We lock and unlock our mobile phones dozens of times in a day. Now imagine getting reward points every time you unlock your phone. Hang on, this is no joke. Here’s an Android app, Unlockar, which lets you earn reward points in the form of uCoins which can be used to obtain deals, discounts, shopping vouchers, or even bid at auctions at the uShop, Unlockar’s online shopping portal.
Founded by Piyush Paul, Pulkit Ahuja, Gopal Yadav and Manish Garg -- Unlockar offers a platform for users to stay in touch with all their social and local updates on a real time basis directly on their phones’ lock screens. In March last year, Pulkit and Piyush, ex-teammates from Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ, decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge.
The duo pondered over various ideas in the mobile space for over two months but zeroed in on the idea of Unlockar. By June, the duo began working on Unlockar, however, with increasing responsibilities they brought Gopal and Manish on board as co-founders. Piyush is an alumnus of Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) while Pulkit has engineering and management degree from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. He had brief stints with a startup before diving into the entrepreneurial pool. Gopal and Manish are alumni of BITS Pilani (Dubai campus).
“There were many apps involved in pushing non relevant commercial content aka spam on user phones and in turn making them micropayments,” says Piyush. It took a discerning eye for the Unlockar team to realize how unsustainable this model would be in the Indian market – where high value users needed to be engaged otherwise you risked losing them.
“We began our journey to turn around the existing industry models and form an ecosystem that would benefit the users and provide unparalleled utility,” he adds. Be it peeping into the past and become nostalgic or staying updated with the current facts, girl’s chit-chat or boy’s code language, local deals or amazing places across the world -- Unlockar brings it all to your lock-screen. Just subscribe to the channels you are interested in and enjoy relevant content on each unlocking activity.
The channels that are currently being offered in the beta phase include Wanderers for Life, Who Said It, Blast from the Past and Bro Code among several others.
How to redeem uCoins?
Unlockar (app link) offers reward points via uCoins (Unlockar’s virtual currency) and real money benefits which can be utilized for buying deals, mobile phone recharges, utility bill payments, movie vouchers and make donations to Unlockar’s CSR partners.
For redemption purposes, Unlockar has already collaborated with FreeCharge, PayTM, BookMyShow, Teesort.com, KhauGaliDeals, PETA, CRY and AkshayaPatra. “We have gamified the daily activities of users by making them collect reward points in the process of doing something that they always do --which is use their phones.
The rewards redemption experience introduces them to the auction functionality where Unlockar users can bid for interesting prizes at various time slots,” adds Pulkit.
Within two weeks of its launch, Unlockar has amassed 4,000 downloads with more than a million impressions served on users lock screens. The app is also ranked third in ‘new free app’ in the lifestyle category on Google Play Store.
The startup will generate revenue via advertising, commission with deal providers on conversion and for pushing premium or sponsored content. “Unlockar is on its way to establishing itself as a premium content publishing platform. Therefore, commercializing this channel for content providers may prove to be good source of monetary benefits in the long run,” says Gopal.
Unlockar plans to expand and diversify its offering, going deeper into localization, socialization and mobile users’ analytics. “One can expect to see Unlockar in mobile app arena as the pioneer of infomercial i.e. an essential source of entertainment and rewards for mobile users and an indispensable platform for merchants to target the right audience at the right time with the help of analyzed and localized content push,” adds Manish.