Monday, September 17, 2012

Hoppr for mobile hyper local commerce launches in India

By Vasudev Ram

Hoppr is a new mobile Internet startup based in Gurgaon, India. Just got to know about it today via a poster at a restaurant I go to.

They let you send an SMS mentioning a restaurant, and the location, to a specific number (56660). E.g. Send "The Dosa Place, Camp, Pune" to that number. (I made up the name of the restaurant as an example.)

You then get a coupon on your mobile.

You can redeem that coupon for a discount at that outlet. For non-trivial order amounts they seem to give a significant discount (like 30%), though note that this statement is based on only hearing about one example from the restaurant owner. Discounts could differ in other cases.

Hoppr also has a check-in feature; they might be planning to do something like foursquare. Maybe they will use it to let your friends know that you are at a particular restaurant.

Mobile carriers they partner with include Airtel, Aircel, Idea, Reliance, Tata Docomo and Vodafone. (Bharti) Airtel is one of India's largest mobile carriers, and India is one of the fastest growing (maybe the fastest) mobile markets in the world. I had read a few years ago that Bharti Airtel's strategic move to outsource non-core but important activities to IBM and Nokia-Siemens Networks (IIRC), for their IT and networking needs, respectively, was the subject of Harvard Business School case study or something like that. At the time it was considered by their competition and by industry "pundits" as a disastrous move, but time seemed to prove them right (and as the same pundits later said :)

They say the service works across all devices. Considering that it works on SMS, that seems likely.

Excerpts from their site:

[ hoppr, mobile device-agnostic location based service, is a brand owned by y2cf digital media private limited. headquartered in gurgaon, y2cf is a growing team of 90+ professionals from the fields of telecom, technology, online, analytics, operations & sales.

y2cf has partnered with bharti softbank, a jv between bharti enterprises and softbank corp. for hyper local commerce. bsb aims to actively participate in the growth of mobile internet in india with a focus on social media, gaming and commerce. as a means of continuous engagement with pretty much everyone with a mobile connection in india, hoppr is just that. ]

SoftBank on Wikipedia

Their team includes people from Bharti Airtel, Bharti Softbank, Sprint-Nextel and Verizon Wireless.

- Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises

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