Treetle is an online platform for the like-minded to share their interests or set up avenues for get togethers
Pankaj Dugar returned to Bengaluru in 2008 with a Harvard MBA and work stints in well-known firms behind him. As he moved house to different locations, he wondered if there was a way to find a neighbourhood of like-minded people. “We live in nuclear families, and look more lovingly at the smartphone than at the person next to us,” he says. What if he could create a web space where you find people who share your interests, organise events and go offline to get together — all with few logistical hiccups?
A new role
He quit his job, gathered a group, and launched www.treetle.com, (‘Tree’ is the hub, ‘tle’, the crunchy twist), a location-specific network in Private Beta, early 2012. Treetle has since gone across India. “We have built a platform to go global,” he says.
“We have a search and recommendation engine that tells people what clubs they might want to join based on their own information.” A special feature lets event attendees recognise the efforts of organisers through a system of appreciation points and credits, which “creates a healthy incentive for people to do better and become more visible on Treetle”.
Event attendees can also give 10 credits (fixed number, once per event) in addition to the appreciation point, and the organiser can use these credits to buy e-vouchers from Treetle’s partner merchants and shop on their sites.
Treetle is free. In an upcoming merchant module, however, “for-profit” businesses (say, coffee outlets) will be charged for their Treetle clubs. Another feature, e-Wallets makes micro-transactions easy (giving 10 credits to an organiser, buying a Rs. 100 e-voucher). As for revenue, merchants (of stationery / photography / sports stores) can sponsor local events — for a fee. The e-voucher revenue is shared. There may also be value-adding ads, relevant to what you are buying. An online registration model, which allows people pay for events through a single click is in the pipeline, says Pankaj.
When Sumit Kothiyal moved from Dehradun to Bangalore, life was good, but he missed the outdoors. “For two-and-a-half years, I hadn’t biked,” he says. “I stumbled into Treetle and found this Bikers’ Club. This was the nudge I needed.” Guru and Jana — chartered accountants use Treetle for an ‘invite only’ club and have been posting several events (work, fun, CSR).
“We already have 100-odd clubs, all started by users. NGOs have come on board to better organise volunteers,” Pankaj says.
So, are looking for a club or do you want to set up an association / NGO? You know where to go.