When TS Eliot remarked “The journey, not the arrival, matters,” little did he know that two young tech enthusiasts, Kartik Poddar and Kartik Bansal, would take his quote literally. A boring train journey from Hyderabad to Mumbai is what prompted the duo to start Fropcorn, an entertainment app for travelers. Started in September 2015 with an initial investment of Rs.15 lakh, Fropcorn caters to frequent travelers, who while away their time waiting at bus stops or airports in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. “We are targeting people in the age group 25 to 45 years, who are entertainment hungry and bored during travel,” says Poddar who doubles up as CEO.
Fropcorn enables a wifi hotspot called ‘Fropcorn movie’, enabling users to access a catalog of over 100 Bollywood and regional movies and videos. Users can download the Fropcorn app and get started. Fropcorn has constantly modified its app to allow faster access of digital content to its users. Users can download digital content at high speed that does not require a 3G connection, unlike its rivals Netflix and ErosNow. “No other app gives you an option to download a movie in less than 3 minutes. Most apps also need an active 3G connection for operation, but not Fropcorn,” explains Poddar.
Fropcorn has tied up with content distribution partners like YashRaj, Sun TV and Reliance to procure content. Viewers can choose a premium plan for an uninterrupted, yet affordable browsing experience. With the first 30 minutes of content free on the app, users can then register for plans that provide 4 hours of content for Rs.30 and 8 hours of content viewing for just Rs.50. Additionally, they also charge per download that is priced between Rs.30 to Rs.150.
“Indians in general are not habituated to digital payment. We need time to expand the market by making a digital product accessible without the requirements of the internet and have all the features,” says Bansal, CTO, Fropcorn. The start-up currently has around 10,000 users and aims to pull in more by partnering with travel companies and airlines.