Notifications are not just annoying but can be detrimental to our mental well-being. However, for companies and brands, notifications are a necessary evil to drive revenue, build customer relationships, and retain users—as apps are shown to notch up to 190% retention with push notifications.
While working on the B2C app AppBrowzer, Sunny Gurnani found it difficult to retain users and realised that many users would disable push notifications. He also saw many other businesses facing the same issue with no solution in sight.
“I probably have 20 apps with zero notifications. I don’t want noise around my apps, so my notifications are switched off,” Sunny tells YourStory.
In 2020, he pivoted the app and co-founded Bengaluru-headquartered Flyy with Venkatesh Rao. A B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, Flyy helps companies create gamified referral and loyalty rewards programmes. It enables brands to create challenges and games within their product to acquire, engage and retain users.
Sunny, who is an alum of the University of Sydney, has been a serial entrepreneur.
He teamed up with Venkatesh in 2015 to work on AppBrowzer, an app aggregator that was difficult to market as the team did not own any of the featured apps. In order to drive up numbers, they created gamified challenges to retain users.
This caught the eye of other founders who approached the team to help them build similar gamified challenges for their products.
“We quickly realised there is a market for a full-fledged SaaS platform for gamification. We sure could really help companies with our expertise in getting users engaged,” recalls the co-founder and CEO.
While Flyy did not disclose the initial investment, it raised a seed capital of $400,000 in April 2022 from undisclosed investors.
How does it work
The B2B SaaS platform offers a plug-and-play software development kit which integrates into a mobile app or website. The integration comes with a comprehensive dashboard that allows clients to customise and create multiple campaigns by defining user segments, rewards, payout mechanisms, and game mechanics like scratch cards.
One such campaign was rolled out by the insurtech app Turtlemint Pro during the Indian Premiere League 2022. It introduced a stamp campaign—on every transaction on the app, the user (Turtlemint Pro insurance agents) would get a virtual team jersey as a stamp, eight of which could be converted into a big reward. The campaign became popular for offering rare stamps and enabling users to exchange them.
Flyy offers three modules to its clients:
Acquisition module sets up a gamified referral programme for acquiring and activating users.Retention module helps clients create campaigns or competition for any user event—such as completing a transaction to purchasing stocks. This is the core module offered by Flyy. Engagement module helps clients build a multiple-choice Q&A quiz. Clients can create daily and weekly quiz contests and add leaderboards and scratch card rewards to increase daily retention and engagement.
Flyy offers its services to a clientele base of 35+ brands, mostly from the BFSI sector, including Kotak Mahindra Bank, TaxBuddy, CASHe, and Avail Finance.
In terms of success rate, the 30-membered team says that more than 92% of its clients continue to avail of Flyy’s services. It claims the clients have also increased their engagement rate by 30% and user retention by over 20%.
According to the MCA filings, Flyy clocked revenue of approximately Rs 57 lakh from operations in FY22.
However, gamification is a fairly new method of engaging users. One of the biggest challenges for the team, which also operates from Ludhiana, was convincing businesses to adopt gamification and go beyond conventional channels like SMS, email and notifications.
“When we started pitching, we didn’t talk about our three modules. We first offered them to pick an action and attach a scratch card reward to it. We didn’t want to overload our customers with everything we had in our minds, like game mechanics. Thanks to Google Pay and PhonePe, everyone understood variable rewards like scratch cards,” explains Sunny.
Although the company did not build the platform specifically for any segment, gamification in Google Pay, CRED, PhonePe etc helped with the traction from the BFSI sector.
It competes with platforms including Influitive, Centrical, and Qualifio.
Market and future plans
According to Bessemer Venture Partners report, the Indian SaaS market is expected to clock $50 billion mark by the end of 2030. In 2021, the venture capital investment in the sector was around $4.8 billion—nearly three times as much as in 2020.
Bhavik Parmar, Co-founder of B2B healthcare platform Pharamarack, tells YourStory that Indian businesses are yet to get used to gamified marketing strategies.
“Indian companies and startups are still using loyalty programmes for marketing. For any company to expand itself digitally, it needs to start using gamification marketing strategies,” he explains.
A 2021 study shows that gamification increases user engagement by satisfying the needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness.
Flyy is planning to expand its clientele base from BFSI and tap into global ecommerce stores. It is also redesigning its platform—expected to be ready by January 2023—to primarily cater to ecommerce clients globally while the existing BFSI clients will be moved to a new platform in a couple of months.
It is also planning to close the next round of funding before March 2023 from a pool of current investors such as Kush Shah, Eragon Ventures India Managing Director Pranabh Mody, and some institutional funds.
Edited by Kanishk Singh