Imagine one app from which you could book a cab, order groceries from the local shop nearby, and chat with your friends while watching a quick web series. Sounds like a lot? Well, that’s exactly what super app MYn wants to achieve, but with a very unique take on user ‘privacy’.
“User behaviour has changed. Today, it is a no-brainer to tell a person that they can book a cab on a smartphone or buy something via an app. Our task is not about changing user behaviour or educating the users on certain utilities. We are taking a horizontal approach. We create value across multiple stakeholders,” A S Rajgopal, Founder, MYn told indianexpress.com over a call from Bengaluru.
Rajgopal, who previously helped found NxtGen Data Centre and Cloud technologies, is confident that the company’s privacy-first approach can convince users to switch to MYn. The intent is to develop “one single app which can handle most of the tasks of other apps,” he stressed.
The app has no ads, and even the maps platform used within the app was built from scratch. The reason: MYn sees Google Maps as another compromise to user privacy. “We don’t manipulate user data. Targeted advertising actually manipulates user data,” he said, underlining how they don’t collect any user data.
“The phone number is never shared with anyone else, even the person you chat with. We have patented a seven-character ID called MYnID, which is what you get when you actually log in. All interactions are between MYnIDs. We don’t have a single database where we store even your profile pictures,” he claimed, adding that all data remains encrypted.
MYn has four sections each targeting a different segment. There’s MYWorld which has a social feed experience. However, the difference here is that MYn claims it does not promote any creator or content. There’s also MyTV which has content created by creators, including web series, movies, etc; the equivalent of any OTT platform. MYn says it did create some content initially, but now it is dependent on user content for this.
Then there’s MYLocal, which has the local stores, restaurants, and options to hail cabs and autos. Finally, there’s the MyOwn section–similar to WhatsApp, where users can chat with their friends. The company also claims it gives extra storage to users and will let users share heavy-sized files via chat.
“Currently, in Bangalore, we have 10,000 plus odd taxis and autos, respectively. We have 10,000 plus stores but we have to get to 3.5 lakh stores. Users can buy products or services from our app. About 400 college students are acting as brand ambassadors and promoting privacy-related issues, and why people should adopt MYn,” he explained.
According to Rajgopal, the company plans on getting more retailers, cab drivers, etc on board as it expands services. Currently, the cab-hailing and local commerce options are limited to Bangalore. “In Bangalore, taxi drivers are asking the users to actually book the ride on MYn so that they can get the full amount. None of them has to pay a commission. For the users, it’s a great benefit because there is no surge pricing. We go strictly by what the government has agreed on, the per km tariffs,” he explained further.
Regarding content which is put out by creators on the app for consumption such as web series, MYn says they do moderate it for social acceptability and that it is “rated according to age.”
The big challenge for the app however would be to convince users to give up other apps and switch to its platform. Rajgopal was confident that the ‘privacy’ value would be more than enough. He’s also convinced that India needs its own ‘social network’. The company now plans to expand more of its services to seven more cities in by August.