How Mumbai startup BizzO helps travel and hospitality SMBs digitise operations, bookings
What is the minimum requirement for businesses to go digital in this era? A smartphone, low-cost data, and a low-cost payment solution.
Yet, only amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, did several micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) venture into the digital medium to keep their businesses alive.
India has a total of 63 million registered MSMEs — of which one-third or 20 million — are services providers, while the rest are traders.
While these businesses were having difficulties in attracting customers, aggregator platforms helped them bring business. However, they could not bear the deep discounts, loss of pricing control, customer data, and brand recognition.
This is where Mumbai-basedstepped in to fill the gap.
Started by Viineit Toshniiwal and backed by ICICI Bank, Orios Venture Partners, and Fino Payments Bank, BizzO is a B2B enterprise that helps SMB travel, tourism, and hospitality service providers build a business app and manage their bookings on its platform.
“BizzO is a single app no-code solution for small micro-service professional apps, where we bring it all together on one platform, including inquiries from social media, booking from various platforms, and payments. Everything will land on one single platform, and BizzO becomes your single go-to app,” Viineit tells YourStory.
From CityCash to BizzO
Viineit’s previous venture — fintech startup— focused on Tap to Pay in public transportation. However, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it faced a rough patch.
Founded in 2017, CityCash had managed to achieve new milestones, raising $4.73 million by 2020.
“Due to multiple COVID-19 waves, I told my investors and my board the macro for this business [CityCash] is looking very uncertain. And due to this uncertainty, we would like to pivot, and that's how in April 2021, we started ideating on BizzO,” said Viineit.
Launched in February this year, BizzO has already onboarded 20,000 SMBs on its platform — most of whom are launching their entire business operations for the first time in the digital medium.
BizzO offers business management solutions, integrating channels like payments, communication, bookings, social media, etc., bringing them under one app.
“We want to target the services sector. Essentially, we want to be a Shopify for services. That’s how I would condense my entire offering of services,” explains Viineit.
In fact, Viineit says, BizzO and its offerings have a much larger opportunity as small business owners face similar problems in countries, including Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
“They want a reliable and affordable solution that can handle their entire business. So the prospect for this business is visible,” he adds.
In India, BizzO offers hospitality, transportation, accommodation, and sightseeing services across major tourism hubs, including Mahabaleshwar, Alibaug, Lonavala, Pune, Mumbai, Goa, Udaipur, Dehradun, Hrishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi, Delhi-NCR, and Bengaluru.
The startup is also working on key partnerships to be launched in the next couple of months. For its proof of concept ecosystem in Mahabaleshwar, BizzO has tied up with the local taxi union, operating close to 500 cabs in the area.
In fact, BizzO enabled the digital booking process, earlier done manually, and has tied up with the hotel and restaurant association and the local tourism authority.
“We are launching the hyperlocal campaign to all merchants in Mahabaleshwar onto a single page so customers can just scan a QR code and get access to all activities services on one page,” explains Viineit.
He explains, “We are also partnering with industry bodies whose sole purpose is to promote digitisation and where the ecosystem can benefit.”
Both of Viineit’s ventures — CityCash and BizzO — operate under the parent company Tap Smart Data Information Services, founded in 2017.
The company has 45 members in its team, of which 20 are part of BizzO tech team and two focus on CityCash’s operation.
Before founding the two startups, Viineit was the Managing Director of Equirus Capital, where he actively led buyout deals across sectors, including payments, technology, and aerospace.
BizzO raised $2 million in a funding round led by ICICI bank. “ICICI Bank is strategically aligned to what Bizzo is doing in terms of digitising all these transactions,” explains Viineit.
As for the CityCash business, “The business will be exited at an appropriate time,” adds Viineit.
On the competition front, BizzO competes with companies likeand who work on the goods trade side of the market, whereas BizzO works on the services side.
“Looking at the competition in our space, we noticed they provide siloed offerings,” said Viineit.
He further adds that some of these services are for mature businesses as they run on a subscription basis and have lengthier onboarding and training sessions.
With a Total Available Market (TAM) of 10 crore small and independent service businesses and a Serviceable Available Market (SAM) of about 3-4 crore service businesses, the company aims to target more SMBs in the travel and hospitality sector in the next one year — all through digital distribution. It plans to go pan-India with the digital campaign from this month.
On the revenue front, the company offers a free basic plan and a premium plan at Rs 299 per month.
For its free basic plan, BizzO provides free transactions up to Rs 5 lakh and beyond per month, where it charges a transaction fee of 0.25 percent. At present, it has not made any revenue and has onboarded customers on its basic plan.