This Mumbai-based startup is taking adtech to the hyperlocal levelSindhu Kashyap
Is a higher spend on ads via digital marketing the best way to each your target audience? Most early-stage startups face this dilemma, and in many cases founders and co-founders are clueless of what needs to be done. In order to help organisations with their marketing and advertising needs, Machadalo was established by Anupam Sorabh and Nitin Jain.
Machadalo helps organisations identify the different related target group to the different products and services. It then breaks down city-level geographies into multiple hyperlocal spaces. Specific campaigns are then designed based on the target audiences and the product and services. This results in a more focussed targeting and higher number of impressions per prospect client.
Using data sciences and technology, Machadalo goes one step further and captures granular data available at a sub-hyperlocal level. This data that is collected from online and offline channels are mapped with the audience profile to build more specific campaign further increasing the focus and multiple impression count,” says 35- year old Nitin.
The advertising inventory is a mix of traditional hyperlocal advertising and non-traditional hyperlocal-, pin-code-, and location-based digital inventory.
Building the core team
Friends for 17 years, Nitin and Anupam happened to discuss the various issues with the current traditional advertising framework. When Anupam was handling big budgets at Sharda University as Executive Vice President, he couldn't find a single agency that could solve his advertising needs.
Nitin faced similar issues when he was setting up OYO's Mumbai operations. They both often discussed the problems and realised the gaps. Machadalo was born to provide a single-stop shop for all data-driven hyperlocal advertising needs. Once the duo had the idea in place, the roped in Pankaj Kandhari and Naveen Sharma, who were in IIT Bombay with Nitin.
Naveen, Pankaj, and Nitin had also worked on an earlier startup Infolitics, a knowledge services player providing information research and analytics solutions. Anupam started his career as a technology and process consultant.
Pankaj has primarily worked in the area of decision sciences (analytics) supporting sales and marketing, and customer analytics functions with companies like, ZS Associates, Mu Sigma, HP and Flipkart.
Serial entrepreneur Naveen has been a business consultant during most part of his 12-year career. He has been head of research and consulting divisions of several companies in past.
While the four had joined in as founders, they had to hire the right people for the job, which turned out to be quite challenging. Also, since they weren’t just building a pure digital marketing advertising agency, they had to convince various stake holders in the hyperlocal area.
We had people doubting us with the business model, but we knew this space has huge gap and demand. With our persistent efforts, we have been able to create a market that is niche and high growth potential,” says Nitin.
The changing world of adtech
The world of advertising is fast changing. While print, TV and radio still rule the roost, digital marketing and adtech are fast growing. According to a report by GroupM , digital advertising revenue saw close to 12.6 percent growth over 2014.
There are several names in the space, notably InMobi, Google, Amazon, Pubmatic, Komli, and Sokrati. There are also startups like YuktaMedia. The space also has seen its low times. Towards the end of last year, Bengaluru-based Vizury is said to have laid of a chunk of its employees, Ad Magnet shut operations, and even InMobi is believed to facing rough weathers.
Yet, the team at Machadalo believes that they are here to stay. The team recently raised a seed round of $175,000 from serial entrepreneurs, angels, fund managers, and IIT alumni. Close to 18 investors participated in the funding round. About six investors are based out of Mumbai and others are from Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
Nitin adds that Machadalo is a platform where advertising inventory of any type can be mapped, showcased, searched, and purchased. It also has a backend support to carry out operations with the possibility to carry out technology supported statistical quality control-based audits of advertising inventory.
Workings and future
The platform currently captures around 200 data points from residential societies, all anonymous but verified. It captures extensive data from other advertising spaces such as corporate parks, gyms, salons, retail outlets, and food joints. Data are also collected from un-identified but important traditional outdoor advertising spaces. These spaces include but are not restricted to bus stops, buses, pole-based kiosks, and train stations.
Together with the above data points and the data collected from Digital Advertising plus the insights the client shares about their products and services, Machadalo applies business-specific algorithms on the captured data.
“These algorithms have feedback loops and capture outcome-based insights and improve with every project Machadalo carries out. The whole idea is to optimise number of brand impressions on target audiences at a lower cost,” says Nitin.
Currently, the team aims to cover all hyperlocal advertising mediums across Mumbai, and also expand to Bengluru and NCR. “We plan to become a sustainable business within next few months. Our revenues are increasing at 30 percent month-on-month and we hope to achieve profitability in next four months,” says Nitin.