In today’s volatile hyper-local horizon, innovation plays a significant role. As consumers are becoming more and more demanding in terms of real time delivery and services, hyper-local players will have to fasten their seatbelts to keep the balls rolling.
Mobile penetration across the country has helped many a consumer-serving industry, including hyper-local. Consumers are becoming more aware and technology dependent and they feel comfortable in getting everything with a click of a button. This change in behaviour has fuelled the need of hyper-local services in the country. Many startups have come up to prove their business model and change consumer preferences.
Lookup, an instant messaging app that connects consumers to local businesses has created a niche in almost no time. Launched in January 2015, Lookup provides a WhatsApp-like interface that lists local businesses around the vicinity and lets users shoot off a message to them and make transactions without leaving the app.
Lookup’s Founder and CEO Deepak Ravindran and his exuberant team of young entrepreneurs kicked off with an initial funding of $160,000 from Infosys Co-founder, Kris Gopalakrishnan. With a motive of getting things done with a message, Lookup currently has a user-base of around 1.2 million customers and 82,000 local vendors. The app has crossed 1 million downloads with 9 months of the launch.
The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store for Android and iOS users and after a simple registration users can search local businesses around their vicinity. One can chat with merchants for enquiring about the products or services, making reservations, orders and deliveries etc.
For vendors, to get themselves registered on Lookup is as simple as giving a missed call to 7676566587. Vendors can respond and chat with their customers on the app and get products delivered to customers with Lookup’s delivery partners. The app lets users maintain their privacy by not disclosing the contact number.
When asked about the response so far, Deepak Ravindran, CEO, Lookup said, “Once people have figured out the different features and benefits of Lookup, they have been returning back every day. Many customers are regulars to certain stores in their vicinity and they chat with the store owners as friends here.”
In a new initiative, Lookup is also available on Twitter as @lookuplite and consumers can avail the services with a tweet or a direct message.
“The highest number of orders has been for food, groceries, electronics and medicines respectively. The maximum traction for responses has been shown by working professionals and college students,” Deepak added.
The company claims that more than 10,000 messages are being exchanged between users and businesses on a daily basis. With such a stunning response, Lookup surely has reasons to flourish and plans to leverage its first-mover advantage to maintain its lead even in the face of competition.
Chat based service segment has seen a spate of startups and apart from Lookup, companies like Haptik, Akosha etc. which are like WhatsApp for businesses have been very successful connecting users to businesses around their vicinity.