For any businessman, customers are the key assets to make their startup a success. And in past few years, we have seen that customer to customer (C2C) market is evolving, which is an innovative way to allow customers to interact with each other.
While traditional markets require business to customer (B2C) relationships, in customer to customer markets the business facilitates an environment where customers can engage with each other directly.
India’s C2C market, though currently small, is set to grow with the entry of several players in the recent past. These entrants are garnering significant traffic and attracting VC investment. The segment is expected to show rapid growth in 2016.
Sensing an opportunity to tap the market, BECK Technologies, a startup based out of Mumbai has entered the C2C category with the launch of their new product BECK Friends.
The global peer-to-peer logistics marketplace focuses on simplifying global logistics requirements through technology. BECK Friends gives an opportunity to the user delivering the package to economize their travel expenses by earning while they travel and in the meantime, providing instant delivery for the users wanting to send a package.
“The need for sending things from one place to another is ever growing. While we say the world is shrinking, but we still don’t have the one platform to go to where we can send anything anywhere and that is where BECK Friends comes in play. It provides a platform to leverage on your social network to send anything anywhere and earn as you travel,” said Deep Malhotra, Co-founder, BECK Technology Venture.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Malhotra started his first venture when he was in college in the year 2000. Later on he joined the sales team at rediff.com. After this gig he got an opportunity to join the founding team of Google India and build their sales operations and from their moved on to setting up operations for MySpace.com in India and South East Asia. “It was after MySpace that I started my own incubation centre called Gemini New Media Ventures LLP (www.imgemini.com) that helps startups with setting up their business and also provides them a conducive environment to flourish. It was 4 years later that BECK was conceptualised and launched,” said Malhotra.
Gang of tech and business experts
Started by four Co-founders, Deep Malhotra, Shikha Pandey, Rahul Basu and Mayukh Basu, the company has a robust team with a good mix of technology and business expertise. Rahul Basu and Mayukh Basu two engineers in their early twenties from BITS Pilani lead the technology at BECK. Shikha Pandey, ex-Airtel and ex-Unilever, leads the operations & strategy of the business and Deep Malhotra, Ex-Google and Ex-Senior Director Myspace, who is on board as a co-founder and is leading the team.
This is how it works
A person who wants to send a parcel anywhere can connect with other users of BECK Friends over the platform where details like location, details of delivery and pickup and picture of the parcel need to be filled. The platform’s algorithm then gives an estimated pricing based on factors such as the time requested for delivery, the package size and the distance. Other users can then respond to the request, which delivers a notification to the sender and gives him/her an option to see the Facebook profile of the user interested in making the delivery. Once the interested party is approved by the sender, numbers are then exchanged through SMS. This ensures privacy as well as establishes trust for both parties involved.
Looking out for right investor
Startup is on a path of disrupting the logistics space and would like to partner with the right set of investors who are on the same page with them in achieving their vision.
They are currently bootstrapped and self-funded and close to breakeven numbers on their Instant delivery platform. “We are focused on 3 million funding with right investor partner on board to expand on technology & user acquisition to achieve our vision faster,” said Malhotra.
Overcoming the challenges
For founders, the ride was not at all an easy one. The biggest challenge for BECK Instant is to optimise every rider because the distance between two places in Mumbai is huge. “Keeping that in mind the riders have been marked to geographies and we have a huge number of scheduled deliveries that help line up the things for the day. And if we talk about BECK Friends, the operations is very lean and the challenge would be the user engagement with the product and customer service for which we have a dedicated team,” said Malhotra.
Startup future outlook
The startup current business focus is to get maximum signups and traction on the platform. “We want the users to experience the product and engage on the platform. Once we get to critical mass of users who are engaged there can be many business models around it,” said Malhotra.
Currently, they are focusing on evangelizing and making the product robust and simple to use. “We aim to make sending anything anywhere simplified with the use of technology & opportunity to earn for users,” he added further.
Indian tech-enabled logistics startups attracted a funding of over $ 700 million in 2015. This year is touted to be the year of consolidation, and a product like BECK Friends can be the perfect platform to do so. Consolidating various players along with peers will give the user the flexibility to choose the best option according to their requirements.