MyGate is more than your regular security app!
I love apps which start with simple ideas and grow into something big. Walnut is an example of such app. Just by reading SMS, Walnut gives you a powerful visual of all your spends and is perhaps in much better position to offer loans than most fintechs (Capital Float didn’t acquire them for $30m for nothing). One other such app which started with simple idea and has outgrown its use cases is MyGate app. A lot happens at the security gate in a gated community. On any typical day hundreds of visitors pass through its security gate. These visitors include delivery executives, cabs, your house-helps, home service professionals, and your friends and families. With spurts of doorstep deliveries by e-commerce and food delivery companies, this was simply becoming too much of a headache for everyone from delivery person, residents, and the security guards. Enter MyGate.
MyGate has completely digitised security gate experience and much more with its apps. Instead of wasting my time talking to security guards on phone, I can now approve visitors instantly with a press of button. In some cases, I can also pre-approve visitors. MyGate app has also digitised other aspects of an apartment community life. My society noticeboards are now uploaded digitally on MyGate app. I also pay for my maintenance bill online using the app. MyGate has built multiple other product on top of the data that it collects. The moment my maid enters our society, I get notified. I can look for other local services such as tutors, drivers, and car cleaners from within the app. You can also use MyGate app to book club facilities and common areas or raise maintenance tickets.
What’s next for MyGate app? Of course there are tons of user experiences that needs to improve. For one, it is definitely irritating to hear MyGate’s pesky ring tone in the middle of your office meeting or approving entry without knowing if the order is for me or for my wife or actually not even for us! Approving cab entry is more painful than the old school. You have to first tell flat details to the cab driver and the security team and then approve the entry through the app. While pre-approve is a great feature, using the feature feels as if I am lowering the safety bar. Most e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket or FirstCry do send SMS in advance to let users know about the expected delivery. If only SMS or call log permission policy allowed, and MyGate app could access read SMS, it would know the deliveries expected for today and could auto-approve the same. MyGate app can also integrate with e-commerce delivery APIs to auto-approve delivery executives as it does with food delivery apps.
At the outset MyGate app looks simple but in fact the app has many stakeholders. You have residents (owners or tenants), security at the gate, RWA, maintenance staff, visitors, maids, tutors, and delivery execs from e-commerce, cab and food delivery businesses. Thinking from the perspective of each user group, one can come up with many interesting solutions for MyGate app users. For example, currently the app has very basic profile information about tutors, maids, drivers and others. The app can help these users own their profile pages to provide relevant information about their services. MyGate app can also serve as marketing platform for RWA approved vendors such as BigBasket, MilkBasket or that car dealer who puts up stalls in the society premises.
MyGate app is already more than just a security app but I feel it could do much more. It can perhaps better connect its residents internally and also help society connect externally with local services. If Whastapp messages on my society group are any indication, residents are looking for various recommendations from their fellow residents. They are looking for recommendation for good doctors, physiotherapist, music teachers, numerologist and what not. Then there are residents who run small businesses such as restaurants, beauty parlours, home cooked food, or a novelty shops or an apartment owner who may be just want to announce the availability of his vacant flat. If not for my strict Whatsapp admin, who doesn’t allow business related messages in the group, such residents would love to post about their businesses and special offers for their fellow residents. MyGate app could even let residents create business profiles to advertise their businesses in the Community section of the app. One other interesting idea for MyGate app could be to partner with existing local services such as Practo, JustDial, and Google My Business to show nearby local businesses which can help residents find nearby doctors, plumbers, painting services, real estate brokers etc. Or, more ambitiously, it can build its own ad network for local services. MyGate app can also provide society specific information. I have lost the count of times inmates repeatedly ask for society specific informations on the Whatsapp Group. For example, MyGate app can create a society page with contact details of vendors who operate within the society (e.g. vegetable and grocery sellers), add details of nearby police station and post office and even show current pollution levels (You can guess my society is based in Gurgaon!)
While MyGate app has great reliability and user experience, what’s the moat that could protect it against competitors such as Apartment Adda, JioGate and others? While I haven’t seen other apps, I believe product execution, early mover advantage and sales push can get it to tap into the $15B market of private security business in the country. The app is also cleverly named and is probably agnostic of residential and commercial use cases. If its recent series B funding of Rs. 400 Crore is any indication, MyGate is definitely poised for growth.