Ashish Chaturvedi, founder of uFony, wanted an automated way to drop messages to his friends on special occasions at midnight, like a birthday. With lack of options around, Ashish developed a mobile app Zoment on his own that offers time based messaging. Ashish shares the concept of his business, “If you wish to drop a message to your friend at 12 in the midnight wishing him a birthday, you need not wake up till 12. Set the time at which you want the message to be sent and sleep.”
Ashish, an ex-employee of Infosys and a graduate from IIM Calcutta, started uFony in June 2012. Passionate about entrepreneurship, Ashish left a plush job offered at IIM Campus and decided startup on his own. Ashish says the USP of his app is time based texting, location based texts and notification features. Elaborating the use of location based texting, Ashish says, “Suppose a friend of mine has visited Bangalore and marked some great places and restaurants to visit. Post his visit, when I reach Bangalore, I immediately get a notification of the places and restaurants. Of course, my friend and I should have access to Zoment app and he should have marked me for the messages to be sent.” Ashish elaborates about the notification features, “Quite often it happens that we visit any city, for e.g. Pune and forget to contact all friends based in Pune. With Zoment, the user can set the system that sends out texts to all or the selected friends based in Pune when you reach there, if you want them to be contacted.”
One can connect to a contact on Zoment based on email Id or phone number. Connection through email Id has helped Zoment to leverage a different kind of marketing strategy. Travel bloggers who have a good number of followers have been given access to Zoment. Whenever any user of Zoment travels to places mentioned by the blogger, the user automatically gets a notification of the blog and places visited. This increases the longevity of any article or blog as well as saves the user the effort to find personal experiences.
Launched a fortnight ago, Zoment has so far seen around 200+ downloads and the app is available on Android and iOS platforms. Based in Pune, Ashish leads a team of six people. Most of the work on the app has been done indigenously. Though the app is free for now, Ashish plans to monetize the app through advertisements and making it chargeable by offering premium services. While the free model will have limited number of messages to be sent, the premium model will have messages on pro-rata basis. Ashish is in talks with P&G, Infosys and other MNCs and plans to build an enterprise solution for sales and marketing executives of these companies. uFony is angel funded by Chennai Angels. Ashish envisions integrating the app with Facebook and have more customised location features.