Mojostreet, the Hyderabad-based startup that launched an app by the same name, is witnessing traction even before it has been launched commercially. The app, which is a combination of m-commerce, location sharing, social networking and loyalty, saw 500 users sign up for its private beta trial in the past three months.
Now, the company is setting its sights on global markets and will expand to Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong in the next three months.
Techcircle.in got a quick demo of Mojostreet from Kalyan Manyam, founder and CEO of the company, on the sidelines of the VCCircle Digital Gaming Forum held in Mumbai recently.
Here are some of the key takeaways: After downloading the 450 Kb app and logging in, you can decide to share your location. You can use the map to discover new eateries, pubs or points of interest and also "check in", just as you would on Foursquare, another popular location sharing app. They are called "Properties" here and you can virtually "own" a property, which means you are an expert on it and can guide other users with information on it.
You can share and recommend these locations to your friends and write short reviews or tips to gain discounts and special offers at these locations - real world benefits. This is a form of loyalty rewards program that has not been explored as yet by retailers and mall owners.
Monetisation continues to be a hot topic for gaming firms with models such as advergaming, subscription-based gaming and freemium being experimented in the country by online and mobile game developers. But Mojostreet's revenue model revolves around getting more merchants to tie up, much like the daily deal sites. It has tied up with 50 merchants and retail chains in Hyderabad, Bangalore, NCR and Mumbai such as Club Reverb, Quantum and Newscafe (New Delhi); Chai Point (Bangalore); EveningHour (Hyderabad) and Earth Italian Lounge Bar (Gurgaon).
"Games with virtual goods are a great success in the Eastern world but have not worked in India. Offline games leveraging the online medium, such as card based games, are more popular here. But our concept is to bring real world benefits to users and our revenue model is centered around merchants, not users," said Manyam.
Manyam also runs social networking site Indyarocks.com and in May raised $350,000 from industry veterans Srini Koppolu, former managing director of Microsoft India Development Center, and JA Chowdary, former managing director of Nvidia India to expand the team.
Unlike other gaming firms who are building products for budget phones, Mojostreet will focus on the smartphone market. It has chosen to launch on Blackberry and Nokia handsets. Manyam just said, "It was the practical choice as the penetration of Blackberry and Nokia devices is high." An Android version is also being readied for launch this month. The company is also in discussions with telecom operators to roll out special data packages to get users onto the app.
On privacy trends and whether users are willing to share their location, Manyam said 80 per cent of mobile users willingly share their location on Mojostreet. And why not? There's virtual currency to earn. The app draws users into updating their information, adding photos and writing reviews by paying them in virtual currency, called Mojo Dollars. This currency piles up until you unlock a reward - again in the form of a discount at your favourite restaurant.
So that's what Mojostreet is - a combination of discounts, social networking, reviews - all on your mobile, earning you a hot cup of coffee for your gameplay. Tell us what you think of the game and the concept behind MojoStreet.