‘KhaaliJeb’: IIIT Students Launch an App For Young and Broke College Students

Four students from the Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad have launched a banking and payments app called ‘KhaaliJeb‘ for young people. As the name itself suggests, the app has been designed to help young Indians below the age of 29 avail exciting discounts, and track and settle their expenses.

The app was founded by Prakash Kumar, Aman Verma, Sudhanshu Gaur and Wilson Birua, who were joined later by Pratham Devang, Sumit Kumar, Rahul Kumar and Vishal Gupta.

“In 2015, Prakash, who is from Patna, was travelling via an Ola cab. On the app, you have to recharge your Ola Money and as soon as you complete your ride, the money gets deducted automatically from your e-wallet. He shared his idea and this inspired us to launch a similar payment app for other daily expenses. So we started working on it and in 2018, we launched the UPI payment app in partnership with Kotak Mahindra Bank,” Birua said.

Even though the app was doing well, he said, they wanted to do something exclusively for students. “In 2019, we went to KFC, where there was a box which said: ‘Drop your business cards to avail discounts on your next visit’. That gave us the idea to initiate something similar for the young community,” he said.

Youth loyalty programme

Students, Birua says, are always on the lookout for offers on e-retail sites like Myntra, Amazon etc. Keeping that in mind, the team came up with a youth loyalty programme which aims to help students avail exclusive discounts and offers. For this, he says, the users have to sign up and upload their ID cards – which can either be a college ID or any other ID which has their date of birth.

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“After the age verification, they have to purchase a membership worth Rs 49 for three months. Once they become a member, they can avail exclusive discounts (which varies from brand to brand) on more than 45+ youth-centric brands that we are associated with, including Gaana.com, Bewakoof and Cure.fit,” Birua says.

Earlier, he says, they used to provide offline coupons and discounts on 350+ restaurants and salons in Bangalore, until the pandemic hit. Two months ago, they launched online discounts and coupons pan-India.

Only recently, he says, they launched a feature called Track Expense in their app which, in his opinion, is quite similar to Splitwise. “Through Track Expense feature, the users can not only keep a track of the money that they owe to someone but can also settle the amount through the application using UPI and the record remains on the application itself.”

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So, he explains, the UPI payments app as well as the Track Expense feature in the app is available to everyone irrespective of their age, however, the Youth Loyalty Program is exclusively for people who fall in the age group of 15-29.

In the coming days, they are planning to launch another feature in which users can manage and record all their personal expenses as well. Other than that, in the next couple of months they are planning to go global with the Track Expense as well as the Personal Expenses feature.

“Moreover, we are planning to pitch some investors in January. Other than that, we are also planning to collaborate with some of the banks in order to provide students with zero-balance bank accounts, mutual funds etc in the next four to six months,” added Birua.

Prachi Batra is an intern at LiveWire. She loves watching sunsets and writing stories while sipping light coffee.

Featured image provided by Wilson Birua.