Two IIT Kharagpur alumni aim to disrupt location based advertising for local merchants via mobile app Yo!
With more than 11 years of product development experience, Prasanna Jha began his entrepreneurial journey by starting Jhamobi.com, a mobile application development company. Jhamobi has developed its flagship mobile app, Yo!, which connects people and businesses around them.
When Prasanna quit his job and thought of launching a startup in the mobile app development industry, he had no vision, no business plan, capital or partner. “What I had was a strong conviction that I am not going to do another job again because I would not be doing justice to myself, my family as well as my employer,” says Prasanna.
Both Prasanna and Manish are alumni of IIT- Kharagpur. Yo! is a local connectivity app to explore your surrounding by connecting you with nearby people/business. With Yo! one can share what’s around them through micro blog or chat. Importantly, it notifies users about offers, campaign and ads straight from local merchant and view local classifieds to buy-sell products locally and quickly.
How it’s different from other location based mobile apps?
A few location intelligence players like Shout, ad-near, and Wooplr are competitors of Yo!. But they furnish information which is already in their database. For example, Wooplr is platform to share your shopping finds with friends, but Yo! is to share anything and everything with people around you. “Yo! is more dynamic and furnishes fresh information which comes from surrounding people. Connecting nearby people is Yo!’s unique selling point,” adds Prasanna.
The duo’s vision is to build a location-aware platform on smartphone to explore the power of proximity by connecting with anyone/market at one’s current location. It has both B2C and B2B business model.
On the B2C front, it makes the unknown known. It enables communication among those who are in your proximity by sharing your location. Yo! provides local classifieds to let you buy-sell products locally. If you have to sell your bike or a tennis racket, post it on Yo!. Somebody within 2km/5km radius will possibly be your best bet to sell one quickly,” points out Manish.
As far as B2B space is concerned, Yo! provides a medium for all businesses to understand their local demographics, define their client base, choose time, spread message, do business and be profitable. “At present, SMBs (offline local market) don’t have any medium to connect with and retain their customers. Yo! will take care of their problem,” says Prasanna.
As of now the app has amassed 500 users without any marketing spend over the last 6 months. The app was officially launched in January during Spring Fest, 2014, IIT Kharagpur.
Local business may need to advertise its products or services in an effective manner. The startup’s platform will provide that channel where SMBs can define their market radius to push their offers/ campaigns/ads and reduce noise, advertising time and cost.
“First we will try to connect local SMBs (local businesses) with their customers in Pune. Then replicate it to major cities. “Yo! has the capability to revolutionize the mobile based advertising technology market,” adds Prasanna.