This Delhi-based startup helps users finish chores remotely without any hassle
Proxgy was started in September 2020 by Pulkit Ahuja in Gurugram after the unlock protocols begun. The startup was conceptualised to target elderlies and other high-risk prone individuals as a pilot in New Delhi.
The experiential discovery platform provides assisted commerce capabilities to users to connect and access any physical place, destination, store, showroom, and property around them or halfway across the world in a live and interactive way.
Proxgy assigns users a ‘Human Proxgy’ on demand at the place of their need. They can be showroom sales executives, travel agents, real estate agents, sellers, or gig workers, who are subject matter experts of the category.
Proxgies use smartphones or patented smart helmets to go live with users and perform real-time tasks.
The Progxy Helmet Prototype
The startup enables users to interact and do their work at the given physical location through their human Proxgy. They get to interact and experience the physical place in a live, immersive, and 360-degree manner, using patented AR and VR innovations.
A combination of live and assisted commerce providing “Everywhere-as-a-Service” (EaaSe), Proxgy enables users to shop, virtually travel, elderly care, real estate viewing, remote KYC, car servicing, and generic tasks like running errands and live assistance.
“The concept received such good acceptance in its pilot stage that we started innovating on how to provide a more real-life immersive experience to users and reduce the travel time of Proxgies. Close to 10 months and several patents later, we have expanded our services across multiple categories and verticals for all users using live AR and VR innovations,” says Pulkit.
The workings and funding
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the team realised that people who were at a higher risk of contracting the virus could stay safe at home, while fitter on-demand individuals can navigate the city for them using an off-the-shelf video calling app, helping users discover and connect with sellers at any physical store and conduct business transactions in a live and interactive manner.
The startup associates with physical stores, signing up their sales executives as domain expert Proxgies, enabling them to assist and help the customers remotely, thereby driving up sales and inquiries.
This makes users more productive and enables them to have a wider footprint, eliminating the need for travel for enquiry, viewings, errands, etc., while giving them access to all physical destinations using proprietary and patented Proxgy technology.
The startup has now raised a $250,000 pre-seed round led by Lexical Systems and angel investors, including Michael Dias and Associates, Suramya Choudhary, and Inderjit Singh Makkar. The startup will use the capital to expand Proxgy’s technology IPR portfolio globally, including the US and EU.
“A majority of the initial team was cross-functional and had worked with me in my last organisation. The comfort and trust factor among each other and on the idea was so strong that most of them resigned from stable jobs even during an ongoing pandemic to become a part of the Proxgy journey. We are a very lean organisation with a team size of 12,” says Pulkit.
Pulkit — the 32-year-old serial entrepreneur and inventor — has invented several patent-pending products and technologies. He is also the author of two books, including the Financial Bestseller "Googled by God”.
The core team comprises IIT Roorkee alum Harish Verma and Ketan Khanna, a Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute graduate.
Building the product ecosystem
The Proxgy ecosystem consists of three elements — hardware, software, and services. “The combination of all three elements and the sheer concept of it sets us apart from any other player in the market,” Pulkit says.
“Proxgy has created steep barriers of entry in the domain with a first-mover advantage, giving us an innovative edge with over 30 patents for the hardware, which are filed across India, the US, and EU,” he adds.
The platform consists of gyro and joystick-controlled Smart Helmets, which provide a Stereoscopic 3D experience and 360-degree viewing options. The software includes in-house developed technologies, including ScrollView, StreamScroll, and UVCI (Universal Video Conferencing Identifier).
Its services element consists of human proxies, representing the users as real-world avatars. “For users, Proxgy amalgamates Zoom call, Yellow Pages, and Uber functionalities to let them discover, connect, communicate, and transact with any seller, agent, or gig worker directly on-demand. For sellers, Proxgy provides lead generation and live selling abilities, enabling them to cater to virtual footfall by selling from anywhere,” explains Pulkit.
The product was launched to the public in mid-June 2021. It has seen over half a million rupees in revenue, with over 10,000 organic users adopting Proxgy as a way to interact with the physical world in three weeks.
The startup’s key clients include physical showrooms, dealerships, shops, stores, travel agents, and real estate developers, where visual experience and interactional elements are important but not the physical presence.
“We currently charge the clients on a pay per use basis. Being a category first, disruptive, and globally scalable model, the exact unit economics is currently work in progress,” explains Pulkit.
At present, Proxgy competes with the likes of Dunzo and Swiggy’s Genie offering, purely focused on a demand-based service. It also competes with age-tech startup Khaayal, which focuses on caring for the elderly.
However, Proxgy is purely based on tech, ensuring different chores and activities are completed on time.
Speaking of the future plans, Pulkit says the startup is looking to enable cross country transactions and experiences.
“We aim to expand the purview of experiential commerce to physical stores across the globe, allowing users to shop live across the globe directly from their homes,” says Pulkit.