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2015-03-20

Ahmedabad based location startup wWhere raises funding from investors

wWhere aims to solve the perennial problem of location sharing with advanced algorithms and a very simple front-end.

Advanced location-based app wWhere - incubated at IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) - has received commitment of over Rs 1.2 crore in funding from a consortium of high-profile angel investors across the US, India and Singapore.

wWhere aims to solve the perennial problem of location sharing with advanced algorithms and a very simple front-end. Talking further about the product, its founder Ritam Bhatnagar said, "In the world of smartphones, we are still stuck with the conventional method of sharing or finding locations using street names, closest landmarks or better still, asking auto wallahs and pedestrians for directions. We come in to replace the “Where are you?” texts, which amount to a majority of total text messages sent by smartphone users across the globe. wWhere enables people and businesses to locate each other effortlessly by being ‘Uber for everything’.

wWhere, currently a team of nine, incorporated in 2013, has been working with an aim to - make locations simplified in our otherwise strenuous lifestyle. Using advanced algorithms, the startup has been working towards redefining macro-locations, thereby making locations more personified. Two versions of the product-a mobile app and a web-app, can both be accessed over any smartphone with data connection. Ritam had earlier started India Film Project, which provides a ‘one-of-its-kind’ platform to Asia’s budding filmmakers.

Even before the launch, the product has generated a great buzz with more than 6500 signups across 11 countries. To test the working model of the app, wWhere started with a live beta model for a limited window download. "It was a private beta for 12 hours in September, and we saw over 500 downloads and 2600 signups in that short span of time. We are now working for a global launch, targeting countries in Asia, Australia and Europe," he added.

Anunay Gupta, representative of the Lead Investor in this deal and co-founder of Marketelligent, which was recently acquired by data giant Brillio, said, “The team at wWhere impressed us with their creativity, enthusiasm and business acumen. Given that consumers and businesses will increasingly tap into geo-location services in the future, Ritam and team are working in the right direction, ahead of time”.

Ashim Mehra, VP at Baron Capital, a venture finance firm based in New York, is also one of the investor and brings in a fresh perspective on table about the universal appeal of the app saying, “These people are a solid team, building out a product where there is a real consumer demand. With location related awareness being on a constant rise, the addressable market for this product is large. In what might seem like a crowded space, the team has spent and continues to spend a lot of time working through real-world use cases that would differentiate the endproduct”.

An incubatee company of CIIE, wWhere receives immense support in terms of resources and networks. Talking about what made CIIE incubate wWhere, Khushalee Vakil, Sr. Manager – Angel Affiliations at CIIE said, “We found an entrepreneur with the prior experience of running a startup, working on a scalable solution that provides a fast and easy way of location sharing. We were quick to incubate wWhere, as we believe the product has a lot of potential and addresses a continual problem with features like Groups and Auto-Locate.”

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