Gone are the days when mobiles were considered to be a luxury. Today, almost everyone uses a cell phone and as the prices go down, everyone wants to own a smartphone. So what exactly are phones used for? Making calls? Texts? Not anymore. Nowadays, phones have become more of an internet tool, a device of entertainment and the list goes on. In India, 95 % of the people own a phone use a prepaid sim. Network providers have various internet plans, different call tariffs, text tariffs etc., it gets hard to remember different codes for checking different accounts. To make it easy for the user to track network details, Smartbro came into being.
About & Services
Smartbro runs under Optinno Mobitech Pvt Ltd, the company founded by Sagar Bedmutha. The company acts as a smart app that lets prepaid users get the same depth of details as postpaid users. Talking on the same Sagar said, “The prepaid services in India work as if it was 1995, people have to remember codes and numbers to check balances. The problem is even more acute these days, people use different internet packs, tariff packs.”
There are apps by network providers but they don’t provide prepaid details in detail, through this app a user will be able to track his balance without even dialling a single digit. Also, in a country like India where people are more comfortable using regional/local languages to text, talk and read, it gets difficult to understand things when the network provider is providing limited preferences in terms of languages. Smartbro has a multilingual UI, which can be accessed in regional languages like Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. Sagar has previously been associated with the famous anti-spam app ‘smsBlocker’.
Not only the app provides day-wise usage but also warns you on the low balance or low data balance. The details of user account is always visible on his dialler, so that they may know how long to talk before the balance runs out. This Pune-based company uses proprietary patent pending technology and updates your balance automatically. Also, it has different tabs for different sims to make the UI more user friendly.
Monetisation & Traction
When asked about the monetisation model, Sagar stated that they have different plans to monetise. It can be through the app where they ‘might’ introduce a premium service or by providing recharge services.
In less than three weeks of its inception, the company claims to have 6000 users on the platform. Also, when asked about its iOS version, Sagar quoted, “Technically, it’s not possible to built a similar app for iOS because the data required to built is not available on the platform.”
Funding & Competitors
The company is currently being bootstrapped and is actively looking for investors. Sagar said, “We are getting revenues from smsBlocker, it has been profitable and is helping us to run the show for now.”
There have been startups doing a similar thing, like Prepaid bill & Mobile balance, true balance and have been doing well, but they don’t support the live option neither they support multiple regional languages.