Good news for nightcrawlers: Enjoy a safer nightlife now!
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Weekend is coming closer and you must have started thinking of spending your most awaited days in a fun-filled way. For most people, weekend means night life, food, drinks, music and chilling out with their friends. But in country like India, going out has never been so easy. To cater to all these demands of youth, Hemant Jain and Ravi Raj Meena have launched Happitoo, a hyper-local mobile app to plan their Nightout at lightning speed.
It all started during their journey of FNB City Media Private limited which was a mobile platform for aggregating real-time happy hours offers and deals at Restaurants and Pubs. Having enjoyed that space, they realized that restaurants and the nightclubs had much more to offer and the patrons had much more to look forward to. Considering this as a big opportunity as there was no app dedicated to recommending perfect nightlife experiences to youth depending upon their choice, mood and location, in 2015, they founded Happitoo.
“Coming from the digital entertainment space with a passion for parties, music and live entertainment, we decided to create the largest curated experience around everything that defines nightlife. That’s how Happitoo was launched on 21st August this year,” said Hemant Jain, Co-founder, Happitoo
What it offers to its users?
Mumbai-based startup enables users to explore, discover and socialize over food, drinks, dance, music, theme nights, buffets and real time offers at restaurants, pubs, clubs and lounges all in a single swipe. It also happens to host real-time happi hour countdown and the nightlife recommendation tool, Make My Night, which helps plan epic nights in 6 easy steps.
“Innovation in design and colors of the app are picked so as to brighten up the app experience during the night. The app has also integrated with Uber, to make the user experience more comfortable and complete,” Jain elaborates.
Targeting the young-at-heart Indians between 21-35years of age, Startup has recently secured Rs 50 lakh in angel round of funding from a Mumbai-based angel investor. Commenting on the investment Jain said, “Fortunately for us, our investor has been in the entertainment space for over 25 years. He has a firm belief in the potential of the idea and is looking at contributing strategically in building this into a long term play.”
Startup plans to utilise the fund to develop their product experience and marketing. They are further in talks with the investors to raise another $ 0.5 million.
Quickly spreading across India
Having a multi-prong revenue model comprising of subscription and transaction revenues, Happitoo is currently present in 15 cities in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Gurgaon, Indore, Faridabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Nagpur. Goa, Lucknow and Bhopal are next on their cards.
To know more about this amazing startup, its team, challenges they faced and what growth scenario they see, Entrepreneur India interacted with Jain.
How do you see growth scenario in this business?
When we talk about the appetite to consume and ability to spend, India is one of the fastest growing consumer marketplace in the world. Food & Services sector is currently a $48Bn. market, contributing to over 2.3% of India’s GDP, expected to grow at 11% CAGR and touch $78 billion by FY’18.
On the supply side, it is driven by newer formats, improving retail infrastructure, entry of international players, changing consumer preferences, willingness to experiment, emphasis on ambience and live experiences, new genres of entertainment, growth in tourism, and direct involvement of chefs in driving innovations. On the demand side, India is one of the youngest nations in the world, fastest growing smartphone economies, with the largest base of middle class families with high disposable income levels.
As a result, there has been a significant jump in the ‘Eating Out & Drinking Out (EODO)’ consumer base in India, willing to go out and spend more frequently. The time band evening to midnight is quite popular. But, when compared to some of the countries in South East Asia, India is still a very nascent EODO market with regards to the overall base and the frequency of going out.
To me this is the biggest growth opportunity on the demand side and the pace at which we are witnessing the adoption of smartphones in our country, I believe technology will definitely become the biggest enabler in driving this further up
What inspired you to enter into this segment?
Over the last 20 years, I have worked with various startups in the digital media and entertainment space. I had the opportunity to get on the Internet bandwagon at a very early stage in 1997. Over a period of time, I have worked in the consumer internet, broadband applications, retail, mobile entertainment and digital distribution space. My entrepreneurial journey began last year when I partnered with Ravi raj Meena, IIT Bombay to evangelize a business in the Nightout experience space.
What challenges did you face while taking your product to the market, convincing the customers etc?
Every challenge is an opportunity. The ability of a start-up to embrace challenges and convert into an opportunity determines success.
What are the differentiating features or USP of Happitoo which make it unique from other ventures dealing in the same sector?
At launch, we are the largest aggregator and curater of Nightout experiences and real-time offers as available at restauranrs, pubs, clubs and lounges in India. We have at any given point of time over 6000 real-time offers to choose from at over 8000 nightspots in 15 cities. We have the largest collection of Happy Hours, Special Offers, Bank Offers and Theme Nights in India. Our biggest differentiator is Make My Night, a reccomendation tool, which enables users find the perfect nightout basis their location, choice of night, budget and preferences.
How big is your team?
We have a small but very enthusiastic team of 15 people in place.
What is your current traction?
We have received a very positive response from our app users. The curated experience enables easy discovery of nightout options. 98 percent of all users who have installed Happitoo have used the Make My Night section, which recommends nightout options basis users choice and preferences. Till date, as digital partners, we have been able to drive significant crowd to over 15 events in Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata & Bengaluru. We have also been able to attract leading food critics, Bollywood singers, Stand up comedians and DJ’s to contribute on our blog.