Mobile Query Startup Innoz Raises Series A Funding From Seedfund
Innoz Technologies Pvt Ltd, a mobile search platform, has secured Series A funding from Seedfund. Although the amount raised has not been disclosed, it is estimated to be between $2-5 million and will be used in marketing, hiring people and strengthening the technology base to support the increase in demand and traffic.
As a part of this funding, Mahesh Murthy, managing partner of Seedfund, has joined Innoz's board.
Innoz's mobile query product SMSGyan (now rebranded) works on a short code '55444', giving instant results on queries through an SMS. The company offers this service at Re 1 per query and has packages for daily and monthly unlimited queries.
Talking to Techcircle.in, Deepak Ravindran, cofounder and CEO of Innoz said, "We intend to become the largest offine search engine in future and want to be something similar to Just Dial. Earlier our product was known as SMSGyan and now we have renamed it with the number '55444'."
He also shared that the firm has launched an API at 55444 where-in app developers can list their apps. In this feature, the queries related to the function of the app are directed to the app and based on the number of clicks the developer is paid a fee. The differentiator of Innoz's '55444', according to Ravindran, lies in its affordable price point and the fact that it is phone-agnostic and not dependent on Internet or smartphones, being an SMS service anyone with a mobile phone can use it.
The company which currently claims to handle 1 million query every day, aims to hit 10 million query per day by end of 2015. Additionally, it plans to get 1 million unique users everyday compared to the current 2.5 lakh. Innoz gets more than 60 per cent of its queries from tier II-III cities, where internet penetration is fairly low, compared to other metros in the country.
Right now a team of 35, Innoz plans to raise headcount to 50-60 by end of this fiscal. It has offices operational offices in Delhi and Mumbai and a development centre in Bangalore.
Initially, Innoz started its business by tying up with Airtel, but over the years it has partnerships with other telecom providers like Vodafone, Aircel, Tata Docomo and Idea.
The four-year-old start up was incubated at iAccelerator, IIM-Ahmedabad and has earlier received angel funding from Freeman Murray (co-founder of Jaaga), Satish Dharmaraj (partner at Redpoint Ventures), Arun Kumar (partner at KPMG), KCC Nair (CFO of Technopark), Sanjay Vijayakumar (CEO of MobME Wireless) among others.