A step ahead of hyperlocal, these IIT Bombay alumni start up to target micro-location based marketing


GetFocus was founded in September 2014 by IIT Bombay alumni, Prateek Chaturvedi, Manoj Gudi and Aditya Misra. It aims to improve indoor navigation and analytics technology solutions in India. The company’s patented technology uses existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to locate a mobile phone inside malls, shops, airports, and warehouses. The product is an SDK that developers integrate into their apps. It identifies the real-time location of the users and relays it to the app developer, who can then use this information to send notifications, change the UI of the app, and leverage business intelligence.

Team GetFocus Analytics

Talking about the startup, Prateek says,

We help identify the location of app users at indoor locations, with a much better accuracy and lower battery drain compared to the GPS. This increases engagement for the apps, and decreases meaningless and redundant notifications for users. So, quite simply, we make apps become dynamic, based on the location of its users.

GetFocus recently closed their angel round of fund- raising from strategic investors spanning the banking, logistics and telecom sectors, with $100,00, raised from individual angels. This funding will be used to add to their tech talent and scale operations across India and the Middle East.

Others in this space

GetFocus’s competitors are beacon providers such as Estimote, Kontakt.io, Beaconstac.

Working with a beacon provider means that one has to source the beacons and install them oneself at various locations. Every incremental beacon comes with large equipment cost, manufacturing delay, logistical issues, and administrative problems. For startups, this is a hassle and a delay they cannot afford. For larger companies, the time taken and manpower required for this process makes it unappealing.

With GetFocus, one has to install the SDK, identify one’s shops of choice, and data will be transmitted instantly. GetFocus does not need your user's Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to be on in order for it to function, unlike other beacon providers. This means it ends up using less than 1 per cent battery in a day.

The location-based market

Being a new market, the market sizes vary according to the methodology and reporting used. The location-based services market is expected to grow to around $40 billion by 2019, out of which indoor positioning will contribute around $5 - $10 billion. Currently, they are conducting pilots with major apps. Their total download base is currently about 9 million.

The markets where this technology is applicable are:

  1. Retail (Communicate with their customers more effectively)
  2. Healthcare (Location of objects, crash carts, personnel, and patients)
  3. Logistics & Warehouses (Location of objects and personnel to make more efficient warehouses).

These are the biggest components. Others such as office spaces, and mining are also expected to contribute.

GetFocus is currently running pilots with over 20 major apps in India and the Middle East. They include payment wallets; offline coupon players; banks, brick and mortar retailers and malls; hyper-local discovery apps; ticketing platforms; loyalty and rewards players and restaurant aggregators. All of them are using the SDK to accomplish different objectives and GetFocus expects to be on more than 15 million unique phones in less than six months.

GetFocus has a growing team with eight people in tech, two in sales and business development, two in operations and 20 daily outsourced employees spread across four cities.

Future plans

GetFocus’s milestone is for their software to be present on over 50 million unique phones in India, the Middle East and South East Asia by the end of 2016. Prateek says,

We have more than 5,000 stores mapped onto our platform in Mumbai, and are expanding to Bangalore, Delhi, and other cities. We want to evolve into a leading global contextual marketing platform, constantly adding data points to make apps smarter, enhancing user engagement, and spurring revenues.