Consumer Internet start-up, Tyched Web Services has announced the public beta launch of its social discovery platform, Tyche'd (pronounced as Tai-Kee; named after the Greek goddess of fortune) that aims to boost consumer's negotiating power.
Tyche'd is a social discovery site that allows users to share purchase intents with friends and discover new people from the social graph seeking to buy similar products and services in their own location. Once that is done, one can use the group purchase model to get discounts.
A user just gets to know who is interested in that particular product and then they go ahead to get a better discount. According to the company, they already have a few requests from sellers and vendors to sign-up, but at this point they want to focus only on building the product and platform.
The firm claims Tyche'd, is a first of its kind social discovery platform in India, though there is Hunch in the USA which has a similar platform with different categories.
"The new launch connects a prospective buyer with more buyers thereby shifting the power ofnegotiation to consumers," says Pravin Jadhav (who tweets from @beingpractical) co-founder of Tyche'd.
"Social graphs for people are now established, we are building social graphs for purchase intents and user interests in a very local context. With users spending more time on social networks, social discovery platforms are strong contenders to search," he added.
The platform is focusing on high-indulgence and high-purchase involvement categories like travel, gadgets, electronics, real estate and automobiles for the time being.
"These are segments in which users tend to spend more time and eventually more serious purchasing happens. Choices come up in categories not as per the models," co-founder Kulin Shah (who tweets from @NowEntrepreneur) told Techcircle.
According to Shah, social products should focus on building user experience and monetise only when they gain scale. "Many good social products and ideas failed while trying to monetize prematurely," he said.
Tyche'd users have a choice to create and join 'open group buys' that are visible to them from their location intent on buying similar products. Currently, users from more than 200 cities across 12 countries can access contextual local options while building their wishlists.
Tyche'd appears fundamentally different from existing group buying models in India. For instance existing group buying sites are either pure deal sites or allow users to go for deals only after the deal gets a certain minimum number of buyers. In contrast Tyche'd allows users to connect and form a group that can go and ask for group bargain from a vendor. Moreover, Tyche'd allows users to find out prospective consumers of high value products like real-estate and automobiles, unlike most deal sites that focus on small ticket items. Though there are group buying sites for real estate, in this case it becomes a cross category information sharing platform not limited to one domain.
On the one hand the idea seems interesting, we would like to see how the firm takes forward its business model to generate revenues. While consumers love discounts it remains to be seen if Tyche'd users would prefer someone else to do the negotiating bit for them or they are comfortable doing it offline while connecting with fellow prospective buyers online. For now, Tyche'd would hope that the human psychology of Keeping-up-with-the-Joneses brings traction to the site.