Indians love discounts and freebies. For instance, before placing any order from e-tailers, I tend to search all promotional coupon codes offered by coupon aggregators for possible freebies. While we see multiple players operating in deal aggregation space, there’s no site which offers just freebies. This gap prompted Sheetal Vanwari and Jetesh Menon, who have more than a decade experience in advertising, to take the entrepreneurial plunge with Freejinn.
It‘s a platform which offers freebies across verticals like FMCG, apparels and electronics among others. “We saw a brilliant opportunity to build a bridge between the freebie-seeking consumers and the fan-seeking brands and decided to launch Freejinn,” says Sheetal. Freejinn is a freebie search ‘enjinn’ where you can search for a particular freebie and get a list of brands running contests offering it.
The duo identified the major gap between audiences actively looking for freebies and brands running freebie contests online. To run such freebie contests brands spend significant funds in promoting them. “We just brought them together on one platform. It was an idea just waiting to happen,” says Sheetal.
Prior to the launch of Freejinn, Sheetal worked with Arc Worldwide and Webchutney for over 10 years while Jetesh’s stints include advertising majors like Tribal DDB -Mudra, Ogilvy One and Arc Worldwide.
The startup launched with the beta version a few weeks ago and without a campaign or active advertisements it has amassed over 4000 ‘jinnions’ (users). “What’s even more encouraging is that 40% of our traffic is from repeat visits and they are spending more than 10 minutes on the site which is way above industry average,” points out Jetesh.
Freejinn claims to have no competition as yet. “We understand that the psyche of a person looking for freebies is different from the one looking for deals, and we are catering to the former,” emphasizes Sheetal. As far as sourcing freebies are concerned Freejinn has a network of people who report contests they are running.
“Our pockets may not be deep but our value proposition for brands as well as consumers is very strong,” adds Jetesh. For promoting freebies, brands are restricted to Facebook banners and promoted tweets. Freejinn sees it as an additional channel to communicate to a targeted audience pool. Besides display advertising and listing, the startup will explore revenue generation opportunities through sampling and running customized brand-centric contests on-site.
Freejinn sees fund raising as a bigger challenge since this is a new concept and not a tried and tested adaptation of an existing international property. “And while we have experience in digital marketing, not being an IITian has its drawbacks,” quips Sheetal.
Freejinn plans to sync twitter contests (only freebies) with its platform, so that users will not have to wait for hashtags to trend before finding a freebie. The Jinn will do it for them. “We will also figure out what users like and will recommend freebies accordingly. Once Instagram and Pinterest gain critical mass, we’ll probably list contests there too,” adds Jetesh.