Student Lifestyle and Discovery startup, SCONTO, raises pre-seed funding of EUR 150K at a valuation of USD 2.5 million from European Angel Investor. The startup aims to utilise the funds for hiring fresh talent in their focussed group to scale the product further, as well as to commence full-fledged operations in Kolkata.
Sourav Chakraborty along with Sohang Sengupta and Luca Albanese are the Co-founders of Sconto, a revolutionary platform which aims to bridge the gap between the world’s largest Student Tribe and the Businesses.
India being a huge education community yet most of the educational institutions like colleges and Universities do not have access to dedicated email IDs (.edu or .ac.uk) that can be further authenticated from the academic institutions. Neither there are any collective database of the students which can directly be accessed by the businesses. According to the information, the startup has successfully collaborated with several reputed Universities in India to leverage the verification/authentication process directly from their servers.
Sourav Chakraborty, Co-founder of Sconto talked about the capacity of the industry and how the manifestation of the idea for the startup relates well with his experiences, “ During my higher education days in USA & UK, I discovered how being a student is more like a superpower that they enjoy, explore and avail. College and University enrolled individuals leverage their student status to avail student discounts and save on their purchases from almost all major merchants and businesses in their geographies. I realised that this model is easily implementable in these countries because all the enrolled students have dedicated institutional email IDs (.edu & .ac.uk), the status of which can be authenticated from their institutional servers Shibboleth or OpenAthens. However, I felt that the real business opportunity in this domain lies in India, and implementing it properly can mean hitting a goldmine here, just due to the sheer volume of students in the country at any given point of time and especially when the acceptance of digital initiatives amongst the youth in the country is booming.”
“There are close to 40 million college/university students in India, but the lack of a centralized platform stops the national, international and local businesses to tap into this niche customer segment and curate offers for the larger student populace for building on their brand image and loyalty. This is also one of the major reasons why international entities like Unidays and SheerID failed to penetrate the Indian Market. Sourav and I were already accustomed and experienced in building dedicated communities as we had built India’s first and largest Cybersecurity Community, Zero Dollar Security, previously. So we believed this to be a brilliant opportunity to tap into the market and set the rules of the game”, Mr Sengupta adds.
Going further, SCONTO with it’s unique KYS (Know-Your-Student) technology, allows students to create their Digital Sconto IDs, verifies and authenticates the same and allows Hyper-local, National and International brands across all verticals to curate special discounts and offers for this niche segment online and in-store. On one hand students can discover, save, earn and get rewarded with SCOINS for their purchases online, at home or on the move across brands; while allowing the businesses to precisely reach this niche customer segment with offers that drives up their revenues manifold, hence building on their brand affinity. They have already collaborated with a few National brands and onboarded over 180+ hyperlocal brands across Kolkata as they plan to hit the market by mid-September 2022.
Mr. Luca Albanese states, “India as a society is a beautiful amalgamation of culture, people and opportunity and considering that is an education heavy community there will only be a steady exponential increase in the enrolment of students into colleges as well as establishment of newer academic institutions facilitating the same over the years. With a college population bigger than a lot of countries across the globe, I believe we at SCONTO are empowering the communication between students and the businesses/brands thereby allowing an opportunity for businesses to build on their brand loyalties over time as the student progresses from academics to corporate life”.
The Co-founders Sourav Chakraborty and Sohang Sengupta completed their B.Tech from IEM, Kolkata. Sourav then pursued MS from Boston University, USA and MSc in Management from Imperial College London, UK whereas Sohang is a certified Ethical Hacker and RedHat Systems Administrator. The other Co-founder and Investor, Luca Albanese is an alumni of Politecnico Milano and SDA Bocconi.
The app’s target market directly caters to a recurring subset of the 500 Million+ GenZ in India and the Founders with their 20-member strong team firmly believe that SCONTO will transform and redefine Student Lifestyle and Discount Discovery in India. The startup is expecting to raise their next round of Investment to expand Pan-India operations by December 2022.