How this Delhi-based startup is helping households, MSMEs manage bills and warranty

Launched in 2021 by BITS Pilani alumnus Shashwat Agarwal, Delhi-based TOTOKO is a post-sale management startup that offers a centralised platform to assist households and MSMEs with warrantied items and post-sales services.
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When was the last time you got a repair done within an appliance’s warranty period? According to a Statista report, families across the globe spent an average of $1,252 on household repairs in 2020.

 

Indians spend Rs 2,400 on out-of-warranty smartphones alone each year, according to Counterpoint Research.

This issue is exacerbated by the fact that bills, warranty cards, AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) receipts, service bills etc of most appliances are documented on paper that can be easily misplaced.

“The absence of a proper system to manage an average of over 50 items (and services) per household makes the task unnecessarily complicated. These items include all personal electronics, white goods, kitchen appliances, apparel etc; along with all your household/office utility services,” says TOTOKO Founder and CEO Shashwat Agarwal.

Launched in 2021, TOTOKO is a post-sales management startup that offers a centralised platform to assist households and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) with warrantied items and post-sales services. 

Where it all started

Shashwat completed his engineering degree from BITS Pilani in 2018. During his college, he was the Co-founder of Dainiksrama, a social enterprise that connected day labourers to employers and government-affiliated skill development programmes. 

Post the degree, he worked with two financial services firms–Morningstar and Nomura Holdings–in Mumbai. 

“I came back to Delhi to give my third level of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam and join a VC company since I always wanted to work in the startup ecosystem. Then COVID-19 happened and the CFA exam got postponed. That’s when I decided to do something of my own,” tells Shashwat.

“Since I was home, I was assigned the responsibility of managing appliance repairs. My dad is super organised and kept all the bills and warranty cards in his folder, which hardly anyone does in today’s time. That’s when I started talking to people and realised how problematic it is when something stops working. The entire post-sale experience needs to get organised. So I finally decided to launch TOTOKO,” he explains.

As of now, the Delhi-based startup has a team of eight members.

Talking about the reason behind the name TOTOKO, Shashwat says, “ TOTOKO means Touch To Konnect. We wanted a different name that creates curiosity and sticks to the mind when heard. Since we're connecting people to brands and different types of services we went with this.”

The USP

TOTOKOis a complete post-sale management platform where users can store bills, immediately connect with customer support, get warranty notifications, purchase extended warranty/AMC and sell used products. 

“We keep the customer care numbers updated and pre-fill item warranties so that the user doesn't have to enter them manually,” Shashwat explains.

The TOTOKO app also allows users to access one-touch customer care services of over 1,000 brands including Sony, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Daikin etc. 

“You can also get warranty expiry notifications, track and purchase extended warranty/AMC on time, and sell used electronics hassle-free. Users don’t need to click pictures or bargain with customers. The service provider will pick up the item right from your doorstep at a predetermined price,” he adds.

TOTOKO claims that currently, it houses over 5,000 products, including all white goods like ACs, refrigerators, washing machines, geysers etc; consumer electronics like TV, laptop, speakers, mobile phones etc; kitchen appliances like microwaves, mixer grinders, toasters etc, along with some miscellaneous items including footwear, handbags, sports equipment, and musical instruments among others from 1,000+ brands. 

As per Shashwat, “The in-app UX of TOTOKO is vastly superior to others which helps in lowering the resistance to build a library of new appliances.”

He adds that no product in the market offers full services to completely manage and track all warrantied household items. “OneDios can be considered a direct competitor but is shifting focus on solving for raising customer care requests. Single brand apps like Panasonic, LG, and Hitachi are focused only on products from their brand,” he explains.

The startup is currently focusing on the Delhi-NCR region, where its user base is concentrated. It targets young adults/new house owners who are open to using technology to simplify their daily lives.

Funding and monetisation

Started with an initial investment of Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, TOTOKO is currently a pre-revenue startup.

“We are talking with service providers to collaborate and should see revenue coming in the next month or so. We are soon looking at raising seed funding,” says Shashwat.

The startup plans to charge an affiliate fee for services the user purchases from OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) or third-party companies–such as Onsitego and OneAssist that sell extended warranties.

“If a user purchases the extended warranty on TOTOKO, it will redirect them to one of these companies and take a commission on the transaction. The same thing will apply for out of warranty repairs and selling used products,” he explains.

In the next phase, the startup aims to add relevant ads and offers. Users will get product recommendations and personalised offers using predictive analysis and machine learning.

Market and the way ahead

According to a ResearchAndMarkets report, India's extended warranty market is estimated to be $6.44 billion in 2022, and is expected to reach $10.46 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 10.18 percent.

According to Shashwat’s research, the Indian smartphone recommerce market has reached $2.6 billion, which is expected to nearly double to $4.6 billion by 2025. Reselling of other items like laptops, TVs, washing machines, refrigerators etc is still at a nascent stage but is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

“The market is still fairly unorganised when it comes to post-sale appliance management. There are quite a few companies like Urban Company, Onsitego, and Cashify providing various services like repair, extended warranties, or re-selling, but there are still major gaps,” says Shashwat.

The startup redirects users to these companies, along with local service providers based on the one’s requirements. It also enables them to fully utilise their warranties.

“The biggest challenge when entering a new market is fully understanding the users and reaching product-market fit. We started building our app in March last year 2021, and the second wave of COVID-19 made things very difficult. Medical emergencies kept pushing the deadlines and we could launch our first version only in September 2021,” he comments.

He also adds that keeping the overall expenses low is also a challenge amid the rising development costs.

“Our developers are working on OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to obtain information by directly scanning the documents. We also aim to reduce user resistance using voice search, which would be functional in our upcoming app updates,” Shashwat states.

The startup is planning to grow to 20,000 users in the next three to four months, and has more than 1000 app downloads so far. It will also tie-up with brands to further expand its network of users and services.

Edited by Kanishk Singh