Today, outdoor advertising methods like old-fashioned standees, paper-based posters, and plastic-based flexes are leading to the ever greater usage of paper. Meanwhile, it also adds to operational expenses incurred. In true spirit of the Digital India initiative, four IIT Guwahati alumni founded BlynQ in May 2016.
BlynQ offers a cloud-based software for businesses to remotely manage and control screens. They also offer social media content procured from their content partners. The content ranges across different categories, from news, sports, educational and travel to arts and crafts, food and comedy, to provide the screen owner with a variety of choices to engage their audience.
The venture aims to digitise both the indoor as well as outdoor advertising commercial spaces. It is trying to bring the technology and curated content together to make this digitalisation much more interesting.
How did they go about addressing this opportunity?
Manikanta Prasanth Kumar Kuriseti, co-founder of BlynQ, shared with YourStory, "We developed our software and started offering it to businesses in the restaurant and healthcare sectors. They started using this product for in-house marketing and promotions. They have replaced standees and posters, pushing such content to TV screens to engage their customers. We later explored opportunities in different sectors such as hotels, tech parks, offices, buses and advertising agencies."
While there are already several softwares available for controlling TV screens across multiple locations, screen owners are unable to utilise these to run 24/7 promotions. This is one critical problem that the team at BlynQ noticed.
According to Jaydev Kalivarapu, another of the company’s co-founder, "Knowing that promotional content is being played on these screens would discourage the user from looking at them. We wanted the audience to be engaged and thrilled. And hence, we came up with the concept of BlynQ TV. People are interested in using social media a lot. They actively look for up to date content through this platform. We want to bring the same experience to the users watching screens powered by BlynQ.”
Restaurants can utilise some of their TVs to communicate restaurant specials, engage in brand building and play pleasing music.
Hospitals can use their TV screens to play health and news content coupled with their own promotions.
Shopping malls can play DTH channels as well as they can promote their brands.
The team behind BlynQ
BlynQ was founded by four IIT Guwahati alumni.
Mantravadi Sastry: He brings in a pioneering mix of sales, marketing and business development knowledge into the team. His experience at OYO rooms across various roles brings invaluable wisdom to the organisation.
Nipun Edara: BlynQ’s product expeditor, he is an experienced software engineer. He often serves as a kickstarter for their innovations in the technology space. He had worked with Arista Networks before starting BlynQ.
Jaydev Kalivarapu: A tech generalist and experienced engineer, he manages the product and engineering at BlynQ. Formerly, he was a Senior Associate at Morgan Stanley. He contributes a unique mix of business and technology expertise to the venture.
Manikanta Prasanth Kumar Kuriseti: After graduation, he took up a role of Sr.Tech Associate at Bank of America, working for the Middle Office Technology team. He has worked on building and refactoring several internal applications.
Current revenue and market size
BlynQ is currently generating revenues of Rs 1 lakh per month, with a growth rate of 15 percent month-on-month.
It has a market opportunity of two lakh screens within India, and today’s addressable market, worth Rs 1,000 crore, is growing at a CAGR 25.8 percent. Considering a total addressable market of 4,000 hospitals and 5,000 subcentres within the healthcare vertical, there is a potential of 25,000 screens. Similarly, the addressable number of screens within other verticals is 20,000 in restaurants; 2,000 in business parks; 2,000 in private travels; 15,000 with ad-agencies; 3,000 in enterprises; 40,000 in banks; 10,000 in hotels; 40,000 in shopping malls and retail outlets; and 25,000 in schools, college and universities.
They draw their revenue from two different sources.
- SaaS- The screen owners pay them for the cloud-based service they are providing.
- Advertising platform- The advertisers can push geo-targeted ads to the screens through their advertising portal.