The Success Story of 'Little App'

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Connecting customers with merchants and retailers isn't easy. There are various major and minor hurdles that need to be taken care of. The Bangalore based startup Little app was started with this very aim of connecting customers with their nearby businesses. Launched in 2015, Little app, (Little Internet Pvt. Ltd.) a hyper-local deals discovery platform was started for connecting people to merchants across services like restaurants, spa, salons, activities, etc. It let customers discover services and offers at their favorite offline stores. In a way, it acted as a sales channel for shop merchants, and created a win-win situation for both customers and merchants.

Founded by two seasoned entrepreneurs Manish Chopra & Satish Mani,  Little App had an interesting journey from its inception in 2015, to its acquisition in 2017 by Paytm and later its merger with Nearbuy.com. Here is all you would love to know about Little App.

Little App Highlights

Startup Name Little App
Headquarters Bengaluru
Founders Manish Chopra & Satish Mani
Sector Hyperlocal e-commerce
Founded 2015

Little App - Founders
Little App - The Idea
Little App - Major Challenges Faced
Little App - Product And Services
Little App - Business Model
Little App - Revenue Model
Little App - Acquisitons And Mergers
Little App - Funding
Little App - Competitors
Little App - Growth

Little App - Founders

Little app co-founder Manish Chopra, also served as the CEO of India’s leading online fashion brand, Zovi from 2012-2018. Before starting his entrepreneurial journey with Zovi and Little App, Manish worked in different roles at Microsoft, Oracle, and PwC. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from The University of Punjab and later went on to get his MBA from S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research. Manish, who served as the CEO of Little App, left Little App after its acquisition by Paytm, and its merger with Nearbuy. Currently, Manish is Director and Head of Partnerships at Facebook (India).

Little App Founders

Little App co-founder Satish Mani is a die hard tech and fitness enthusiast. He has created top class portals and is a thought leader in his domain. He was also the Co-founder and CTO of Zovi.com. Satish did his Master's in Mechanical & Aerospace Engg from ODU.  With more than 20 years of  product and development experience in B2C as well as B2B environments, Satish helped build one of India’s most admired travel portals—Cleartrip. Satish’s interests include system architecture for scalability, UI/UX, German shepherds, and product development. Satish served as the CTO of Little App form its inception till its acquisition by Paytm. Currently he is SVP at MakeMyTrip Travel Services Private Limited.

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Little App - The Idea

Around 2015, Manish and Satish saw a lot of traction towards online marketplaces. They went after a huge opportunity at that time in the Indian mobile platform (O2O space). The duo realized O2O (Online To Offline) was about to explode alongside smartphone growth. So, Manish and Satish built a team to create an app for connecting thousands of merchants who have services to sell across verticals like health and wellness, food and beverage, entertainment, and last minute hotel bookings.

“Little is the “Connector” between the customer who wants to have great experiences and awesome deals and the merchant who is ready to offer the same to the customer. We are an online to offline market place, absolutely one of its kinds where customer has all the empowerment to make intelligent choices using our App. The problem solved here is the lack of an organized national player to make this happen. Little does it with finesse using world class app great deals at the right time and NOW, merchant strength and user experience. The real differentiator is the scale and depth of the merchant ecosystem. Fantastic Deals around you – can only be realized by having the largest ecosystem.” explained the co-founder of Little App, Manish Chopra.
Little App logo
Little App logo

Little App - Major Challenges Faced

Hiring the right kind of people quickly was a significant challenge that Little App faced. They needed senior leaders as well as young dynamic front-line business development executives. Training and retaining them was an obstacle on top of this.

Little App - Product And Services

Little App was designed to let the users browse through a vast number of deals across various platforms - restaurants, movies, salons, spas, and other interesting activities near them. Now Little app's services can be accessed through the Nearbuy app.

Little app has now fully moved to Nearbuy.com
Little app has now fully moved to Nearbuy.com

With a user friendly interface, Nearbuy app lets its users discover, buy and save on merchants nearest to them

Little App - Business Model

Little App offered deals of outlets and charged a commission on every deal sold. Customers buy the deal from Little App and pay them. Little App in turn cuts its commission fee and returned the rest to the outlet.

Outlets: Sell their products/services on Little to attract more customers and fill their tables.

Little App: Has a huge customer base and offers free marketing platform to outlets. In turn, it charges commission for every deal sold.

Customers: Pay a lesser price for their choice. So it's a win-win for all!

Little App - Revenue Model

Little App being a services marketplace provided a platform for tens of thousands of merchant organizations to reach millions of consumers through smartphones. It charged the merchants a small fee between 6-8% for using its platform which including payment facilitation.

Little App - Acquistions And Mergers

Little acquired Trideal, a Chandigarh based curated deals marketplace, in October 2015. It also acquired the beauty and wellness start-up Stylofie for an undisclosed amount. Through acquisition of Stylofie, Little App was able to penetrate further within the beauty and wellness segment. With this acquisition, Little Internet Pvt. Ltd. got access to more than 50,000 registered visitors and over 1,000 merchants on the Stylofie platform.

Little App - Funding

In January 2016, Little raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pvt Ltd.

Little App raised $50 million (Rs. 318 crore) in July 2015, from One97Communications (which runs mobile payments venture Paytm), SAIF Partners, Tiger Global Management, and others.

Date Stage Amount Investors
July,2015 Venture Round $50 Million Paytm, SAIF Partners, Tiger Global Management
January,2016 Venture Round Undisclosed GIC Private Limited

Little App - Competitors

MagicPin  is considered to be a  top  competitor of Little App. CouponDunia is Little App’s next rival. CouponDunia is headquartered in Mumbai and was founded in 2010. CouponDunia operates in the discount stores industry. Mydala is another rival. Besides, Deal Chaat, Cash Karo and Coupon Raja also competed with Little App. Prior to its merger, Nearbuy was also a major competitor of Little App.

Little App - Growth

Little App saw rapid growth with the rapid development of India’s mobile Internet ecosystem. The unprecedented success of the category has been facilitated by innovative technology solutions aimed at benefiting customers and merchants alike. Moreover, the company's thought process is in sync with the much-needed move by the Indian Government towards digitizing payments.

In May 2017,  Little App announced the launch of its operations in three new cities – Kochi, Bhubaneswar, and Nagpur. After the launch, Manish said:

“After our successful launch in 11 cities, we are excited to roll out our service in Kochi, Bhubaneswar, and Nagpur. They seem to be one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Little App has received phenomenal response and acceptance across all its functional cities. We look forward to revolutionizing these markets as well. We will leverage our technology prowess, deep operational experience, and excellence towards our customer satisfaction.”

Overall, Little App has been a successful startup. It claimed to have over 25,000 merchants across 15 cities offering more than 50,000 live deals across F&B, movies, last-minute hotels, and health & wellness. Little App will continue to serve its user base through the Nearbuy app.