The numbers speak for themselves: 100,000+ retail offers, 90,000+ retail outlets, 24+ banks, 400+ bank cards. All this in the space of just seven months! With ‘Easy Access to Offers as its tagline, Hundred – the Dubai-based mobile app and web platform startup – is addressing the pain points of UAE residents by conveniently super aggregating the best offers and deals for consumer products and services into one, simple-to-use digital interface.
The intrinsic benefit of the Hundred app is its singular ability to aggregate and personalise retail offers and deals that deliver much-needed savings to price-conscious users, based specifically on their bank cards, loyalty cards, corporate or coop cards, as well as other retail apps.
This means that the Hundred app does all the heavy lift for users, instead of them having to painstakingly pore through a huge mismatch of online and offline retail sources, to find the best savings offers and deals going. Available for download, for both iOS and Android devices, the Hundred app also indicates retail outlets based nearest to users’ location across the UAE. Offers and deals are constantly updated and classified into various easy-to-navigate spend categories.
With Gitex Global x Ai Everything aggregating the global tech community in-person at Dubai World Trade Centre (October 17-21, 2021) and where the Hundred booth is attracting much interest from the assembled fintech community, Nitin Agarwal, President of Hundred Technology Mena DMCC, summed up Hundred in an exclusive interview with MENews247.
MENews247: Can you sum up Hundred in less than 10 words?
Nitin Agarwal: Hundred is a native, super aggregator app.
MENews247: What led to the start of Hundred? What gap for such a bespoke app did you perceive in the UAE market?
Nitin Agarwal: There are essentially two aspects behind Hundred. The first aspect was to create something which makes a positive contribution to [UAE] society. With our app there are a lot of savings that consumers can benefit from, especially in the time of the pandemic. Before we launched Hundred earlier this year, consumers were not able to easily source and avail of the best retail offers and deals because of the lack of such information in a single, easy-to-use app format.
That was a main aspect behind the launch of Hundred. And, the pandemic has actually accelerated the success of the app. A recent study by PwC [PricewaterhouseCoopers] found that about 60% of people had reduced income levels during the pandemic period, and 42% of people also had higher household expenses. This scenario confirms that consumers’ income levels are rather compressed, even as their household expenditure is on the rise. In both these cases, our super aggregator app delivers timely savings to people – enabling them to make maximum use of their hard-earned money, while also enjoying their favourite world-class brands and services, just by a tap of their smart device.
The second aspect of Hundred involves the B2B side, networking merchants; banks, retail outlets and other service providers that results in a win-win scenario for all the business stakeholders, and the consumers as well.
MENews247: Since launching in Q2 2021 how has the UAE market reacted to the rollout of Hundred?
Nitin Agarwal: The market [UAE] response has been quite encouraging. As of today, we have more than 90,000 retail outlets onboard. Every month, we are adding more than 2,000 retail outlets and this number will only go up.
From a consumer acquisition perspective, we have got a fairly decent base right now. We have approximately 2,500 customers downloading our app. And, on a pretty much daily basis, we are growing at about 1½ to 2%.
MENews247: Who is your core customer (consumer category) in the UAE?
Nitin Agarwal: Our core customer is anyone who is looking for an offer, deal, or discount, which offers him/her net savings. We are talking about people in the income range, broadly, from AED7,000 to AED25,000. We are also more attractive to a younger population that is more tech-savvy, as compared to an older population.
MENews247: Apart from your UAE home turf, do you plan to launch Hundred in the rest of the GCC region?
Nitin Agarwal: Yes, we plan to set up pretty much across the GCC region. We are already mapping out the opportunity to do so. We definitely plan to enter most of the GCC countries by the end of 2022.
MENews247: What pain points are you answering, for customers (consumers and merchants alike)?
Nitin Agarwal: The consumer’s main pain point is very, very clear, and which we are solving by delivering Easy Access to Offers [Hundred tagline]. So, easy access to offers; never miss it, never miss a discount. This is exactly what a consumer is looking for. Our super aggregator app is free-to-use, we do not charge the user [consumer] anything.
From merchants’ perspective, they are looking for an established and cost-effective digital platform that offers them direct access to advertise their offers, deals or promotions to consumers. Many a small merchant is unable to afford the technology, social media engagement, content creation, etc., that they need to market their products or services. Hundred effectively helps them in this regard. We also give our merchants very precise analytics; extremely useful data that they can use to target the right audience.
MENews247: How large is the Hundred team?
Nitin Agarwal: We have about 100 professionals overall, including direct and indirect departments.
What benefit do you get from being based out of Dubai?
Nitin Agarwal: Dubai offers a lot of freedom in setting up a world-class business. Also, it is to the advantage of Hundred that Dubai in particular, and the whole of the UAE in general, has quality customers; comprising a resident population that is well-educated and open to new digital technologies. No other city in the region truly offers startups the potential that Dubai can offer.
How does Hundred guarantee users’ cyber security?
Nitin Agarwal: Honestly, in these times, an excellent question. When we capture a user’s relationship with a bank or any other relationship, we do not seek and store card numbers. We are only a content display provider. We do not conduct any transactions and so, there is no need for a user to submit a 16-digit card number or CVV code. Also, at the backend, including servers, we deploy and use absolutely cutting-edge cyber security and have our own in-house digital data protection team.