New Delhi: HyperTrack, a start-up that helps businesses track products or people in real time, is opening its services to consumers by introducing a mobile application—Send ETA—which allows users to track a trip live with an option of sharing real-time movement with friends.
Co-founded by Kashyap Deorah, a serial entrepreneur and author of The Golden Tap and Tapan Pandita, HyperTrack is already working with more than 50 firms across the world.
The list of clients includes on-demand logistics firm Shadowfax, food delivery start-ups Holachef and Petoo, online education start-up Toppr, online pharmacy Pharmeasy, among others. The original Indian craft beer Bira’s logistics provider BookMyStorage is also using HyperTrack to track Bira’s draught machines as they make their way from warehouse to store, according to Deorah.
While HyperTrack is a paid product, Send ETA will be available to consumers for free in the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. “Send ETA is largely a lead generation platform for us. The source code of the product will be available in open source for the developers to build their own driver apps,” said Deorah.
For HyperTrack, the clients could pay 4 cents per trip tracked. The first 10,000 tasks are offered free by the company. “Our aim is to turn cash flow positive with the current team and money in the bank,” he added.
Founded in October 2015, the company has raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from investors in Silicon Valley. Deorah and Pandita pooled in $300,000 to launch the venture with a vision to creating a global technology firm from India.
HyperTrack has expanded to a 10-member team and Deorah has attracted several Silicon Valley executives to join him in his entrepreneurial journey. Key hires include Google’s Abhishek Poddar, who moved back to India as head of product; Amit Rathi, who is moving back from Amazon in Seattle to lead web services; and Rishabh Garg of Hungary’s Prezi, who will head user interface design.
According to Deorah, close to a billion trips take place using a smartphone across the globe every day and there is a massive opportunity in creating a software service that helps live track these trips to improve efficiency and accountability.
To be sure, HyperTrack is not the only one offering live tracking services. The likes of Grubhub, Sprig and Postmates in the US have built similar products in-house. However, tracking comes in as a bundled feature inside mapping products and delivery management solutions; HyperTrack is the first unbundled web service for tracking.
Send ETA also directly competes with already existing apps such as ETA and ETA calculator.
The biggest challenge that the company currently faces is to convince on-ground staff of the logistics firms to use the services instead of current processes like making phone calls. “Given there are multiple inefficiencies in the system, delivery boys are resisting the shift specially in the Indian market,” said Deorah. Shift in consumer behaviours isn’t the only hurdle, the company also faces difficulty with the country’s mapping and pin code availability. “Accuracy rate of geo-coding is only 50% in the country, if you don’t have access to exact locations the value of the product becomes less.”
The company is solving the geo-coding problem by letting consumers to pin their accurate location within the tracking experience and by allowing delivery boys/drivers to pin the address for future use.