SpotBay Graduated from Y-Combinator’s Startup School

SpotBay finally graduated from YC Startup School this November 2018. Thanks to Michael Xia our mentor and all others who taught us through the YC Startup Videos and Lessons.

The Startup School is a 10-week massively open online course (MOOC) where new start-ups are assisted with guidance from people who’ve started there own companies in the past. The Startup School had guest speakers covering a wide variety of topics.

The Startup School was a very interesting 10 week experience for SpotBay where the major take-aways included the importance of good product-market fit, building a team, Users, Growth, Sales along with interesting notes from the sessions on how to build a product.

Kerala Thanking the World

It was a long week and a heartbroken moment for the people of Kerala due to the heavy rainfall and catastrophic flood throughout Kerala. Many have died and much more have to relocate to other safe places for shelter, food and other basic amenities.

During the peek time of flood, social media played its part of communication throughout Kerala and around the world as it was the only means of staying in touch with what’s happening in Kerala. It was active as there was no electricity and no newspaper in the affected areas and watching news was not possible.

People were charging their phones using car batteries and other sources just to stay in touch and connected. They shared Facebook post’s as the message needed to be reached to more people. They forwarded WhatsApp messages as it was important that their relatives and friends knew what was happening in Kerala. WhatsApp calls were made as normal calls were not going through.

The moment flood got serious, things got harder and the people were having a difficult time as they were running out of food, water and other basic resources. Many were trapped in their own houses, confused on what to do and how to reach out for help.

Immediately many colleges, schools and halls got converted into collection units and camps for fast recovery and for providing help to the victims. Many have stood up to volunteer for the cause, especially the youth of Kerala and few celebrities who took it in their hands the responsibility to take part in helping Kerala.

Celebrities like Tovino Thomas gave away their homes and seeked help to his fan followers through live videos in social media. Through his videos he informed the basic needs of the victims and how the people could pitch in. Actors like Nandu stayed day in day out in collection units managing the relief materials and transferring it to many other camps. And many others like them who did various things they could to help Kerala.

A lot of malayalies and people all over India and world started their own fund and relief material collection drives for helping the victims and providing it to the people of Kerala.

Here the SpotBay team also did its part in helping Kerala. We bought medicines such as paracetamol, cough syrups, vicks and biscuits in bulk and provided it to Government Womens College Trivandrum Collection Unit. The team also volunteered in the collection unit along with lot of youngsters in and around Trivandrum.

There were lots of incoming materials coming from people all over Trivandrum to that particular unit. Materials such as biscuits, bisleri bottles, medicines, rice, clothes, baby food, tooth brush, paste etc. We would collect them, classify them and pack them separately. These packed items are then loaded into trucks which further goes to different relief camps across Kerala.

Our team is continuously doing our best for the last three days and will do in days to come. We have also done Facebook campaigns and live videos in spreading the word for help. We also collected relief materials from people around Trivandrum and reached them to collection units.

We have been also getting money from a lot of our Non-Kerala friends, which we used to buy relief materials as per the daily requirements of units and contributed a part of the money to the Chief Minister Relief Fund. Every day we gave our time and resources as per the needs of Kerala, as we believe it is our state and its our duty to help the people of Kerala in times such as this.

SpotBay will always be there in future for any such assistance, not just for Kerala but also for this nation and around the world in solving problems of people and life.

Today, SpotBay takes this opportunity to thank all the people who took and still taking efforts in helping Kerala by volunteering and donating. We thank all celebrities in playing their parts in every way they could. We thank the Indian Army and Government for their efforts and nations like UAE for contributing to rebuild Kerala.

And Kerala will never forget the people who got together in times such as this, to Unite as one, to Lift the people and Push Kerala Forward.


Garam Masala’s endeavour with SpotPlay

How SpotPlay changed the way Garam Masala did its restaurant Business and how it can impact any restaurant by making their business simple and smart.

It all started with Siddiq and his dream to start a restaurant business at the heart of Trivandrum city at Pattom. Alongside his hard work and enthusiasm, his belief to provide the best of taste and service than any other restaurant in the city is what made Garam Masala one of the favourite hangout places in Trivandrum today. Thanks to him we have Garam Masala.

When one enters the restaurant, we are welcomed by its magnificent ambience and pleasant aroma of the spicy treats that they offer. The cuisine being North and South Indian food, attracts a lot of customers from in and around Pattom. The menu offers a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes and all the products are fresh and have the warmth of home-made food.

Yet like many restaurants they also felt many obstacles and stressful problems. Even though they have the best Menu, Service and Staff they were lacking insights on how to increase their customer market share and how to collect information about their existing Customers.  These are few, but the list adds on and on. A Common problem that most restaurants face today all over the city and even around the country.

That’s when Siddiq the owner of the restaurant met the SpotBay Team. A company based in Technopark, Trivandrum. After discussing the complications faced by Garam Masala Restaurant, the team offered a quick fix by introducing a digital solution which was named afterwards SpotPlay. A product that the company is building now, along with other add-ons which could benefit any restaurant in India.

What SpotPlay did to Garam Masala was quite simple, they kept QR codes all over the restaurant. Using a simple QR code for the customers, which did the magic of solving the complicated problems of the restaurant owner. Increasing Customers for the restaurant and collecting information about them became effective and simple using SpotPlay.

What is SpotPlay?  It’s a contest platform which help in attracting, entertaining and retaining customers via interactive contests.

QR codes designed are placed all over the restaurant such as walls, tables and counters. The moment people come in to serve their hunger, they see these QR codes or while waiting for the food, when they look at these QR codes. The first thing their wandering minds do is to take out their phone to experiment the technology in front.

After scanning the QR code using a phone, a web page is directed with a ‘play’ option. The moment one clicks on the ‘play’, a quiz starts and questions start flowing with multiple answers. After the quiz, results are displayed and then one has to register or login to redeem the offers set by the restaurant. They are also allowed to share with their friends on social media the score obtained and the fun they had experienced.

With almost a half billion Indians now using smartphones, this could be a game changing idea for any restaurant business to evolve and could be developed further by adding more features to attract customers.

In the Garam Masala Restaurant there were instances where the users had been obliviously playing with the SpotPlay platform even though the food ordered had been delivered to their table. A moment of success could be seen and felt by an idea developed over a talk, thanks to the developers of SpotPlay for innovating a product for a niche market like this.

This has not only helped Garam Masala to gain customers and their information, but also engaged them in an interactive Quiz Contest which was fun, interesting and knowledgeable otherwise would have been boring, such as the waiting, for the food they ordered.

Contest- A Unique Marketing Technique

How the emerging digital platform for Online Contest being a hit for businesses such as restaurants, parlours and shops.

Marketing has transformed the way we do business now and is changing fast as new ideas and technologies have come up. It has become an important aspect of any business or self for promoting anything one wants to sell.

We could see marketing ideas flying, from the person stitching a shoe by the road to the fortune companies building business with their creative minds. It’s now a whole new way of marketing than the ways we used to do in the beginning of time.

If we go way past our time, the marketing used to be the word of mouth. People spreading news over a talk about the then products and services. Then came the print and telephone and as time passed further, television and radio came. Advertisements became easier, making marketing much simpler and faster, connecting more people.

Then the age of the Internet and email came up, bringing vast other possible opportunities to marketing through digital and social media’s. And further as time passed marketing techniques and strategies varied over new technologies and trends.

Marketing in the 21st century is very much different from the past practices as we have vast technologies and mediums to communicate through and choose from. Few of the marketing techniques we use today are as follows:

● Social Media
● Sales Calls
● Advertisements
● Flyers and Posters
● Product Demonstrations
● Product Trials and Samples

These are few of the ways businesses do marketing today. To know more about how to attract customers to your shop click here.

Other than these a new way of marketing is through “Contest Marketing”. Contest is an event in which people compete for supremacy in a sport or other activity and using it as a marketing technique is a trend nowadays as people want to Play, Compete and Win. A lot of people participate in these kind of promotions as there are attractive prices involved and the excitement of winning is just an another level of fun.

Just like the saying “Tans will fade but memories last forever”, contest create memories and emotions which are connected deep in our hearts and people recall them in the long run. And as a result connecting it to the brand. There are lot of benefits in contest marketing few of them are as follows:

1. Attracting lot of followers.
Contests are held to promote a cause or an event and lot of people participate in it. The excitement they have while participating contests are shared among their friends and relatives. As a result the message is shared among a huge chunk of people in other words they being followers of the cause spreading the news further.

2. Engaging and Entertaining.
The people participating in any contest, experience a unique way of excitement. They are attracted to its fun and play repeatedly, allowing them to indulge and engage in their time in these contests and turning it as mode of entertainment.

3. Collecting User Data.
There are different types of contests it could be a physical or a digital contest. In any case people have to register through pen and paper or through the online medium. By the use of registering, the contact information of the contest participants are obtained.

4. Customers marketing for you.
Once people come to know about contests, they participate and when they participate, the get connected to the contest. They play and try winning and share their score via internet through social media. They also inform friends and relatives about the contest either to compete or share their experience. And indirectly they do marketing for the hosts.

5. Brand Exposure
When you have a lot of participation and followers. When you have a lot of people spreading and sharing their experiences through word of mouth or social media. When there is lot of people involved. Brand exposure takes effect on its own.

“NearBy” One such Contest Platform

A specific online contest platform that is becoming trending in Trivandrum is the “NearBy” Contest conducted by SpotBay. It is basically a contest aired for a particular location. People all over that location who has access to their application will play the contests (a quiz) and the ones who win are directed to different enterprises such as hotels and restaurants to redeem the offer.

Over the resent months they have aired a lot of contests. Among them are the FIFA5000 and ATM@8PM which were a huge success. FIFA5000 was conducted during the FIFA World Cup with a FIFA theme based questions and prize money of Rs 5000 and t-shirt for runner ups along with certificates.

And ATM@8PM was conducted at 8PM, 3 days a week for a month with general questions with a Rs 500 cash price for all the winners. NearBy contests were also aired at Magic Planet providing free tickets for the winners.

Every business should indulge in such contest marketing campaigns to boost their footfalls and especially small businesses such as restaurants, parlours and shopping marts etc. by airing NearBy contests and offering prizes and attracting customers and increasing brand exposure.

Winners of FIFA5000:


Winners of ATM@8PM : 

How To Bring Customers To Your Shop?

In a business, the major concern is that how to attract customers to the shop which will aid in the frequent growth and run of the business. Promotion of the business and selling of the business require a good amount of planning and strategies that need to be implemented for the increase of the business and the bringing of the customers to the business spot.

Different ways which play an essential role in the growth of the business and bringing of the customers to the business spot have been mentioned here-

  • Facebook Promotions

Social media marketing is an important tool nowadays to flourish your business and for bringing more customers to your business. In this aspect Facebook plays a critical role, if you do not have a business page set up then you should set up right now to get in contact with more new customers.

You can create ads on the Facebook business page which will help you in creating awareness and visibility of your business among the customers. Promoting your Facebook business page is an easier way to reach to the customers who are interested in your business spot. When you create your ad on the Facebook page it will be visible on Desktop Newsfeed and Mobile News Feed.

An appealing good Facebook page can bring new customers to your business making them aware of your business and the products.

  • Promotions Through Coupons 

What are the coupons?

 A coupon is a ticket or document in a marketing, that can be redeemed for a monetary bargain or rebate when buying a product. 

How Do Coupons Help You To Promote Business?

Generally, people assume the coupons are simply regular reductions, not anything greater.Coupons help entrepreneurs develop market proportion, boom sales volume, promote quicker, domesticate loyal customers, and drown out competitor advertising.

  • Online marketing

Advertising  business through online have come to be crucial as customers are more using their cellular phones or tablets to browse products and services at the net. Online marketing is an effective method through which you can bring more new customers at business spot.

You can easily promote and grow your business online through following mediums in an online marketing.:

  • Website
  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO).
  • Adding Location To Google Maps

Every commercial business owner wants to put business on the Google map. Even as getting your commercial business on the primary page of Google can increase site visitors to your website, hence putting your business on Google Maps can effectively increase customers at your shop. Customers attempting to find, espresso or coffee shop, at their local region will open up Google Maps in search of that coffee shop and find out that your coffee shop is only a few mins faraway from their place. So in this way you can attain new customers at your business spot quite easily.

  • Getting Google Reviews And Other Social Media Reviews To Promote Business

 Customer reviews at Google and other social media like Facebook or Twitter are some of the first thing that online users see after they search up your business on Google or Google Maps. Furthermore, it’s been proven that good reviews offer a greater raise in new customers than another nearby search engine optimization effort.

  • Joining To Related Groups To Promote Business

Facebook groups carry collectively those people who proportion a commonplace interest. When you join a group that’s made from individuals who are more likely to be your future customers , then you will have many possibilities to increase awareness about your business by way of being useful and also play an important role in bringing more customers at your business spot.

  • Promotion Through Vocational Contests 

Contest nowadays become an effective means through which business owners can easily increase new customers. 

Here are mentioned the reasons for using contests as an effective means in promoting business:

1. Contests are an incredible device for building your customer base

2. Contests allow you to engage your target customers

 3. Contests are a collection of information which is obtained by customers through participation in the contest.

4. Contests empower customers to do your advertising for you by participating in polls or voting during contests.

Like different marketing tools, contests are also extremely effective while used as part of a  social media approach in spreading the awareness of your business and enhancing the rate of new customers at your business spot.

  • Promotions Through Advertisement

The advertisement is another essential tool in the promotion of the business as they make the customers aware of your business and your shop. In order to get more customers to your shop, you should advertise your business through different means like banners and posters in your area. You can also distribute business cards and leaflets displaying your business and products.

These advertisements should show the location of your shop and the products you sell. This will help in creating a clear view of your business and more people will be aware of your shop in the area.

Here are mentioned some of the effective ways of advertisement which will help to promote your business-

  • Signs, banners and posters – You can use signs, banner and poster showcasing your business and place them in public areas so that more people can be aware of your business.
  • Business cards – Carry business cards with you and when it requires to give the cards to the customers or associates so that they can contact you.
  • Brochures –Brochures are a good means to promote your business and service.
  • Newspaper or magazine ad – You can place an ad reflecting your business and products in a newspaper or magazine.
  • Newsletters –Newsletters help in communication with your customers and promoting your business in an effective way.
  • Direct Promotions

Direct promotion involves direct marketing which is considered to be the most effective and useful way to reach to your customers by directing getting in contact with them through messages and building a personal relationship. Direct marketing consists of direct mail, telemarketing and email marketing.

Some of the useful ways of direct marketing are given below-

  • Direct Mail  In a direct mail, catalogue, brochures and other materials can be mailed to your prospects.
  • Automatic E-mails – You can create an e-commerce website for your business which will automatically send an email to the customer on shopping.
  • Creating Commercial Ads– You can create an ad on T.V, radio or cable which will help in spreading the awareness about your business among the people.
  • Creating Business Website – You can create an appealing and attractive website displaying the content about your business and getting in direct contact with the customers.
  • Making A Video –You can also create a video on T.V or Youtube showing your shop and the products.

It is seen and concluded thus, that applying these effective methods you can easily run and grow your business and also can increase the number of customers at your business spot quite effectively. is an incredible app to hook up with nearby people. It is a location -based contest platform, wherein the local stores or business run their contests and users can play the  contests.