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Exclusive: Khatabook forays into B2C with SMS manager app Kyte; backs off from Indonesia


Even as digital bookkeeping startup Khatabook continues to solve problems for small and medium businesses, it has re-entered the business to consumer space with a new app: Kyte.

The app is an intelligent SMS inbox that filters spam and brings out only the relevant information right when you need it, according to Kyte’s website. It claims to be India’s first AI-powered SMS inbox that lets users track expenses, manage their e-commerce orders and travel bookings. The app also blocks spam texts. 

Kyte also has a yearly subscription “Gold” that offers dark themes including eight chat themes for personalised chatting. It also lets users lock their passbook (that tracks expenses) and avail exclusive coupons curated for online shopping and transactions. The app appears to be similar to Microsoft SMS organizer.

Kyte has been rolled out for Android devices recently and has over 1,000 downloads. The Khatabook team had worked on Kyte much before launching their bookkeeping product, but it was on the back burner for a while until now. 

The re-launch of Kyte has come at a time when the company is locked in a fierce battle to acquire customers with Lightspeed-backed OkCredit and MyDukaan. Besides bookkeeping, it had launched two new apps: MyStore, an e-commerce enabler and payroll staff management and attendance app: PagarKhata.

Entrackr had exclusively reported about Pagarkhata, last year.

Sources say that this foray into B2C through Kyte seems like an experiment and is likely linked with the company’s broader B2B play. Entrackr’s immediate queries to Khatabook remained unanswered at the time of publishing this story. We will update the story in case they respond.

Meanwhile, Khatabook has withdrawn its Indonesia-focused bookkeeping app BukuUang. The company had launched BukuUang in August. While Entrackr couldn’t ascertain the exact timing of the withdrawal, sources say that it was an experiment that wrapped up in December. The experiment didn’t yield encouraging results and hence it decided to back-off from the Indonesian market.

BukuUang used to compete with Bukukas which is also funded by Sequoia and was part of Sequoia’s accelerator program Surge. Other competitors for BukuUang include Moka, Jurnal and BukuWarung. The rolling back of their services in Indonesia will help the B Capital-backed company stay focused on its home market and avoid any unnecessary distraction.

Since the Indian market is large and the company has several products that face intense competition, it appears to be a smart move to focus only on the local market. The level of competition could be gauged from the kind of money KhataBook and OKCredit had lost in FY20. OKCredit had Rs 156 crore loss without any operating revenue whereas KhataBook incurred a net loss of Rs 125 crore without any revenue.

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