hoppr is an NCR-based company in the hyper local commerce space. Founded in 2012 and headed by Md. Imthiaz, hoppr is backed by Bharati Soft Bank (alongside Hike). hoppr started out as a location-based service, with the idea around ‘check ins’, where users get discount coupons upon checking in at places. The service was well publicized but the early encouraging signs soon hit a plateau and the need to do something new arose.
The basic idea is still the same — to build an online, offline bridge and help merchants build loyalty while users get the benefits of discounts. But the approach has changed in multiple ways:
“There are many players providing coupons and cashbacks but we realized that this makes things a bit complicated, we wanted something simple and unique,” says Imthiaz. And hence hoppr cash — a rewards system whereby a user can pay bills at outlets without using real money. One hoppr cash is equivalent to one rupee and a user gets 200 hoppr cash straight on download. At present, the only way of getting more hoppr cash is by referring people.
hoppr had initially launched in multiple cities but with hoppr cash, the service is only in NCR. “Over the last couple of years, we also realized how local the problem is. It is necessary to work with the merchants to make this a success,” says Imthiaz. Apart from the fact that hoppr is based in NCR, the region is also the ‘eat and drink’ capital of the country. “We have launched with NCR and intend to penetrate deep here before expanding into other cities,” he adds.
“Our target market is the youth to start with and one thing we notice is that Android is a clear winner,” says Imthiaz. Hoppr has been launched only on Android and the team believes that this is a big enough market to reach critical mass.
For a concept like hoppr cash, the college-going crowd seems to be the best and that is how hoppr is taking it forward. “We launched just 10 days ago and have entered into more than 10 colleges around Delhi,” says Imthiaz. Hoppr has sponsored a couple of college events and has separate plans to enter major colleges. All the eateries and pubs around a college are ensured to have hoppr cash. Their radio jingle is also well positioned by equating an app download to a cash download.
Keeping merchants happy
For all the ‘eat and drink’ merchants who decide to come onboard, there is a range from 50-500 hoppr cash that they can accept in a single transaction. “We are working with more than 700 merchants in NCR at the moment and have given the flexibility to let merchants make their own reward structures within a range,” says Imthiaz. Upon enrolling, the merchant gets a marketing kit which involves a tablet, a place page and table top. The pricing plans are still evolving.
The new app launched less than 10 days ago, and currently has more than 50,000 downloads. The app is in use daily by 40% customers but this number still doesn’t mean a lot (there are many other startups like Bangalore based MintM, Mumbai based Pointshelf in the space). It’ll take a few months to know how the app has caught up and validate whether the new avatar of the app has brought in any quantum leap.