Technology Technology

Personal assistant app Joe Hukum rejigs business model

23 Jun, 2016

Joe-Hukum_01App-based provider of concierge services Joe Hukum is recasting its business model to focus more on business-to-business (B2B) operations for better monetisation, its founder told Techcircle.

"We realised that despite a decent number of transactions, there wasn't enough money to be made in business-to-consumer (B2C) operations," Arihant Jain, co-founder, Joe Hukum said. "A smaller margin is in play since we are just a layer between a business and a consumer."

Last month, personal assistant app Helpchat closed its chat services and laid off most of its employees. At that time, Ankur Singla, founder, Helpchat, had said in a blog post that many of its users found chat a "cumbersome" way of doing things and that it had realised as far back as in September 2015 that using chat to provide personal assistance was a problem.


The startup, therefore, looked for a more viable business model, and found it in business customers as opposed to retail customers. "We figured out how to use technology to enable businesses for chats and are now working with business and used-cases to automate the chats across platforms," Jain added. According to him, companies see chats as a way of driving engagement and conversion for their businesses.

The seven-member team of Joe Hukum, run by GogetSpeedy Technologies Pvt. Ltd, claims to be witnessing a surge in demand and has implemented the chat platform for several businesses. It is charging a monthly subscription fee from these companies. Its clients include Healthkart, 1Mg, KingXI Punjab, among others.

Launched in July 2015 by former Healthkart employees, Arihant Jain, Ajeet Kushwaha and Rahul Agarwal, Joe Hukum operated as a chat-based platform for order taking and fulfilment. Users could use the app for local shopping, pick-and-drop, movie/ event tickets, travel, restaurant reservations, bill payments and grocery purchases besides other services.


Last year the firm had raised an undisclosed sum in seed funding from Tracxn Labs, Citrus Payments co-founder Jitendra Gupta and 1mg.com's Prashant Tandon.

Chat-based concierge platforms have attracted considerable investor attention this year.

In April, Bangalore-based Magiclane App Services Pvt Ltd, which operates on-demand task management app MagicX, has raised $1 million (around Rs 6.6 crore) in seed funding from Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and Dr. Ranjan Pai, MD and CEO of Manipal Education and Medical Group.


In March, Gurgaon based invexGO Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs on-demand concierge startup Qlivery, raised $230,000 (around Rs 1.5 crore) from Hong Kong based Swastika Company Ltd.

In the same month Bangalore-based daily tasks management app Dunzo raised $650,000 (around Rs 4.4 crore) in pre-Series A funding led by Aspada Investment Advisors and Blume Ventures.

In January, Wishup, a chat-based concierge services startup, secured seed funding from 500 Startups, former Rocket Internet managing director Mato Peric and TracxnLabs.


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