Amit Banka, founder and CEO at ‘WeNaturalists’, which was founded with a single mission to “give purpose to people’s passion for nature”…
Q: What was the idea behind WeNaturalists?
WeNaturalists is a global ecosystem for nature professionals, enthusiasts, and organizations working in nature. People across the globe are tirelessly working to conserve, preserve and protect nature. But it’s still a scattered segment. Today, we need an informed generation to tackle the nature crises. WeNaturalists is empowering the people of nature with the right set of tools for a unified voice. These customized tools enable them to create visibility for their contribution, find new work prospects, explore learning opportunities, collaborate with experts, partner with organisations, and create a larger positive impact. It is a space for nature professionals like conservationists, wildlife professionals, field guides, researchers, content creators, and nature organizations like NGOs, educational institutions, eco-tourism businesses, charities, and eco-businesses to come together to form a strong, global nature network. By bringing people together, WeNaturalists bridges a big gap between supply and demand related to jobs, assignments, projects, grants, events, upskilling, education and training – while providing this community with an ecosystem where they can belong.
Q: How WeNaturalists is building up the community online to communicate globally about on-going environmental issues and what kind of major steps have been taken throughout the journey?
It’s an ecosystem specially designed for the people of nature. Our communication with the stakeholders and our ability to inspire open communication on the platform is helping people voice their opinion through original content created in the form of blogs, vlogs, audio & video and pictures. It also addresses the existing pain points of this community – a major driver for discussing issues related to climate change, global warming, etc. The approach that we have taken helps discovery of people, opportunities, learning, and communication as never before.
Q: Tell us about the growth story of the platform from inception and future plans in terms of expansion, funding, technology, hirings etc.
WeNaturalists was launched in November 2020 on an invite-only basis. After successful closed-group testing and affirmation of the potential and deliverability of the platform, we opened the gates to the world in January with the web and mobile application. Since then, we have seen web traffic of over 15,000 users from more than 100 countries. About 39% of our user base is from Asia, 31% from the Americas, 27% from Africa and Europe. We have received remarkable feedback from the users, partners, dignitaries, and contributors. We have already proved the potential of commerce generation and collaboration in this short time. We hope to reach over 1 million users globally within a year. We are running at full throttle across all functions and facets currently. We are coming up with a couple of interesting, new features to enhance the user journey. The focus now is on community outreach and increasing engagement across different features and tools. If I have to mention some critical measures in the short term – we plan to establish a global presence with offices in 3 major continents within the next few months. A Global Advisory Council is on the anvil to help us in shaping the ecosystem better and treading new paths carefully. We are also growing our team further and building it to align with our vision is going to be another key focus area. Having said that, now since the product is well accepted by the users, we will be looking to fundraise to achieve our organisational goals.