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Payment app, Khaalijeb aims at dominating Indian youth segment

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Khaalijeb, an UPI payment app, aimed specifically at the youth, has got over 45,000 downloads on Play Store. The company is part of the fintech pre-incubation program of IIM Bangalore. Brands such as Gaana, Bounce, Cure.fit, Testbook, Pariksha, Coolwinks are offering discounts to young Indians on its platform. Additionally, around 350 restaurants and salons from Bengaluru are part of the platform. The company recently launched a B2B product called KhaaliJeb Verify that helps brands in verifying their student customers and running exclusive discount campaigns for them.

Khaalijeb’s founders attribute the strong focus on youth to be the major differentiator. Says Prakash Kumar, Co-Founder, Khaalijeb, “We are building a vast community young Indians and help brands market to them. We started with UPI payments, but over time, we will keep adding features targeted at young Indians. Membership based youth discount program is one feature that set us apart from others. Record, Track & Split Expense feature is another.”

The UPI feature is another value proposition. “With UPI on KhaaliJeb, users can make payments directly from their bank account to their friends and any merchants accepting UPI. Our discount program is member only platform for students and youths below 29, where brands and merchants offer exclusive discounts and benefits to them,” explains Sudhanshu Gaur who is also a co-founder.

The Record, Track, Split and Settle Expenses feature, has proved to be extremely popular among the youth community.

Another recent innovation is a B2B product ‘Verify by KhaaliJeb’ that helps brands in verifying their student customers and running discount campaigns for them. In case a brand wants to run exclusive discount campaigns only for students on their own app or website, they can leverage the can integrate the KhaaliJeb Verify feature with help of simple APIs. Student customers can upload the ID from the brand’s website or app. The ID can be verified within minutes using technology and manually with the help of agents. The verified students can then claim deals from the brand.

In a short period of time, the company has achieved a significant number of downloads. Says Wilson Birua, Co-Founder, ”Today, we have on-boarded 400+ brands and merchants for the discount program. We have achieved 48,000+ app downloads. We have processed more than 2,50,000 transactions till date.”

The company has a number of revenue sources. Co-Founder, Aman Verma, explains, “We make money in following ways. Transactional (We get commission from the UPI Payment, commission on redeemed coupons), subscription based (Student Loyalty program membership fee, Listing charge from the brands, Charging for providing different services to the brands), and advertisement based (From Advertisement campaigns done for brands and partners or sponsored ads and banners). We also charge for providing student verification APIs to brands.”

The Covid-19 crisis has hit every industry, and not surprisingly, Khaalijeb too got impacted heavily as most restaurants and salons which were a major part of the company’s youth discount initiatives were completely closed due to the lockdown. “Discount programs were a major channel of customer acquisition for us. We had planned many offline marketing activities, which couldn’t be executed due the crisis. Due to the pandemic, we shifted our focus towards online brands for the discount program and have on-boarded 55+ online brands. Verify by KhaaliJeb is another product that we built during the lockdown. We also launched Record, Track, Split and Settle feature during the pandemic.”

Going forward, the company plans to launch a global app for the track, split and settle expense feature. There are also plans to launch digital savings bank accounts targeted at the youth.


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