magictiger

Messaging based delivery startup MagicTiger has acquired Zoyo, an artificial intelligence based platform that lets users shop over chats, in an all cash and stock deal, reports ET. Post acquisition, Zoyo’s services will be integrated into MagicTiger’s app.

MagicTiger currently offers an Android app that lets users order goods over chat like food, groceries, pay bills, travel tickets, movies and events tickets, cakes, appointments, gifts, household services and laundry services. Users can pay for the service on delivery/ job completion, or prepay using other options like Paytm. As of now the company offers its services in Bangalore and Hyderabad between 9am and 9pm. The company does not charge customers for the service.

Interestingly, MagicTiger provides its services through human interactions, which would limit the number of customer queries the company can take. As such it makes sense for the company to acquire an AI based platform in the same sector to help scale its services faster. Zoyo’s app allowed users to book restaurants to buy mobile phones via chat with its AI.

Competition: Bangalore-based mobile app Lookup, which raised $2.5 million in funding earlier this month, provides similar services, although with a significant difference. It offers an Android and iOS app on which allows businesses and users to interact with each other. Users can search for a shop, service or product and then chat with them to get things done. With MagicTiger, users only interact with the company representative who then tries to make sure their request is fulfilled.

Other than this, there are chat-based conierge apps like Goodservice and Haptic, both of which offer various hyperlocal services.

MediaNama’s take: With an app like Lookup, we mentioned that there was scope for misuse with users misrepresenting other businesses. With MagicTiger, the company directly takes care of the request, rather than listing shops, which makes it more reliable and easier to trust. While this is great for the customer, it isn’t clear how the company sources the required goods and how it will make a profit. Maybe it could tie-up with specific merchants for specific goods, like Grofers does, but given that it claims to deliver pretty much everything (including food orders), this list will have to be pretty large to cover its costs. The app could also eventually charge users for the service instead.