Update: Lookup has raised INR 1 Cr. in funding from Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. The startup is further looking at raising $1 Mn which it expects to close in a week or so, reports Techcircle. It has also acqui-hired RecommerceHub, a startup that sold refurbished electronic devices and has also roped in Anup Mohan, co-founder of Flamingos Media.
It plans to use the raised funds will use the funds to expand the services to other cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
With the increased dependency on mobile phones in our day to day activities, the time has perhaps come that we can say we need our mobile phones as much as we need to breathe in this modern, always connected world out there!
This notion goes for the local grocery stores, vendors and other related businesses, as they not only have to compete with malls but also with the ecommerce giants in the same space (plumbers, carpenters and the like). Here’s a new app that will help them serve their clients much better and effectively.
LookUp: Chat with your Neighbourhood Stores – Securely!
While there are indeed a hundred messaging apps out there and many local store owners have even taken to WhatsApp to reach out to their customers and even market themselves effectively. But there is always a security issue involved as one has to disclose their number to the store owners for the same. LookUp by Deepak Ravindran, ex – Innoz Technologies aims to change this.
The app allows you to chat securely with local store owners without having to disclose your mobile number to them. Currently available only in Bengaluru, the app allows users to do a number of things such as:
- Make reservations at popular restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, etc.
- Book appointments at salons, spas, local clinics & hospitals, etc.
- Interact with store owners and get information about the latest products, discounts and offers as well as store timings and other relevant information.
- Share pictures of products and other stuff that you like with relevant stores and get more information.
The interesting part of the App is that it promises a response within a maximum of 5 minutes from the store. Challenging to read about, but let’s see how it maintains the same as it scales up.
What’s in it for Local Businesses?
The main advantages of using LookUp for local businesses is that they can stay connected with their consumers seamlessly. Moreover, they will not miss a single query coming in from consumers through the app thanks to the notification feature. Lookup also offers them an option of getting verified by using the “Claim you Business” feature.
While LookUp is indeed promising something really interesting. What remains to be seen is the consumer interest in the same. However the app seems quite similar to Gingr and there is hardly any difference between the two in terms of features. Let’s see if they have anything new to add up in the future.
Gingr, which was also part of GSF Accelerator, failed to pickup or gain much traction – most likely because of the prevalent trend in India of people preferring to call up stores rather than messaging or using an app. While the younger generation is slowly changing this, how open will they be to having yet another app installed on their systems is what will be the key deciding factor.
Adding to this, according to a recent report, people in India are known to prefer convenience over privacy. Hence the privacy factor that LookUp is offering might not be enough to convince consumers to download yet another app. The option to search for businesses and not having to remember or save local business’s numbers might be motivating enough factor.
Interested? Download the App here.