As a customer, what if you are paid just for checking-in or walking into a mall or a shopping outlet 🙂 It sounds exciting since you are incentivized for doing a small act !!! This is what Bounty mobile app has in store for it’s users and that too without your phone’s Bluetooth or GPS being turned ON (so you gain points without loosing any battery juice).
Bounty is a Bengaluru based startup founded by Satish Medapati. Today, we have a brief chat with him where he shares details about Bounty, his startup journey, entrepreneurship, funding & all things related to startups 🙂 So let’s start with the Q&A…
Can you give a small background about you, your start-up and it’s founders ?
Satish Medapati is the founder of bounty. He has a total of about 12 years of varied experience across analytics, portfolio management, banking, entrepreneurship. The other founder has similar level of experience in core data sciences. The core team also has Anita and Sandeep who manage Engineering and Growth respectively.
Bounty is a hassle-free mobile app that rewards users for just walking into a business location. Every time a user walks into a place, be it a restaurant, pub, saloon, spa, retail store etc, the app automatically recognises the person and location and alerts him/her to check-in. You have to just tap once to collect the reward points. These rewards can then be redeemed against a host of offline and online gift cards with no conditions and no coupons. Bounty works even without your GPS being on or when your internet is switched off too. Bounty app’s ‘Intelligent Assist’ feature automatically recognises your location and alerts you to collect reward points.
Every idea is born out of a problem, what was the trigger of starting Bounty ?
Bounty began its journey on Feb 8th, 2015. The source of inspiration behind bounty is – How knowing and understanding a simple activity like eating or a weekly activity of visiting a mall can be so powerful in driving consumer experience that also results in businesses targeting efficiently without spamming the consumers with what they do not need..
How did you come up with name Bounty [is it somewhat co-related to Bug Bounty] ?
No its not related to bug bounty. We initially came up with lots of names and most were taken in this field. The idea was it’s a frictionless rewards app that gives you a lot and since we wanted it to be sweet and short, and not a hassle for people to remember either the spelling or the name, we came up with ‘Bounty’
Can you detail on the technology used in development of Bounty [i.e. Is it BLE based/Beacons based ?]
No, we do not use any hardware. In fact, bounty’s superior positioning in business circles is also due to this fact that there is no effort from a business to do business :). We do indoor positioning to give automatic check-ins through intelligent assist. This patent-pending indoor positioning technology works without GPS or even without 4G/3G/internet.
Who are some of the existing partners of Bounty [Stores & redemption partners] ?
In terms of redemptions, we have more than 30+ brands including Flipkart, ebay, Amazon, movie vouchers etc. where you can redeem bounty points for gift cards or physical products without any conditions/coupons. In terms of physical stores, you can earn bounty points across 7500+ places in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Can you list the cities in which Bounty is currently operational ?
We are currently in Bangalore and Hyderabad though we have a small presence in Chennai too.
Can you take us through the entire process of redemption ? [Right from entering the partner store to process of redeeming points]
When a user visits a partner place, bounty app will automatically detect and send a notification alert. User clicks on the notification to check-in and collect points. User gets anywhere between 2 to 20 points (1 point = 1 rupee) depending on the store and other factors. Users needs a minimum of 100 points (pretty easy to get) to redeem for gift cards/physical products. The hardest part is select the gift that he/she wants to redeem. It could be amazon, flipkart, ebay vouchers or products like earphones, bags etc. Also, there is no social posting or anything for the check-ins. It’s all hassle free rewards!
Please share some numbers (downloads, offers redeemed etc.) with us
We have over 450k users who cloak millions of off-line check-ins every month. We drive over 100k transactions/month to ecommerce players. You can guess the value and GMV 🙂
Who are some of Bounty’s competitors (epecially in the O2O space) & what are some of the stand-out features as compared to other apps (in similar space)
In terms of technology, we have most bigwigs competing with us on indoor positioning technology, we have the likes of Google, Apple, Qualcomm etc. In terms of business model, there are quite a few without our vision.
Bounty’s stand-out feature is the proprietary location technology that works even without internet and GPS! Not many companies in the world have such a technology. Not to forget, it’s also how the technology is applied in real life for hassle free rewards. Consumer has to just install the app and from there on the app will keep reminding them to collect reward points like a rewards assistant.
What are the major changes that you experienced when you moved from an Employee to an Employer [or Entrepreneur]
Mind set is the first change – Everything is YOU and adaptability and survival is the key. Secondly, hunger should far dominate anything as you hardly have money, success, team or infrastructure. All you have is a un-ending faith and a will to survive all odds to succeed.
What are your key advice(s) to aspiring entrepreneurs ?
Please do not think and over analyse. Just get into it. Make sure you/your family have enough money for food and shelter [Clothing can be borrowed ;)]. Extremely pathetic lifestyle, really there is no glamour so get in only if you really want to. Funding [especially for growth stage startups] has dried up with companies picking funding at lower valuations, your take on the scenario [and current situation]. Market slowdowns will always impact average and below average companies as there is no cash flowing freely. However, its also the best time for a great company to raise as there is no cacophony.
Valuations are really notional and as long as you build your business in the right direction, you should be happy not minding too much on valuation.
Lot of startups (food-tech etc where Customer acquisition cost is high & margins are less) expand pan-city and struggle in keeping the momentum going, your words of advice for entrepreneurs trying to scale up(or expand Pan-city) ?
Have enough foresight to know when to expand. Always ask yourself why is “Scale” important. Does scale multiply my losses or get me to an advantageous situation. Get to unit economics as fast as you can and then if scale is the only plausible way for your business, by all means grow rapidly.
Some hiring tips for entrepreneurs [especially the core team] ?
I have been lucky to get my team. However, you need to struggle a lot to get the right members in your core team. People who believe you, your vision and are mad go-getters like you. Failed entrepreneurs, never giving up types, people who underwent hardships in life – everything is a data point for you.
Do give Bounty app a shot and share across your feedback/questions in the comments section. If you have any questions for the Bounty founder about the app, entrepreneurship etc., email them to firstname.lastname@example.org