| New Delhi |
Updated: March 14, 2020 10:16:46 am
An empty pocket would be the last name you want to call a payment wallet app. But that is exactly what KhaaliJeb means. The UPI-baed online payment service caters primarily to students and youth and thrives on the tag line: “Everybody will go places with empty pockets. Sab KhaaliJeb chalengein!”
Launched by five IIIT-Allahabad alumni as an Android app in 2018, the payments solution will be available for iPhone users sometime this year. KhaaliJeb, as the name suggests, encourages people to make cashless payments using their smartphones.
“Payments and banking have been quite boring from a youth perspective. Payment apps are cluttered in terms of UI/UX. Mutual funds, liquid funds etc are terms that don’t interest youth. We make payments and banking for youth–simple, fun and rewarding,” co-founder Pratham Devang told indianexpress.com
The idea to build an online payment service comes from another app experience. “During a college holiday, I was heading to my hometown. Ola Cabs was recently launched in Patna. I booked an Ola from the railway station to my home. I reached home and the money got deducted from Ola Money,” he reminisced, adding how the smooth and seamless experience made him think why it can’t be replicated everywhere. “It seemed more fascinating maybe because I was completely ignorant of the digital payment developments around the world during that time.”
Soon he was researching about different payment systems all around the world and one day decided to give IIT placements a miss to pursue his idea. “I made up my mind to build a product around payments.” He then discussed the startup idea with his friends who joined as co-founders.
How is it different from other similar apps?
Devang says the differentiator is in the way the app is “designed considering the needs of the youth”. To attract more young users, the app is providing a discount programme for those below the age of 29 with benefits from partner brands and merchants. The membership, now limited to Bengaluru, will soon be available in Delhi and Pune too. “Youth from other cities can join the waitlist for now.”
“We are currently live in two categories: restaurants and salons. We partnered with around 400+ eateries and salons in Bengaluru. The average discount is around 25-30 per cent, and at some outlets are giving a flat 50 per cent,” Devang detailed. In the next one year, KhaaliJeb wants to expand the programme into categories like e-commerce, food ordering, commute, travel, education, entertainment, and more.
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So does the company want to target the young always? “Currently we are focussed on students and youth who are below the age of 29. It’s a big enough consumer base. But you never know, we may start catering to other audience segments in the future.”
KhaaliJeb is working towards raising seed funding to expand the team and build new products. In the next year, the company wants to bring some banking products like micro-savings and micro credits, again aimed at the youth.
As far as the revenue is concerned Devang said the company charges 5-15 per cent commission on every discount redemption from partner merchants. In the future, the company aims to introduce a subscription fee for the discount programme. Other things that the team has in mind to generate revenue in the future are sponsored ads, special listings, and brand campaigns.
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