Yulop plans to provide “in-depth event information on present and future events” for people in Bangalore, said Sridhar G, CEO, Yulop.
While part of this is not too impressive, because it’s simple geo tagging, there is another part that holds exciting prospects for the future of local search in India with respect to monetization. The company has “signed partnerships with over 30 auditoriums in the city, such that a user can purchase tickets on the site which will be sent to his mobile; Event managers will also have the option of enabling a click to call option such that users can speak to the event managers by the click of a button”. Apart from that the event platform will also provide the event organizers the functionality of uploading video and photo content(which is again not too much of a big deal but a handy augmentation nevertheless). So the model is simple – aggregate, tie up, be a one-source portal for everything that’s happening locally encouraging e – commerce as a result, and monetize subsequently.
This is a part of Yulop’s Vertical integration local search strategy. Here one can make the point of analysing the difference between Horizontal local commerce sites and Vertical Local commerce plays. Horizontal ones are like Sulekha, Justdial, Onyomo, etc., which accumulate all cities in one shot and most often give a broad overview of every city. Vertical ones are like AskLaila to an extent, though I think Yulop is the best exponent of a Vertical local classifieds. They have started with only Bangalore, but have done an extremely detailed job, over 60,000 geo-coded listings (the highest for any city in India), 500 events a week, and some great mapping features with restaurants clearly marked. The prize for the ‘best’ local search engine (keeping in mind horizontal and vertical integration) at this point I think goes to AskLaila.
A database of over 60,000 geo-coded listings translates into a big opportunity to provide Location based services on the web and the mobile, part of Yulop’s plans moving forward. Sridhar says,“We plan to provide location based services on the mobile in the near future, we foresee great potential for maps and location based service on the mobile in the coming months.”
Incidentally I’ve been chatting with Sridhar who commented on my post on LBS. He told me about how Yulop has used simple Symbian C++ to reverse engineer Cell ID’s andget a track on a person’s location. They have done all of this without any help from the operators who quotes a price in 100, 000’s ($) for such data. So basically if you have any LBS app, Yulop can figure out your Cell ID and subsequently your location. (More on that story HERE). Suddenly, things like Friend Finders, Location Based ads, and location based chatting services are becoming a reality. I don’t know what the legal hurdles will be.
A word of caution though – Cell ID based tracking is not accurate at all. With Satellite based GPS and AGPS (Assisted GPS) one can effectively track the location of an individual to the tune of 10 metres. That is likely to do more to the word of LBS. Incidentally, a particular government regulation requires a person’s signature before he can be accurately tracked using GPS and AGPS ensuring that this kind of a service cannot be easily commoditized. There are a few dangers associated with it as well. Work your imagination!
PS Im available for Chat – on harshil (dot) karia (at)gmail (dot) com. We can connect on Twitter as well – my Twitter Page (twitteris preferable). I think its great to connect with people reading our stuff. I was able to add a lot to this post just because I’ve been in communicating with Sridhar. Would love to be in touch!