Mumbai-based startup m.Panni Solutions, which runs a loyalty rewards app for unorganised retailers in India, has been selected for the Google’s flagship studio program ‘Google Developers Launchpad Studio’. The four-month program will commence from September 6 and will take place at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, according to a statement.
Google’s Launchpad Studio Program is specifically for training startups that focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to build innovative products and find solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. The internet giant chose m.Paani for its work towards helping MSMEs and local retailers, and for eventually helping in Google’s ‘next billion users’ goal, by using Machine Learning and artificial intelligence in their retailer and consumer products.
Launched in 2014 by Akanksha Hazari, m.Paani designs and implements mobile-based loyalty programs, which bring primarily offline consumers and unorganised retailers online. Customers can redeem points whenever they shop at m.Paani retail partners through discounts, talk time and other offers. At present, ‘Aap Ka Business Saathi’ is m.Paani’s retailer marketing and loyalty SaaS platform.
According to Akanksha Hazari, a Princeton University and Cambridge University alumnus, approximately 86% of the transactions by Indian consumers occur within a 3-4 km radius of home at local businesses and there are over 15 million of these local businesses in India.
“Yet there is little to no data about this transaction economy. It’s a huge opportunity. m.Paani loyalty points are the key to unlocking visibility into the full consumer profile and purchase cycle of mass-market India, and influencing it,” she added.
m.Paani has worked with over 5000 retailers in MSME space. “We are using our extensive knowledge and experience here to develop m.Paani ‘Aap ka Business Saathi’ into the first AI-Driven Business Growth Assistant for MSMEs in the world,” Hazari said.
IDG Ventures India, Saha Fund, Blume Ventures, Serial Tech Investors, entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishnana and Gautam Ivatury are the key investors in m.Paani.