Two years ago, Ankur Gupta and his friends were looking for a place to party in Delhi. After scouring the internet for half an hour, they finally found two options. But there was a problem – there were no good dining places nearby. It was a toss-up between fun and food. Ouch.
That, in some ways, was the Eureka moment for Ankur, Abhishek Goel, and Siddharth Kumar, friends for over seven years and engineering college graduates all. They ended up launching StrollUp, a Delhi-based startup that helps create local outings through its app.
“After doing some market research, we saw that a lot of people struggle with the questions, ‘What to do?’ and ‘Where to go?’ So we created a product that would answer these,” Abhishek, a 25-year-old IIT-Delhi graduate, told Tech in Asia.
The other two co-founders, Ankur and Siddharth, studied computer science at another prestigious college, DCE. Ankur has previously worked with Amazon Appstore.
Their app, StrollUp, finally got off the ground in July this year. It is available in Delhi-NCR and Bangalore and offers a choice of events, movies, food and drink, fun, and sightseeing. The target age group is 18 to 35 in tier one cities.
Taking you places
StrollUp’s list of 1,500 places in Delhi might surprise even long-time residents of the Indian capital. It also has 1,000 options for Bangalore. Besides, it curates 100 plus events to attend every week in each city.
So, for instance, if someone wants to go out for five to six hours in Delhi, StrollUp suggests a plan at the popular Mystery Rooms in Rajouri Garden. Other places listed are Kitty Su and FlyBoy. In Bangalore, No Limmits, Laser Castle, and Snow City figure on its roster.
“There may be a lot of things to do in a place like Delhi, but people search on multiple websites and spend around one hour planning an outing. We are giving great experiences by helping them create these local outings in just two taps,” says Abhishek.
But the events and outings segment already has players like TimesCity, Zomato, BookMyShow, and Thrillophilia. So how does StrollUp plan to steal the thunder?
“These are different versions of a listing platform. But we provide an outing itinerary based on four basic parameters: when, where, with whom, and your mood.” The app’s decision-making algorithm then comes up with suggestions.
It’s clearly an idea whose time has come. “We have reached 5,000 downloads, and are growing 50 percent month-on-month. Currently, 70 percent of our users plan every week and 20,000 people read our blog every month,” Abhishek says.
And what is their immediate target? More than 50,000 downloads in six months.
How the app makes money
Abhishek says the total available market in the top eight tier one cities of India is around 36 million people, of which 26 million are serviceable. A person spends about INR 2,300 (US$35) per month on going out locally, which means a total of US$11 billion in annual spending on local outings alone. “This is a market waiting to be captured.”
The app charges around 10 percent commission from a venue on the basis of a user’s bill. They also plan to take a monthly subscription fee from places that want to promote themselves in their sponsored itineraries.
StrollUp is now looking to raise a seed round. “We will use the funding amount to expand our team and for marketing in Delhi and Bangalore,” says Abhishek.
And wait, they have more up their sleeve.
The StrollUp founders say an outing often starts with a discussion between friends. Everyone gives an opinion, and the group decides a place. Then they have to coordinate to get everyone at the desired place, and finally they share pictures and split expenses. “We intend to replicate this exact user behaviour in our app and make the planning of an outing very natural.”
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