Track Every Coin: Personal Finance Gizmo
How Ionlab was formed? Can you describe something on this?
IONLAB (www.ionab.in) is a company of passionate engineers who have previously worked in Fortune 500 companies and Forbes Global 2000 companies. The Ion was the first product we created (www.ion.co.in), manufactured and marketed during weekends. Excited by its success, we are now working full-time on making our own products. Hence the “ion” in our name.
Our passion is to experiment with new ideas that can be converted into useful and commercially viable products. Our choice of ideas is based on factors such as usefulness in the real world, enabling positive social change, and our excitement to bring these ideas to fruition. Hence the mantra -- "ideas to execution".
Can you provide some details about Track Every Coin product that you are currently working on?
Currently we are working on a personal financial product called Track Every Coin (http://www.trackeverycoin.com). We tried out many personal finance websites and software existing in the market, and we faced the same issue again and again - they are either cumbersome or are afterthoughts. Most of the software that we tried out did not make it easy to make entries such as expenses and made it a boring chore. And yet, this is the starting point to use all their features.
The ones that work automatically with your bank account are afterthoughts - they are good for overviews and for viewing graphs at the end of the month, but do not help in actively managing your money at all. So we started adding in our own ideas on what we would want to use.
What are the features of Track Every Coin?
It consists of two parts:
The active agent where you make your entries - which is either a hardware device or a mobile phone application, based on your preference. The hardware device is for those who like to have a cool-looking gadget to carry around, and want to make entries within 10 seconds. The mobile phone application is for those who have GPRS connections on their mobile phones. The data analyzer, which is a website where you get to slice and dice your data.
I like to think of it as analogous to the “iPod-iTunes” combination - the iPod was designed to do one thing well: play music, and it left the complicated parts of managing music to the iTunes software. We intend to achieve the same effect for personal finance. This is our unique twist.
How do you see response for product like mini USB charger, which was launched recently?
The USB charger that we have launched was among the first ones to come up in the market. It has been over 2 years since we have launched the USB charger. Our latest version is the smallest USB charger in the market.
Given that you are operating at consumer electronic devices space, what are the challenged you see in terms of domestic market?
The biggest challenge we are facing is to get through the big stores. Big companies look for multiple product companies. They do not entertain a company with just one product. Similarly, it is hard to get through to the distributors.
What are your future products and plans?
Our future plan is to make newer and useful products to consumers. Along with "Track Every Coin" (www.trackeverycoin.com) we will shortly release a web based product.
Can you provide some details about your team and funding structure?
The team comprises of Vikram Chadaga, Swaroop C H, Varun Prabhakar and Vadiraja Chadaga as the management team. We have an Intern Rohit Srikanta studying at RNSIT is helping us out.
We are self-funded. We have received initial funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India for the hardware prototyping of "Track Every Coin" under the TePP programme. We thank the government for their support without which this product would not have been launched.