LBS market is going to grow exponentially in India. By end of next year there will be more people in India who will go online from smartphones than the total number of broadband connections in India and by 2015, there will be more than 100mn smartphone users. This will have huge implication on both online and local commerce. There are about 250mn internet enabled phones in India and the minimum cost of internet enabled phones is about 1000 INR. Android phones are already at 2500 INR and in next 12 months the cost will go below 2000 INR. Phones have a replacement cycle of 3 to 5 years (and this is shortening). It is safe to assume that in next 3 to 5 years there will be anywhere from 125mn to 250mn smartphones in this country. It is already seen in LBS based companies doing well in the US and other developed countries. This is bound to happen in India too.
With the scenario of the potential market well studied, Pipal Tech Ventures was founded by three Wharton, Harvard and IIT alumni. Collectively, the founders have more than 35+ years of technology and business experience. Amit Baid is the CEO and the founder of the company. Amit has 15 years of technology investing and operations experience. Amit was most recently a Vice President for Fidelity Investments in Boston and was responsible for investing in software and internet companies globally. Amit managed $1.2bn technology focused fund. Prior to 5 year stint at Fidelity, Amit worked for SAP for 7 years in Germany and in the US in variety of different roles including Product Management, Business Development and Product Development. Amit has an MBA from the Wharton School and Electronics and Communications engineering degree from NIT Trichi. The other founders of DelightCircle are Raviteja Dodda (IIT Kharagpur Computer Science, worked for Google (summer code program) and Cisco), Smriti Kankariya (Management degree from Harvard, Computer Science from Rutgers USA, worked at: Wilis Insurance, Accenture and Susquehenna Investment Bank), Yashwant Kamara (IIT Kharagpur Computer Science, worked at IBM, Mentor Graphics).
Pipal Tech Ventures is currently angel funded by individuals who have extensive experience in the technology industry and has offices in India and in the US. Their focus is on mobile applications and services. Their first product is a location based marketing and commerce platform, DelightCircle.
Delightcircle, is a location based marketing and commerce platform. It is a free app for smartphone and web that allows consumers to interact with their favorite retailers and brands, earn rewards for simply walking into the store, view location based offers from 100+ brands and new arrivals and store all loyalty cards in one place. DelightCircle transforms the shopping experience for the consumers by making it convenient and rewarding. “We have also developed a patent pending instore-identification technology that allows us to accurately determine if the consumer has walked into the store or not and this in turn allows us to do in-store marketing. Our vision is to provide brick and mortar retailers, the same level of targeting, convenience and personalization that e-commerce retailers have been benefitting from for many years,” says Amit.
In a short span of 3 months they have partnered up with some of the biggest retailers and now have offers and selected new arrivals from 100+ brands in the country and have created mobile and web presence for more than 5000+ stores in the country. Their ideal customer will be in the age group of 18-35 and will be based in tier1 and tier2 cities.
Their focus is mobile apps and services. They will develop DelightCircle further and if possible get into newer areas as well. DelightCircle is already on the Web, Android and BlackBerry. Iphone version will be out soon. They are also working on a feature phone and SMS version.
“I believe there is a massive land grabbing opportunity – it is a virgin market ripe for disruptive innovation,” says Amit while signing off.
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