Hyderabad-based UDo invites people to seek real-time solutions from experts instead of turning to a search engine. With 9,000 downloads, the startup is eyeing revenues of $6 million by 2019.
What do you do when you need a quick answer to a query? Most often than not, you turn to a search engine or query site for a solution. That is just what UDo doesn’t want you to do. The app-based platform is encouraging people to stop typing and start talking to experts, to connect with verified people for real-time solutions instead of turning to a machine-assisted service.
UDo, a colloquial term for You Do, was launched by a Hyderabad-based leadership and management trainer Teja Gudluru in April 2017. The startup idea was born from Teja’s own personal experience when he was travelling to Kuala Lumpur via Singapore and wanted to know if he needed a transit visa for a stopover of more than nine hours. He decided to leverage the power of the internet and turned to a search engine, but this left him with results across 10,000 pages. After two hours, he was more confused than before he started.
“Some said yes, some said no; most posts were on blogs dated a few years back. I tried on a popular query site (Quora) and had to wait for 26 hours before someone posted a funny and insulting comment suggesting I do an online search,” says Teja, Founder and CEO of UDo.
How does the app work?
The Udo app claims to work on a simple process. All users need to do is sign up on the app and search for an expert based on industry, area of expertise and years of experience; s/he can then make a choice from a list of available experts. After the selection, the app uses a call engine (similar to a WhatsApp call) to instantly connect users with experts.
UDo is committed not only to offering instant advice, but also to being a passive source of income for many. The app has 300 experts in as many as 25 fields on call whenever users may need help.
Teja highlights that anyone can join the panel of experts on the platform. To become a consultant, a person in India needs to sign up as an expert for their skill, get verified by UDo and boost their earnings, making anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 5,000 rupees per hour. The app offers complete privacy to users, allowing them to toggle to expert mode during leisure hours and turn it off otherwise to stop receiving calls.
Bringing on-board hundreds of experts for varied domains ranging from career counselling, relationships, fashion and pets, UDo wants to offer Indian consumers a helping hand in every step of life.
Tackling the competition & revenue model
Currently, there are a few startups, including Bengaluru-based TapChief and Chandigarh’s Quickconsult, that are leveraging the might of technology to connect users with experts. However, both startups are web-based models.
Backed by a small team of five employees and six advisors, UDo is betting big to be an early mover in the mobile app space and hopes to disrupt the market with its lucrative money making model for users.
UDo’s sustainable business model has offerings for both consumers and businesses. The brand generates revenues from a simple commission-based model for experts, charging 40 percent commission on every paid consultation. For businesses, the revenue models vary for different verticals, such as running paid campaigns, conducting preliminary interviews or getting referrals for respective businesses.
UDo’s plans for the future
The bootstrapped startup has seen an investment of Rs 30 lakh, raised from family and friends, and is not keen on fundraising for now.
Launched four months ago, the innovative app has witnessed close to 9,000 downloads so far. Currently available for Android users, UDo will be launched on the Apple store in September 2017.
The brand has partnered with four startups to reach out to 4.5 lakh students in the next six months to create a significant footprint in the Indian market.
Teja also wants to make UDo the “official citizen outreach app” in the fields of farming, tourism and skill development” and is keen to assist the agriculture ministry in curbing farmer suicides by connecting farmers with support groups.
With an eye on capturing a wider global audience, UDo has already associated with a company in Malaysia, and plans to enter that market by September 2017. Next stop will most likely be the United States and UDo is taking steady steps to enter the American market by February 2018.
UDo is eyeing to achieve revenues of $1 million by next year and has set an ambitious target of $6 million by 2019. Any more questions? UDo is sure to have the answer!