This is part of an ongoing startup review series supported by our sponsors Sun Startup Essentials.
Well anyone who uses prepaid card on their mobile phones knows what a pain it is to recharge it each time your talk time is about to get over. One has to find a shop which sells recharge, scratch the card and key in the numbers etc. Its atleast a 30 minute exercise. But what if it could become a 3 minute exercise? Right from the comfort of your home? Well this is exactly what Mobikwik a new startup on the block is trying to achieve.
One sentence description: Online recharge of mobile prepaid cards
About Startup: Mobikwik is a focussed offering in the online mobile recharge space for prepaid customers. It currently supports all the major operators like vodafone, airtel, idea, aircel, bsnl, reliance and mtnl as well. It also offers users the features like a best prepaid plan finder and special offers if any from any operator. It also has the recharge facility available by calling in or by smsing to a particular number. In essence mobikwik operates like a mobile waller for prepaid recharge as of now. The company does plan to expand their range of services beyond recharge in the future though.
About Founders: The startup is founded by a group of IIT and NID alumni with strong experience in software design and usability. Bipin Preet Singh is CEO, Founder is a B.Tech (EE) IIT Delhi and worked in consumer hardware products at Intel, NVIDIA and Freescale, Business development at SOY communications and was a Partner Star Auto. While the co-founder Sunali Aggarwal is Design Guru is a new media post-grad from NID has a Diploma in Film direction from NY Film Academy and 6 years of experience in User Experience Design.
Funding Status: No Institutional Funding Yet
WAT’s HOT: The market size is huge given that prepaid cards form over 90% of the total mobile subscriber base in India. That means with over 400 million total mobile subscribers a large part of them refill or recharge their cards. This is a huge customer base to start off with for mobikwik. From a product perspective the fact that i can load it up once and then keep recharging from the amount in my ewallet is of great value. Also the fact that they offer me services where I can check the best plans and also look for offers from operators themselves is also a great value add.
WAT’s NOT: Well the market might be huge but the access to market isn’t i.e. online access today is to barely 40-50 million users and therefore the actual online recharge market might be 1/10th of what is quoted above. Though their sms recharge facility might expand that market. We did speak to the founders and came to know that they charge 2% as convenience charges for the prepaid recharge amount. So that roughly works out to an amount of Rs.10 on a recharge of rupees 500. Given the price sensitive audience in India this might be an hindrance. Also the trust and regulatory factors are two other concerns. Given that this is a startup would i load up 10,000 rupees and the recharge as and when I want? Also does RBI allow this kind of online ewallet? I have my concerns on both these issues.
Our Rating – 3.5 points out of 5
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