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Technology makes our lives more entertaining (streaming & gaming apps), more social (I don’t need to tell you this), and faster (payment & shopping apps). But one thing we can all agree upon is that wherever tech touches our lives, it increases convenience. You can think of any number of apps and tools, and I bet this will be a standard utility in all of them.
So, today I want to talk about MyGate and its inclusive business model. This App is making the lives of societies and their residents easier on a day-to-day basis. It is a Bangalore-based startup that provides society management services to gated societies for various use cases. To put everything in context, let’s start with introducing what this App is and what problem does it solve for people.
What is MyGate?
When you talk about large cities in India, you see people usually choosing flats (owned or rented) in a gated society rather than a standalone house. Why? Because society has some added advantages like you don’t have to worry about water, electricity, or repairs. Of course, you pay for it, but then again, you get the convenience for your penny.
However, the most significant selling point of gated communities is the gate itself, meaning the security that comes with the society.
How does society ensure this security? They will have a security guard with a few CCTVs overlooking the entrance. In the current scenario where you have more strangers visiting you (Delivery partners from a slew of Ecom platforms) than guests, the quantum of people entering the society is so high that the manual entry system cannot keep up.
Even if someone makes an entry and then enters, there is no way for the guard to know if the resident called the person. Besides, anyone can slip by the CCTV if the guards at the gate are overwhelmed by the number of people visiting.
Here’s where app-based security management solutions come into the picture, and MyGate is leading the charge in this segment. As a concept, MyGate’s business model shifts the responsibility of the visitors from security to the residents they are visiting.
Both the residents and the security will have a version of App. When moving into the society itself, the resident will have to download the App and get approval from the owner (in case he is a tenant) and the society admin to get visitors in a particular flat number.
For every visitor, the security will make an entry in their App. Once they select the flat number, all the residents registered for that flat to get a notification will receive an approval request. Until someone approves the request, the visitor will remain with the security.
Multidimensional Services from MyGate
MyGate was founded in 2016 due to the problems faced by Vijay Arisetty, the CEO and co-founder of the company, once he himself moved into a society. Hence, visitor approval is just one way MyGate helps in society management. There were some other problems that Mr. Vijay might have faced, the solution of which ultimately translated into the comprehensive suite of MyGate services.
- Pre-Approval: Assume you had ordered food and the delivery partner is standing at the gate. The guard tried to contact you via App, but you couldn’t approve on the MyGate App for some reason. After 15-20 mins, you saw the notification and approved, but the food you ordered does not look as desirable by that time.
To solve this problem, MyGate has partnered with many delivery apps for a pre-approval notification where you get an approval request before the delivery partner reaches the gate. When he does, he does not have to wait.
- Payment services: MyGate also allows you to make various utility payments, payments for society dues, and payment of rent for the property you might be staying at.
- Hiring daily help: When you are new to society, hiring a maid, cook, and other daily help can be a hassle. You primarily have to rely on word of mouth, and you don’t get many options. MyGate solves this problem by cataloging all the help available (the onus is on the help to create their profiles and provide relevant information). Users can rate them as well on various parameters.
- Others: MyGate also allows you to create notifications and communications for society’s notice board and also gives you access to society’s emergency contacts.
MyGate’s Inclusive Business and Revenue Model
As of the writing of this piece, MyGate is present in 20+ cities and 15000+ communities where they validate 60 million+ visitors every month. Below are the annual operating revenue and loss (yes loss, startups don’t become profitable so soon) figures for the startup.
The question is, how does the startup make money? The answer is in the subscription model. As per the company website, the residents do not need to pay any hidden charges to MyGate. However, society needs to subscribe to MyGate services probably for a periodic subscription fee.
In addition, MyGate has announced a few newer initiatives as part of their service suite, which might help them augment their revenue via listing fees and commissions.
What’s new in the business model of MyGate?
- Society Marketplace: Simply as the name suggests, if anybody in your society wants to sell something, they can put up the listing on the App, and whoever is interested can get in touch with them to buy the same. The marketplace also helps small business owners promote their goods within society, which can be an excellent start for a new business and help them get mouth publicity.
- MyGate homes: A place where anyone with a property can put it up for sale or rental as they wish. The App also has a section for share where a tenant may put ads for sharing their flat with a potential co-tenant. MyGate might be charging some listing fees for these services.
- MyGate home services: You can get a host of benefits from painting to cleaning to pest control and movers and packers with the help of this feature. These features somewhat transform MyGate from a mere visitor tracking app to an end-to-end society management app and put them in competition with NoBroker and Urban company to some extent.
As per Tracxn, the company has so far raised $75.5 Mn from marquee investors like Tencent, Tiger Global, and Prime venture partners. This goes to say that investors believe in the narrative of the company. Having experienced their product, I feel that MyGate solves a very niche pain point and its business model has an early mover advantage in their segment.
In times of COVID, they have been able to help with vaccination drives in large societies. They help in keeping the gates uncrowded. Your guests do not have to wait at the gate. And hey, they help keep your food warm. Now, what can be better than that?
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