Innoz is World’s Largest Offline Search Engine; Answered 1.3 Billion Searches Till Now!
By the end of July, 2013, India had a total of 874.88 million mobile subscribers and users, out of which roughly 10% use internet on their mobiles. It has been estimated that by March, 2015, there would be around 165 million mobile internet users in India, still hovering around 10% of all mobile users.
What about the huge majority of mobile users who don’t have internet access on their phones? Won’t they join the technological highway and experience its wonders?
“You don’t need a smartphone to become smart”, says Deepak Ravindran, CEO of Innoz Technologies, a mobile innovation startup, founded in Kerala inside college canteen and currently headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka.
Due to their achievement of answering more than 1.3 billion search queries via their flagship product SMSGyan: 55444, Innoz has found its name inside Limca Book of World Records for being the largest offline search engine.
Innoz was founded in the year 1998 by 4 engineering students: Deepak, Hisam, Abhinav and Ashwin from LBS College of Engineering in Kochi, Kerala when they decided to dropout and start their own venture based on a very simple idea: to provide search engine facilities to those mobile users who don’t have internet access.
And the idea caught fire and it spread. Innoz is a RED Herring Global 100 & Asia 100 Winner and is also ranked in the Top 10 companies India by NASSCOM EMERGE 50. It was incubated at iAccelerator at IIM-Ahmedabad and has received funds from Freeman Murray, MobME, Technopark and other VCs.
Last year, SeedFund Advisors, picked up minority stake in the company as well. Innoz has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and is profitable. There are roughly 120+ million active users of its 55444 SMS search engine all over the world, and it’s getting almost 1 million searches a day.
Mahesh Murthy, partner at Seed Funds had said about Innoz, “The beauty of 55444’smodel is that every single search is paid for, monetization is instant, and loyalty is growing. It may seem counter-intuitive, but we feel there’s a huge opportunity in offering information and services to the feature phone market which has over half a billion users in India alone, and more in other parts of the world.’
What Google had done to online searches is what Innoz is doing to offline searching. With 35 million monthly searches, 55444 is growing at an amazing rate of 1000% year on year. Not only India, but the searches are coming in from Nepal, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
And this is not the end. The founders of Innoz have some amazing plans for future. To start with, they are trying to create a marketplace for app developers, who wish to create SMS based apps which doesn’t use internet. Branded as 55444.in, the team at Innoz are trying out innovative ways like Hackathons to encourage developers to create unique and innovative apps.
Although Internet usage penetration is increasing day by day, but we cannot ignore the huge userbase of non-Internet users; and platform 55444 is all set to optimize technological experience of those users.
It would be really interesting to see, what technological innovation comes up next in this sector. Maybe a social network for non-Internet users? We are keeping our fingers crossed!