What is Niffler?
Co-founded by Edul Patel, Prince Arora and Viraj Shah, Niffler is a hyper local discovery platform which enables users to find the best deals and discounts at offline stores. The name ‘Niffler’ alludes to the fictional character created by J.K.Rowling in Harry Potter fantasy series, which helps one find treasure.
The company was launched in July 2014 with a vision to cater to the information bankruptcy amongst consumers regarding the offers running at the brick and mortar stores in their locality, under a huge umbrella of categories- Apparel, Food, Dining, Credit Cards, Beauty and wellness, through its app which is available on Android and iOS.
How Does it operate?
- Niffler has a data collection team that helps keep all public data correct. The team does this process of collecting public offers in 6 cities Mumbai , NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.
- It has a sales team that ties up with local stores to run offers and promotions and drive store footfall. These exclusive Niffler tie-ups are currently only in Mumbai.
What are its primary features?
- Personalization : Offers shown are based on a relevance score depending on the user
- Location Based: Notification and subtle recommendations are sent based on the user current location
- Context: It takes in various contextual bits to suggest the right offers to the user. So, in the evening, Niffler might suggest Coffee places, on weekends it would suggest places to go out and shop at
- Recommendation based targeting of offers
- Offers on Niffler are detailed, comprehensive and correct.
What problems is it catering to?
Macroscopically, Niffler aims to solve two major issues:
In the first foray, this technology fills up the awareness gap between the consumers and the offline retails. There is no way for any user to find out about offers, deals and sales running at stores near them. Most of the daily deals sites push on deep discounts which more often than not results in stores giving poor service to users. Niffler thus, serves as a platform that allows a free flow of information between the two binaries (the customer and the store).
On the retailer’s front, there is a limited scope for stores to target and reach out to users in their vicinity. Thus, there occurs a communication gap between the sellers and the buyers regarding new products/offers/promotions. Even Print, Social and online medium fail to work optimally in this area. Therefore, the most considerable method adopted by stores these days is distribution of pamphlets, a process that Niffler aims to replace with personalization.
Through a personalized, location based recommendation system built in the Niffler Platform, stores will be able to target users and run promotions and as well scale the entire process. The technology aims at furnishing the stores with the capability to optimize inventory, run flash sales, and becoming the sole place they need to come to for any kind of publicity they want to do.
Niffler’s Traction Per Month
As yet, there has been a total installs of 50k. The company has 100 partner stores and is running at a 15% week over growth in active users. Each week, 15000 offers are furnished in details.
What is the company’s reach?
Currently, it is operational in Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.
How does it monetize?
The company has plans to monetize via store subscription to use the Niffler platform. Charges would be based on features, a store needs to use.
What is the current market scenario of hyper local discovery platforms?
According to Co-Founder, Edul Patel, “hyperlocal discovery challenge means the ability to be able to push the right infomation to the right user at the right time and place from the right store.
Solving this problem has historically been difficult as for anything hyperlocal , context is the king and understanding correct context is a problem.
Most of the companies have relied on building up the information but only collecting information is not enough. Providing correct recommendations is where a majority of companies have failed.
Rapid adoption of smart phones in the mobile age gives us the opportunity to start making sense out of a lot of information that out phones provide, which helps us understand context. And through this use of technology and data, is how we plan to solve the hyperlocal discovery problem.”
On Funding and Investment
Niffler raised a fund of $1 Million in March 2015 from SAIF Partners. It is looking to expand aggressively in multiple cities across India. Most of the funds from the next round will be used for team and product expansion.
The market today, is witnessing a surge of startups offering innovative hyper local services. Similar to Niffler, there are names like Fashalot and Wooplr which are also operating in the same area with their individual models. The primary motive held by all of these startups is to bridge the gap between offline retailers and the digital customers. Thus, the competition is cut throat.