BountyApp automatically rewards people for just walking into restaurants and retail stores and serves as a real-time digital platform for offline businesses bridging online-offline consumer behavior. This technology works without GPS and without even internet and uses some of the latest machine learning algorithm/techniques.
BountyApp’s vision is to map offline consumer behavior (akin to an online cookie) and drive data sciences into making everyday life better! Here is a brief about:
- After some consumer validation, bounty app launched their product on Feb 8th, 2015 and have few initial thousands downloads.
- BountyApp have grown by 20X in the last 90 days and every week they are growing!
- Every 2 out of 3 downloads is currently happening through referrals (Yes, ~66% app acquisition is through referrals)
- Apps in our space like CrownIt, KeepTrax and Niffler have raised some serious money already.
BountyApp is comparatively a new concept. So we are curious to know how they keep themselves ahead of competition curve. But it is simple! They just cater to the needs of their consumers, customer convenience is their motto. Since they have just started they are not much bothered about competition. Team BountyApp believe there is enough space for everyone to grow.
What was the idea behind starting the venture?
The idea behind this initiative and source of inspiration is – how knowing and understanding a simple everyday activity like eating or a weekly activity of visiting a mall can be so much more powerful in driving consumer experience and also result in businesses targeting with a context instead of spamming the consumer with offers. Being from an analytics and data sciences background, this problem of mapping offline consumer behavior excited us and thus Bounty was born.
Brief us about your business model, revenue model and offerings?
bounty is a free mobile app that rewards you for checking in at places! Every time you walk into partner places, the app’s ‘intelligent assist’ feature automatically recognizes your location and alerts you to collect reward points. Interestingly, this technology works even without your GPS being on or when your 4G/3G is switched off too.
The single most problem for any offline business is to get foot falls. If that’s so, then why not reward people for just walking into your store? They would love to if only they knew who walked in. That’s where we come in.
Think about us like us a digital interface for a physical location in real world. The business can distinguish between a new and an existing customer, recommend dishes to eat in a restaurant or show them to explore something that’s relevant to them in a retail store. We are more like an offline cookie for consumer behavior bridging the online-offline worlds.
What is your current focus and plans for target market?
The market is quite big, estimated at over a 100 Bn $ in India alone (actually doesn’t require sizing) and our target market is an offline business –restaurants/retail stores that have a physical presence and need foot traffic.
I think we are still very small compared to the current market size and hence there is no point in commenting on a share. Hence our current focus is to grow consumer base as they experience what frictionless and seamless rewards means.
How are you planning to escalate your business?
We would be growing city-wise and within a geo is the growth going to come from. Initially we have presence in Bangalore. We just expanded to Hyderabad and Chennai and we will stay put in these cities till we ramp up numbers. As expansion is less than a couple of weeks for a city for us, we can go ahead with growth capital and expand to few cities
How big is India, as a market, for your business? What is the number of users currently?
India alone is a US $ 10 billion opportunity and it could even be more.We are growing every week exponentially though we started with a small base. We currently are in 10K-50K users bracket
What are the challenges and your strategy to overcome them?
One of the major problems in a business such as ours is that you need to capture both ends of the chain simultaneously. That is, we need merchants onboard to get users, and users onboard to involve merchants. What we have learnt from our experience is that managing the merchant side or seller side is most critical in our business. You need to sell to a few guys without anything and then start consumer acquisition. Slowly the tempo builds on both sides as you grow up. Today we have about 4200+ partner places where people can get rewarded for just walking in, tens of thousands of users and 100+ gift voucher options ranging from flipkart, amazon, bookmyshow, mobile recharge etc.
The other big issue was that mobile marketing is very different from web app marketing and we too learnt it the hard way. In our current business model, we really did not promote the app. Having a drop dead proposition for consumers and making sure service is outstanding has helped us. We took customer feedback seriously to make sure referrals are easy too. That’s the way we have been growing. However to achieve better scale, we plan to make use of online channels including FB/SEM etc. The only hurdle we see is marketing budget as we seem to be on course for scaling.
Another other important problem is attracting the right talent when you cannot really afford them.
What is you USP?
Our USP is the one where you just download and forget about it. Every time you walk in to a partner place, you get rewards automatically for doing nothing as the app does everything for you.
Among such big players in the market, how to you intend to compete and what are your strategies?
Our key differentiators are customer convenience and technology that makes it easier for a user. We just really listen to our consumers and do what they like and need, not really bothering too much about competition as we are still in early stages. There is space for everyone and as long as we keep our consumers delighted and do all the right things based on our model, think we are good! And even with a flush of money, our competition is still behind us in traction and growth.
What has been your learning so far as a company?
Everyday we are growing and having real good problems to solve. We know how to scale, we are learning a lot of consumer behavior and a massive growth only needs impetus in terms of money and effort. In terms of analogy, here is a small story that could probably explain.
Take risks in life , else you may not even know what is in store for you! Be passionate, ethical and sincere – entrepreneurship is quite tough and enjoy your moment being a stoic – success and failure both happen but keep going at it .
If there is one thing that keeps all our company moving forward then it is the consumers who use our app everyday (probably multiple times) and love us for what we do!
What are your future plans?
The real deal is having massive consumer growth. We plan to make check-ins (not the occasional ones you post on FB) a real cool deal and improvise further on consumer experience. We want to really grow fast in building the online-offline bridge – like I said – a cookie for offline behavior – possibilities are limitless!
Today we are dependent on users referring us but we are planning to raise a round and then have ago with at least some amount of marketing that can seed the growth.