With a flush of new entrants and growing interest of investors, 2016 is predicted to be ‘THE YEAR’ for hyperlocal industry. Moving ahead with just delivering products, the industry has evolved and now covers almost every aspect of end-to-end customer delivery platform. Consumer demand in the hyperlocal space witnessed huge splurge in 2015 with people feeling much comfortable in availing services with a click of a button.
Now, taking this errand a step ahead, many new startups are experimenting with this widely appreciated hyperlocal model, betting on its wider options and lesser turnaround features. Breaking the odds is a startup named ‘Butterfly’ that is not just a regular on-demand hyperlocal app connecting consumer to a local business around their vicinity, but an online marketplace for extra-curricular activities and hobby sciences providing a complete end-to-end solution.
In a tête-à-tête with Retailer Media, Luv Gupta, Founder & CEO, Butterfly App talks about the usability and need of an application like this in the market and how he plans to tap the unseen aspects of the hyper-local landscape.
Here are some excerpts:
Please share your background. Your education and whether entrepreneurship was something you always wanted to do?
I wouldn’t say that entrepreneurship was something I always wanted to do. Honestly I was quite unclear in school and college about what I really wanted. It just came naturally to me and I kept on exploring newer possibilities from stock broking to now founding a tech startup.
I started my career as a branch head with Skyes and Ray Equities, a leader in financial services industry in 2005. Along the way, I successfully adopted roles of equity portfolio management, mutual fund investment, option trading and managing prop desk, which enabled me to develop key skills in planning, strategy and management.
In 2008, I took up the director`s role with SK Beverages Pvt Ltd, importers of fine wines from France, Chile and South Africa, from 2008 till 2011. Moreover, I have also been partner with SK capital ventures since September 2009 before Butterfly interactive, which he founded in September 2014.
Talk to us about Butterfly App and its features?
Butterfly is an online marketplace for extra-curricular activities and hobby sciences providing end-to-end solutions to the consumers. We have a vision to become the single largest and the most unique destination fulfilling consumer’s excitement and passion by creating value for the service provider.
We have created a mobile based platform that disseminates information about the listed and registered merchant(s) services viz. activity details, location, pricing, schedule etc to the user, thereby leading to online or offline subscription of the respective service.
How has been the customer response so far?
Customer response has been really good. Our unique offerings are very convenient and beneficial for both consumers and the service providers.
How has been the segment wise response? Which segment (personal, corporate, medical etc) has shown high traction?
It has all be personal I guess. Right now we don’t have a classification between personal and corporate. Our focus is to get consumers to try the Butterfly way of discovering and booking activities and we are getting a high traction in fitness, music and dance categories.
Explain the usability of this app?
ButterflyApp is an online marketplace for extra-curricular activities and hobby sciences providing end-to-end solutions to the consumers. Our endeavor will be to create the single largest and unique destination fulfilling consumer's passion and excitement by creating value for the service provider. We have created a mobile-based platform that disseminates information about the listed and registered merchant(s) services viz. activity details, location, pricing etc. to the user, thereby leading to online or offline subscription of the respective service(s)
How well have customers engaged with local businesses using the app?
Both the consumers and local businesses have adapted really well. The seamless interface of Butterfly allows the consumers to pay and book in just 3 steps. Everything post that is automated. They are discovering newer places and now have a simple way of engaging with them.
Is there a story behind the name, you have given to your business?
It started with me identifying the problem of discoverability and grew into observing that there exists no platform that provides an end-to-end solution to consumers, enabling them to search, pay and book for classes/courses/subscriptions online. (In this domain). Secondly, this is a market that has a potential to reach practically everyone, from a 5 year old who might want to join skating to a 50 year old who wants to do yoga. This became a huge business opportunity
How do you see growth scenario is this business? What are your future scale-up plans?
Our vision is to make Butterfly the largest destination of hobbies and activities in the country. In two years we would be present in the top 20 cities in next 6 months we have plan to expand in Mumbai and Bangalore and would be aggregating approximately 5 lac services coming from more 40,000 service providers across the country. A highly engaging social platform is already in the pipeline which will bring like minded people together with chats, forums and blogs. We are also working on e-tailing products associated with all these activities which will make us a complete solution provider to the consumer. We will then be addressing to all their requirements from social engagement, discovering hobbies/activites, booking them and lastly purchasing goods and products.
Have you raised any funding so far. What are your plans to use this funding for?
The first outside investment came from Chandrabhanu Pattajoshi (Founder, Glossaread; National Head of Sales & Strategy, Yahoo 07-13) in May, 2015. We are also fortunate to have him on board as an advisor on operations and business. His vast experience and expertise on everything from tech to business expansion really help us to guide Butterfly through the toughest of challenges. The second angel round happened in September’15 by a group of HNI investors that helped us launch our Butterfly in Delhi and work on Butterfly for Business.
Do share some numbers such as total downloads till date, queries per day, some customer reviews etc.
Approx. avg month on month growth – 156%
Total number of transactions – 2,800
Total Revenue– INR 22, 20,000
No. Of categories – 80+ different activities/hobbies
No. Of transaction– 20 to 30 per day
Approx. Daily Revenue – 30,000 to 35,000
No. Of users – 6,600
No. Of service providers – 820