Loco’s founder, Abhishek Madhavan, has a pretty straightforward answer to what inspired him to build the app. “With the proliferation of smartphones and the increasing ubiquity of super-fast internet connections across India, we felt this was the right time to take one of the enduring formats of television and bring it to the smartphone. A live host, a bit of comedy, the rush of adrenaline, and a chance to win real cash – we were in love with the whole idea of having an equivalent of a gameshow/live event for the smartphone. Having worked at some of India’s bigger tech startups, and built more than a handful of products on the side, we immediately went to work on Loco,” he says.
Launched in 2017, the app lets you win money while you participate in quizzes. All you have to do is enter a live quiz, which takes place twice on weekdays (1.30 PM and 10 PM) and once on weekends (10 PM). For every quiz that takes place, there’s a bounty of up to Rs 1.5 lakh that gets divided between all the winners, and you must have a PayTM account to receive your prize. It’s a lot like Kaun Banega Crorepati (there are lifelines too, so that you can come back after being eliminated), and the only difference is that there are multiple people on the hot seat (and no one can make a fortune at one go).
The path hasn’t been all rosy, and there have been a few glitches experienced by some users. “Of course, we’re building a product and technology that hasn’t been built before, so we’ve had some issues on our end, as we were figuring out things from a tech perspective. Also, a very good data network is important for us, since we live-stream games, and network is patchy in many places in India. So we’ve had some complaints – a very small percentage of users who’ve had issues with video streaming. We’re working on optimising and compressing video, and trialling audio formats so that everyone gets a very smooth experience. Lag, especially in a real-time game, is fatal, and we’re bettering it by the day,” adds Madhavan.
One of the highlights of the app (other than the fact that it lets you make money, of course) is that it’s hosted by the charismatic Gaurav Kapur, who never fails to bring a smile to your face. “I’m always apprehensive when evaluating a new projectm but my apprehensions were put to rest after meeting the tech team. I love collaborating with good people, because creativity eventually is a people business,” he says, when asked about whether he had any apprehensions before taking up the project. And how good is his own general knowledge? Pretty good, he thinks. “I’m tall, but I avoid tall claims. I’ll say that I would get halfway without an issue,” he says.