Public WiFi is becoming a common thing in India. The growing number of Internet users take it for granted that places like malls, restaurants, cafes etc. will have WiFi available for all. Most such retail outlets do have such facilities where the customers have to pay for usage, and do tend to get put off by it. In order to change the dynamics of this game, Mumbai-based Wingage is helping businesses set up free WiFi facilities for customers.
Founded in January 2014 by Co-Founders Vishal Chaudhari (CEO) & Anurag Chivilkar, Wingage WiFi is a tech startup working in the space of WiFi based customer engagement and analytics. The startup forecasts that there are very less options for a retail business like Restaurants and Cafes, Spa and Salons, Gyms etc to engage their customers when they are present in their premises.
Wingage is helping owners and managers of retail businesses allowing them to offer free WiFi to their customer that however comes with a call to action.
When a customer attempts to sign on to WiFi network, they will be asked to “Like” business page on Facebook or “Follow” on Twitter Or “Check In” to social media. So, the retail businesses will be able to target their marketing reach to the customers who have visited their location and are familiar with their business. Also just by using their WiFi network, these customers have advertised their business to entire social circle.
After giving access to internet, these businesses can take customers to customised landing page which can be a website, offer/discount image or show advertisement, so that customer also feels incentivized after sharing data with the retail business. Wingage provides demographic and behavioral analytics to the business owner for making smart decisions to retain and engage their customers.
Its WiFi system consists of a Plug n Play WiFi router which goes into the existing internet connection at the venue and a dashboard through which the company can remotely control and manage the WiFi.
“Wingage is focusing on the customer engagement and analytics through WiFi, rather playing on the data part of the WiFi which most of the players in the market are doing. This is how we are different,” Anurag said.
Funding Status and Monetization Model
The startup is bootstrapped till now. Commenting on the investment plans, Anurag told iamwire, “We are in process of raising funds, also we have commitment from few investors but nothing is finalised.” It charge the retail business owners on SAAS basis for its services.
Present Status and Future Plans
The startup is live at near to 100 retail locations. Some of its customers are DiBella Coffee, Moshes Cafe, Cafe Zoe, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, iThink Fitness etc.
“We are in talks with top banks in India like ICICI, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra for implementation of our system in their branches for promoting their online banking app,” Anurag stated.
The company plans is to reach 15000 locations in next 3 years, both domestic and international. The firm is shortly planning to start marketing its product in spa and salons. It also plans to develop advanced analytics, so that the retail business owner can understand their customers better. To increase its reach, Wingage is planning to white label its solution, also appoint re-sellers in different geographies. Its system has been used by near to 1 lakh customers till date since the launch of service.
Talking about issues in scaling up, hiring the right talent has been a major challenge for Wingage. “As we are in the field of wireless technologies and embedded system, to find right talent is getting difficult for us as there are very less people in this field and understand its complexities,” added Anurag.
Market and Competition
Wingage forecasts that market size of the retail industry in India it is targeting is around $500 billion, which is growing at 15% every year. There are innumerous applications of WiFi in different sectors. The players like CISCO, Airtel and Reliance JIO have dominated this sector. Startups like Bhaifi and Whizz have also entered in this space recently.
Talking about their differentiation factor, Anurag mentioned, “Our differentiation is we give identity to the faceless customer visiting a retail business premises and enable business owner to send customise offerings to their customer base. Strategy to beat rising competition is aggressive market acquisition and development of innovative features.”