There is no dearth of local search based apps in Indian market – so why would a statup launch one?
Chennai based startup GoEasy has developed an offline mobile application that provides all essential information of a city like ATM, Petrol pumps, transport options, hospitals, restaurants etc. And offline here means it does not need GPRS/WiFi or SMS to transfer data. ‘Goeasy mobile city guide’ is Java based and inputs all data as xml inside the jar file.
The application acts as ‘Yellow Pages’ bringing all information about a city on your fingertips within a few seconds without having to spend a single penny. The only and probably the biggest disadvantage is that the app is city specific and does not work if one moves out of the city boundaries, unlike existing applications like Just Dial, GetIT or Suleka that work pan-India. But then it compensates for it by providing extremely indepth data for a city. From the nearest gas station to the nearest grocer to the plumber in your locality, it gives you all.
Though both have similar business and operation models what makes GoEasy different is its revenue model (to a certain extent). For one it doesn’t provide information via call, GPRS/WiFi or SMS and can run on plain vanilla mobile phones as well. And second, it does not charge per conversion. It only has an application acquisition cost of Rs 50. However, other revenue streams are similar to the aforementioned applications – It earns from new listings and subscription fees from existing listings.
The application can be downloaded either from its website directly or on a desktop and then transfer it to a handset. And if that is too much of a hassle one can go to a mobile retail shop and request them to install the same on the handset. In case there is an update of the application that one needs to download, Goeasycity sends out an SMS to users informing them about the same. They can then head to its website to download the latest version. This always happens between the 1-10 of each month. The application is presently available for Java and Android phones and will be launched for Blackberry soon.
Their service is currently available for Chennai, Bangalore, Kodaikanal and Ooty only, but they are expanding to Hosur, Salem, Dharamapuri and Madurai soon (the startup expects to go pan-India within a year or so).
With the technology trend bending towards GPRS/WiFi based applications it is imperative that Goeasycity will face stiff competition and how it fares will be an interesting case study. Having said that, the number of smartphone users in India is still low and importantly, lower is the data usage in the country.
What are your thoughts on GoEasy app model?