Based out of Bangalore, TaazzaGO is a location based service for India, founded in 2009. This GPS enabled app enables users to know what's going on around them in terms of news, deals and discounts, events and yellow pages. One of the most appreciated apps of the times, TaazzaGO has successfully remained among the top 10 apps for India as rated by AppBrain throughout 2011. Following its success on Android, TaazzaGO has now rebranded as LocalBeat and has announced its entry on the iOS platform.We got in touch with founder Arjun Ram to know about the rebranding. “The relaunch is a result of learning from our users on the Android platform where we have received over 250 ratings. India is expected to have 450 million smart phones in the next 4 years and we provide a first class service which makes a difference to their lives”, says Arjun Ram on his blog but what are these takeaways that led to the rebranding? "One of the key pieces of learning was the gap between how the users perceived our app and we had put out. Closing that gap required iterations. We engaged with them actively on twitter and the active users were part of the a user group where the pre-release build would be released (to that small group) before we released it to everyone. This gave us an opportunity to get feedback and learn from our users. For instance users have told us that they would like city level topics news such as city crime news which we are actively working on implementing", adds Arjun.
The Kaapi Crawler
LocalBeat has an interesting name for their algorithm- Kaapi, the crawler. This coffee invigorated crawler is pretty intelligent. It can make out the difference between the 15 different Jaipurs in India! "Location disambiguation isn't as simple as text search which is what Google news does. We use sophisticated natural language processing and machine learning to identify location. India is a complicated country, names of people often have names of places as their middle or last names; not to mention the location complexity. There are 15 Jaipurs or 110 Rampurs that we know off, not including village names. Our crawler automagically figures this out", explains Arjun.
OutReach and The Road Ahead
Being a Location based engagement platform, LocalBeat easily extends itself to Location based marketing which is a very lucrative revenue steam. "Our conversion rates on deals are much higher than the normal conversion rates. We will continue to focus on partnerships to extend this platform to our users", says Arjun.
The service is available in 40 cities currently and will soon expand to top 100 cities. The app is expected to reach over a 100 thousand downloads in the coming months.
- Jubin Mehta