Imagine an app from which you could book a cab, order groceries from the nearby local store, and chat with your friends while watching a quick web series. It’s a lot ? Well, that’s exactly what the awesome MYn app wants to achieve, but with a very unique take on user ‘privacy’.
“User behavior has changed. Today, it is obvious to tell a person that he can book a taxi on a smartphone or buy something via an application. Our job is not to change user behavior or educate users about certain utilities. We take a horizontal approach. We create value through multiple stakeholders,” AS Rajgopal, Founder, MYn told indianexpress.com on a call from Bengaluru.
Rajgopal, who previously helped build NxtGen Data Center and Cloud technologies, believes the company’s privacy-focused approach can convince users to switch to MYn. The intention is to develop “a single app that can handle most of the tasks of other apps,” he said.
The app does not contain any advertisements and even the map platform used in the app was created from scratch. The reason: MYn sees Google Maps as another compromise for user privacy. “We do not handle user data. Targeted advertising actually manipulates user data,” he said, pointing out that they don’t collect any user data.
“The phone number is never shared with anyone else, even the person you’re chatting with. We’ve patented a seven-character identifier called MYnID, which is what you get when you log in. All interactions are done between MYnID. We don’t have a single database where we even store your profile pictures,” he said, adding that all data remains encrypted.
MYn has four sections each targeting a different segment. There is MYWorld which has a social feed experience. However, the difference here is that MYn claims that it does not endorse any creator or content. There is also MYTV which has content created by creators including web series, movies, etc. the equivalent of any OTT platform. MYn says he created content initially, but now depends on user content for that.
Then there’s MYLocal, which offers local shops, restaurants, and options for hailing taxis and cars. Finally, there is the MyOwn section, similar to WhatsApp, where users can chat with their friends. The company also claims that it provides additional storage space to users and allows users to share large files via chat.
“Currently, in Bangalore, we have more than 10,000 taxis and cars respectively. We have over 10,000 stores but we need to reach 3.5 lakh. Users can purchase products or services from our application. About 400 students act as brand ambassadors and promote privacy issues, and explain why people should adopt MYn,” he explained.
According to Rajgopal, the company plans to recruit more retailers, taxi drivers, etc. as it expands its services. Currently, taxi and local commerce options are limited in Bangalore. “In Bangalore, taxi drivers ask users to book the ride on MYn so they can get the full amount. None of them have to pay commission. For users, this is a great advantage because there is no overprice. We strictly follow what the government has agreed on, the rates per kilometer,” he explained further.
When it comes to content posted by creators on the app for consumption such as web series, MYn says they moderate it for social acceptability and are “age-rated.”
The big challenge for the app, however, would be to convince users to ditch other apps and switch to its platform. Rajgopal was convinced that the value of “privacy” would be more than enough. He is also convinced that India needs its own “social network“. The company now plans to further expand its services to seven more cities by August.