Innoz started as an engineering college project where four friends developed a Q&A search engine that responds to queries over text message. The service targets feature phone users who do not have access to the web. With Rs.1 crore from angel investors, Deepak Ravindran, Abhinav Sree, Ashwin Nath and Mohammed Hisamuddin converted the project into a business and dropped out of college. “We thought if Mark Zuckerberg could do it, so can we,” says Ravindran.
In March 2011, the firm signed its first agreement, with Airtel, to provide the service, now called 55444. Other telcom majors followed in the next year. Innoz provides its services to almost 10 million users and gets more than 3 million queries a day; each query costs Rs.1, which is shared between Innoz and the operator. The company has also set up an app store where you can use an app through the SMS platform. There are 200-300 app developers and 400 apps currently. A third of queries are through apps currently. With all major telcos as its clients and increasing use of the store, Innoz is hoping to clock revenues of ₹20 crore in FY13.