What could possibly be easier than making purchases online? A new localized messaging app called Lookup is attempting to make things easier with offline initiatives. Lookup, a Bangalore-based free messaging app is taking over consumer’s offline space, helping to deliver food, book flights and schedule appointments.
In January this year, CEO and Founder of Lookup, Deepak Ravindran, raised $382K in seed capitol, which included money from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.
Nine months after the seed funding round, Ravindran locked in $2.5 million in series A funding led by Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, Global Founders Capital and again, Biz Stone, to name but a few.
It was no surprise when, at the end of last year, Lookup officially partnered with Twitter, adding some 350 million active Twitter users to the app’s growing user base. According to Ravindran, the partnership will be mutually beneficial.
“Our idea is to make Lookup ubiquitous," said Ravindran. “Twitter's real-time communications platform could not be skipped for Lookup's on-demand local commerce service.”
Local service is what Lookup is all about. Using chat features already available in most smartphones, users simply text or chat special requests to Lookup—things like dinner reservations, movie tickets, hair appointments and more.
With Twitter now onboard, the service will implement use of a Twitter handle (@Lookuplite) to make these same requests in real time in both public and private conversations. Just Tweet a request @Lookuplite and a response will appear shortly after to service the request.
Twitter’s partnership will provide a much larger audience to the delivery service, as well as streamline the user experience both on and offline.
“We want Lookup to be the Google equivalent for finding products and services offline, said Ravindran. “For this, we hyperlink every local store near you with a simple chat app which give you synchronous connection to the verified vendor.”
Lookup Looks Forward
Currently, the app is operational in three local areas throughout India: Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. Millions of Indian users are already using the app service to acquire goods and services without making a call, using multiple apps or searching the web.
“I’m honored to be a part of Deepak’s next big project,” said Stone. “I’m very excited about working with such an inspiring entrepreneur, whom I share common ideologies with.”
Lookup is already pushing forward with new developments including Offline API—a unique concept where users can get access to anything on demand from local merchants. Additionally, the startup is focusing on streamlining the booking process, adding new vendors and building out its user base.
With a friend like Twitter (or Stone) in the startup’s corner, it’s safe to bet this won’t be the last time Lookup gets noticed.