Australian impact startup creates new super-app for the Excluded. The rise of the ‘Super Apps’
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
The "Super App" for the Excluded
The super app model represents a new class of mobile applications designed around a secured and safe ecosystem of many applications. Super Apps are conceptualized as a "multitask utility tool" and are intended for everyday use. They offer enhanced and seamless navigation across many functions, streamlined user experience (UI/UX) and integrated services that are relevant to a defined but broad market.
Super Apps allow users to access several features that would typically only be available through multiple standalone native applications. They aim at engaging consumers on multiple fronts, from offering services delivery, money solution up to transport and communication services and many more. The benefits are obvious to users:
They can access multiple life enhancing services through just one application, yielding the ideal maximum value “network effect” and “share of wallet” of every prospective customer at ultimate “stickiness” for client retention. Once a Super App is established, external services providers manifest their desire to be part of the network ecosystem and oftentimes integrate their native application to capture efficiency gains and thereby lock-in ongoing participation. The opportunity to gain access to the network is tremendously compelling, particularly if they can offer exclusive service content to secure their own captured customers (they want stickiness to their service offering [for profit], not their application [sunk costs]). Super Apps promise a new mode of connecting with customers and an opportunity for organizations to perform deep learning analysis on customer behaviors through data collection at scale across markets, industries and borders. Ultimately serving the purpose of always offering more relevant and impactful feature for the users.
The Rise of Super Apps Globally
Launched in 2011, WeChat is the dominant example of a Super App today. The instant messaging application (initially), which was created by Chinese tech giant Tencent, has 1.08 billion monthly active users and has a market penetration in China of 79%.
Originally designed to exchange messages and media, WeChat rapidly added digital wallet function, alongside with host and social feature allowing the app to become extremely sticky. Progressively the app is becoming the official electronic ID (identification document) for Chinese people as their strongly preferred channel for communicating and transacting all goods and services.
In Singapore there is “Grab,” which started as a ride-hailing app, now with more than 139 million downloads, and having raised $8.6USD billion in venture funding from powerful players such as Japan’s SoftBank Group and Toyota Motor, Didi Chuxing, and Microsoft. Grab’s most recent funding round values it at more than $14USD billion, making Grab Southeast Asia’s most valuable Unicorn, thanks to their successful “hyper-local” strategies and their ability to rapidly adapt to local consumers needs.
Another emerging example is “Go-Jek,” an Indonesian venture who raised $3.1USD billion and whose backers include Google and Tencent, claiming more than 108 million app downloads. The Go-Jek Super App contains more than 18 on-demand services applications, including Go-mart (grocery shopping), Go-clean (housecleaning), Go-Glam (beauty care), Go-Massage, Go-Pay and many more. Go-Jek valuation is currently estimated at $11USD billion.
These developed and emerging Super Apps understand that the biggest opportunities are in emerging markets and do not cater specifically to the affluent, but rather to the billions of aspiring poor-becoming-affluent joining the market economy for the first time.
Successful Super Apps thrive by adapting their strategy to local consumers needs. In a relatively low-income regions, Grab and Go-Jek provide a platform for cheap taxis and motorcycles to disrupt traditionally scarce (therefore expensive & inefficient) service infrastructures. Legacy incumbent systems required fee-heavy payment by credit card or cash transactions, whereas the new Grab, Go-Jek and WeChat Super Apps have their own payment fulfillment methods via a network of intermediaries to help “unbanked” customers fully access their services easily at extremely low transaction fees with reward incentives to drive loyalty and inter-ecosystem transaction volume.
As a scalable platform and super-app, AgUnity is extremely sticky, and the more people use AgUnity, the stickier it becomes. The more features we add to AgUnity the more relevant it is for farmers and remote communities to use it. This new super-app model has already been proven with many hyper-growth companies such as Wechat, or Grab.
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