Out of the 886 million active mobile users in India, 842 million – or 95 percent – have prepaid connections. This cost-conscious mobile population is always on the lookout for value-for-money options in data packs and top-ups. But it’s hard to keep track of constantly changing tariff plans and figure out which ones are the most cost-effective – especially as requirements vary from user to user.
Bangalore-based startup iReff has now come up with an aid for the burgeoning numbers of prepaid mobile users in India. It provides a catalog of prepaid plans across all telecom operators and the circles where they are licenced to operate. The app allows the user to browse through categories like Top-ups, SMS, 2G and 3G Data Plans, Roaming Plans, ISD and STD Plans.
In a savings-driven market like India, a number of startups have come up with ideas to meet some uniquely Indian needs. Users who top up their prepaid mobile phones and data cards through FreeCharge, for instance, get freebies in return.
iReff, on the other hand, focuses on information discovery rather than transactions. As Rajesh Badgeri, co-founder and COO of iReff, explains to Tech in Asia. “Companies like PayTM, Freecharge, and MobiKwik concentrate more on transactions. We complement their services because we want to be known for helping customers discover information on the best prepaid plans and make the best decision.” Once the customer has decided on a plan that is appropriate for them, the transaction could take place through any online payment platform.
Bootstrapped and incubated in Microsoft Ventures
iReff was in the first batches of Google Launchpad and the 10,000 Startups Initiative of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) in 2014. This year, it got inducted into the sixth batch of Microsoft Ventures’ accelerator programme in Bangalore.
The startup is currently bootstrapped, but will soon require external funding. “With the sustained growth in customer traction, we would be looking for funding in three months to allow a proportionate growth in marketing and expanding the engineering team,” says Badgeri.
Going ahead, iReff would like to improve its product to provide users with suggestions based on their trends of app usage. “Tomorrow, we aim for iReff to know exactly what you allocate for your monthly recharge, thus providing you the exact information you need,” says Badgeri. Monetization may come via subscriptions or advertising and marketing, once the user base crosses a critical point.