There are several mobile apps flooding you with deals from merchants and urging you to splurge money. But there is not many an app that helps you make right shopping decisions based on your spending habits. Crownit is an innovative app-only merchant discovery and privileges platform connecting consumers with hyper local merchants. Launched in 2014 and equipped with an O2O model (online to offline model), the app curates deals with cashback from thousands of merchants and personalizes them based on a few filters including users’ spending habits, interests, etc. Users (who are customers) can redeem their crowns (cashback) in a number of ways like booking movie tickets, paying utility bills, buying talk time, etc.
“When I was heading product for Knowlarity, I used to interact a lot with SMEs. And I saw a clear opportunity and needed for a marketing solution to help local SME retailers to help them grow their business. And I wanted to make it fun and engaging for consumers too. Hence Crownit was born. Consumers use Crownit to discover local merchants and their deals, transact there to earn Crowns and participate in our games,” said Sameer Grover, founder and CEO of Crownit.
Sameer Grover, the founder and CEO of Crownit, is a graduate from Delhi College of Engineering. A quintessentially ‘product’ person, he has to his credit an extensive experience in creating and marketing software products for large enterprises as well as small and medium businesses in the US and India. Mr. Grover has worked at leadership positions in well-known organizations like Apollo Health Street (Heritage), MphRx and Knowlarity, prior to which he had worked with Epic Systems Corporation in Wisconsin from 1999 to 2005. With his fabulous industry experience, Mr Grover is looking to create the largest O2O Company in India. He is hell-bent on transforming the way consumers shop with his ‘one app fits all’ strategy that is empowering merchants in the hyper local space.
If a new product is able to make a difference in the world of its target audience, depends on its USP. User-friendliness is the USP of Crownit App. It helps to grab cashback which we lose in name of discounts. The crowns earned from different offers curated by Crownit App can be redeemed for mobile balance, bill payment, online shopping, movie tickets, etc. That’s how Crownit app is different from other existing models, according to Mr. Grover.
Another unique thing about Crownit is its engagement and customization feature. The app not only offers personalized and curated shopping deals with cashback offers to customers based on their liking and spending habits but also enables merchants to reach out to their target audience offline. (Put it as a highlighted quote)
No matter how unique the USP of a product is, it has to make its way through competition. “Crownit is the number one O2O platform in India and our commitment to our users keeps it going. We focus on development of the product instead of competing with other businesses in the same niche. I personally believe in making a product more user friendly by improving the functionality and adding new features so that it can tide over the competition,” said Mr. Grover.
Launching a product in the market and pushing it further is a big challenge itself. It was no exception to Crownit App. At the initial phase, the biggest challenge was to convince merchants to use Crownit App on commission basis. It took lots of effort to introduce and establish the product in the market. “We made a number of presentations to make merchants understand our value of proposition and point of differentiation. Now the track is smooth and without challenges for Crownit,” shared the CEO.
Crownit App has had an amazing traction. It has successfully managed to build a user base of over 8, 00,000 on Android, Windows and iPhone. At present, it drives a monthly Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of $3 million. It is on the way to achieve a monthly GMV of $25 million. Mr. Grover raised the Series A Funding worth $5.5 million from Accel Partners and Helion Ventures in May 2015 following angel funding worth $380K in July 2014.
A new product without vision and mission ends up having a short shelf life. Being into marketing and strategy making for years, Mr Grover nurtures a vision of introducing the app in 25 cities in India and having a user base of 20 million by the end of 2018 through referrals and word of mouth. Crownit App is currently available in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.