gujooo

Gujarat based Infibeam has launched a website called Guj.ooo, that lets users sign up for free for a subdomain of their choice, an email address and 10GB of personal storage space (Hat tip: Kanchan Kumar). The platform also offers discounts and gifts to registered members.

Anyone can sign up on the platform, although users need to submit their phone numbers via SMS verification (so no cheating). Signing up is pretty straightforward, and on completing users are taken to their profile where they can view or edit their profile, change their passwords and interestingly, verify their Aadhaar cards.

From the same panel, users can access the offers tab which lists discounts and coupons from various websites, the documents tab where users can upload files of their choice and the email tab which opens in a new window and prompts users to login again. Given that the website openly markets a ‘Free personal website’, it was particularly disappointing to note there is currently no way for users to edit this page. The page is created and instead it lists a default feed of news articles that the user cannot edit in anyway at all.

Another strange feature is the option for users to verify their Aadhaar card. Basically, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to verify thier Aadhaar card, and it’s not clear why Infibeam has even bothered with this option. Honestly, it’s not clear why Infibeam has bothered with the entire initiative at all. Users can get better email services elsewhere like Gmail, and can use Dropbox (or Google Drive) to save their files. A free webpage (with far more control) can be created at wordpress or with blogspot which will even let you put up your own ads.

Overall Infibeam probably hopes users will at least check out the platform once by registering, giving the company their phone numbers. It’s not clear if the company will then use the number for advertising (we got no messages/calls yet), but we imagine it could. Other than this, the company mentions that it will keep sending special offers to users via email although its not clear if this will be to the email ID users give them, or the one Infibeam creates for users. Here too, it really isn’t really clear why a user should or would want to sign up, as they can get such offers elsewhere.

.ooo domains: Note that the generic top level domain .ooo is owned by Infibeam, and has been available since October last year. Interestingly, in its IPO (pdf) the company had said that “We also intend to introduce Infibeam co-branded prepaid cards and .ooo co-branded credit cards in the future that enables online redemption of loyalty points.” We wonder if the company is collecting the Aadhaar info for KYC, or testing a platform for the future.

So maybe the company launched the platform as a promotion for its .ooo domain names. Alternatively, we like to think the company launched the platform just for fun (and because it could).

Infibeam IPO: In July, Infibeam announced that it was looking to list on the stock exchanges and raise Rs 450 crore through its initial public offering (IPO). The company had then filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) which was cleared by markets regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

ShipDroid launch: In February, Infibeam launched a SaaS-based logistics services aggregation platform called ShipDroid, which would help merchants deliver packages throughout the country. The platform enables e-commerce merchants to integrate with various courier service providers in India, while maintaining uniformity of entire logistics/fulfillment process across all courier partners. Merchants signing up on the platform could deliver goods to over 20,000 pincodes across 600 cities, in the country.

Travel ticketing: In May last year, Infibeam forayed into ticket travelling by launching a new ‘travel & tickets‘ section on the site. At the time of launch, the ticketing was not done on Infbeam, rather users were taken to another site called Clickmego.com to complete the booking. Clickmego was positioned as Infibeam’s travel initiative, similar to other players like Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip and Goibibo among others.