Voodoo, a mobile app only digital assistant, raises $1M seed round from SAIF PartnersHarshith Mallya
With the festival season upon us, many of us are shopping on e-commerce platforms to tick off items on our shopping list. A large percentage of these transactions are now happening on smartphones because of the convenience and also the 'app only' offers and discounts. Indians are smart shoppers, who read up about products and are mostly not prone to 'impulse buys'.
Founded by Mohit Mittal and Vijay Reddy, Voodoo is a mobile app-only digital assistant (no humans involved) that helps users find deals, compare prices, get coupons, and provides recommendations for online shopping. The app mines out all the coupons that are in circulation across a variety of apps and provides a quick way to apply coupons on the checkout page. Voodoo currently works across about 26 apps which include e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Shopclues, and Paytm; food delivery apps such as Foodpanda and Zomato Order; taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber.
Voodoo works within other apps as a floating bubble and users can tap on it to discover deals or otherwise the app automatically opens up whenever it finds an opportunity to save user's money or time. Mohit, Co-Founder and CEO of Voodoo, added, “There are so many mobile apps in every category and all of them have something amazing to offer. Voodoo picks the best stuff from all of them and serves our consumers with recommendations. It’s like a layer of black magic over all apps."
Mohit (IIT Madras) earlier founded Myriad Digital Networks and was a Product Manager at Times Internet, while Vijay (IIT Kharagpur) was a software developer at Flipkart. Their earlier startup Preburn was acquired by Freecharge. Voodoo consists of a team of 10 and confirmed that they had raised $1M in seed funding from SAIF Partners. They are currently looking to hire and increase their team strength.
Mukul Arora, Principal, SAIF Partners, said, “When we saw the product for the first time, we could immediately see its compelling value prop as a consumer. Voodoo has taken a unique approach to offer a rich experience to mobile users across categories such as shopping, travel, cab, and food etc.”
Voodoo is currently not looking to earn revenues through the app but is more focused on further enhancing the product and adding more features. Mohit said, "Our long-term goal is to be a part of every transaction in the mobile space. Many more useful features are in the pipeline for our upcoming versions to take the shopping experience a notch higher.We are launching a Whatsapp integration next.”
Currently available only on Android, they are planning to launch the iOS version in early 2016. So far Voodoo has relied on word of mouth and referrals to market their product and plan to keep it that way as their aim is to focus on the technology and other aspects.
With many festival sales happening across all major e-commerce players, the price comparison app and ancillaries sector is seeing a lot of activity. Micromax recently invested in price comparison app Scandid to enter the m-commerce sector. MySmartPrice recently raised $10M in series B funding from Accel Partners with participation from Helion Venture Partners, following a $1M series A round in 2014. Founded in 2013 by IIT KGP graduates, BuyHatke raised $1M in funding from Kris Gopalkrishnan, and Japanese e-commerce and investment company BEENOS. Then there are other players in the niche sectors such as FindYogi (laptops, tablets, phones etc), DiscountMe PriceCheckIndia, and PriceBaba.
You can download Voodoo here
Related read: E-commerce merchants expect festive-sales windfall