Deepak Ravindran and Mohammed Hisamuddin, co-founders of Bangalore-based Innoz Technologies Pvt Ltd that offers a mobile-based search service, have launched a location-based P2P search engine for smartphones called Quest. Quest is a people-powered answering app that enables mobile phone users to ask a question via a text message and Android app, post which other users can reply to the same.
The app is available on Android as of now; an iOS app is also in the pipeline.
The company is also close to raising $500,000 in funding from Silicon Valley incubator 500 Startups and a few other unnamed investors. "As of now, 500 Startups is the only confirmed investor. We are in discussion with more investors in the Silicon Valley," said Ravindran. He, however, did not make it clear if the money is coming from 500 Startup Wallah, the India-focused micro venture fund which recently invested in Pricebaba.com, a location-based price search engine for mobile phones.
According to a separate report by NextBigWhat, SeedFund, which had put in $3 million in Innoz in 2012, is planning to exit the investment. However, Ravindran declined to comment on this development.
Founded in 2008 by Kannur University alumni Ravindran, Abhinav Sree, Ashwin Nath and Hisamuddin, Innoz' mobile query product ensures instant response to any query sent via SMS from a feature phone without internet connectivity. Each query costs Rs 1, but there are also daily and monthly packages for unlimited queries. Innoz claims it currently handles more than one million queries a day and is looking to hit the 10 million mark a day by the end of 2015. Innoz, which gets more than 60 per cent of its queries from tier II and tier III cities, claims to have already reached the one billion-mark in terms of total SMS queries.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)