increase revenue

  • Improving the adoption of annual plans

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