Preetham Siddalingaswamy's AirCarry.io is a platform that helps people to shop anything from anywhere in the world through verified travellers on AirCarry community who would purchase and deliver the product for a fee. In this interview, Mr. Siddalingaswamy takes us through his platform, its plans for the future, competitors and so on.
How did the idea for AirCarry come up?
Living and working in several international cities every few years due to my old job, I would start missing some cherished products from every I had lived in. I would request friends/colleagues to get get them for me on their trips and likewise would return the favour. This exchange made me realise that there must be a lot of people like me and so I floated the idea of Aircarry.
What business model does it work through?
AirCarry.io charges a service fee to the shopper, for every successful delivery they receive by a Traveler.
What do you see being the company's social impact?
AirCarry.io is creating a community of Shoppers and Travelers, united by the love for travel and shopping alike. This community comprises of like-minded people who want to help each other – Travelers want to help shoppers enjoy their most cherished product from abroad while the shoppers want to help Travelers offset some of their travel expenses so they can explore more of this world, we call home. All of this is being made possible based on the Vision of AirCarry to develop a philosophy of ‘One World. One Community’; AirCarry wants to be the world’s most trusted peer to peer community that brings together shoppers and travelers.
Whom do you see as your competitors?
Our competitors are large eCommerce platforms like Amazon global shipping; AliExpress who have started realizing that people want to enjoy products from across borders. Having realized this great opportunity, there are few European and American startups like Airmule, Airfrov, piggybee and such who have started to work on this peer to peer logistics concept in certain geographies of the world. Some of these startups buy the luggage space and the traveler doesn’t know/get to choose what they would carry. While each of these competitors have some good features to provide and are targeting particular geographies; AirCarry has built a very easy to use web platform that is robust enough to support multiple currencies and supports over 80 countries; enables all its community members to interact with one another on its Chat messenger system, that is available to all registered members. Transparency, Trust, Safety and Communities are at the core of everything AirCarry does and so it ensure Travelers get to pick and choose what product/order to deliver – Travelers themselves purchase the product so they are completely aware of what they are carrying and get paid soon after they have delivered the product to the shopper in the destination city.
How do you differentiate yourself from others players like Amazon, ClubFactory, Shein in terms of product originality?
AirCarry is a community rather than a typical e-commerce marketplace. On our web platform the Shoppers provide exact details of the product they want from abroad by providing the international website link, pic of the product and other necessary details. When the Traveler purchases the product from the mentioned website (by the shopper), the Traveler has to upload the proof of purchase or product bill on to the AirCarry platform that is visible to the Shopper. The Traveler also hands over physical copy of product bill when she/he hands over the product to the shopper – this ensures that the Traveler has purchased the requested product from the particular shop/website mentioned by the shopper on their order request.
AirCarry is an amalgamation of travel, logistic & e-commerce industry. How do you manage the logistics, is it the commission based?
Yes AirCarry is touching upon several verticals and impacting several industries at one go; all to ensure that the consumers get their most cherished/needed product from anywhere in the globe without being restricted by borders or high shipping costs. Since AirCarry is a community, the travelers and shoppers like to meet each other and decide upon where they would catch-up once the traveler lands in the destination city. They typically catch-up at the Traveler’s hotel lobby or a coffee shop convenient to both of them; many a times the shoppers have become the Traveler’s local guide by providing them with great tips on what to see and where to eat. In rare instances when the traveler/shopper are hard pressed on time, they have used local last mile delivery platforms like roadie, Dunzo, SwiggyGo etc.
Do you have a verification process for the travelers, as they can run away with products?
All the community members on AirCarry are verified. Travelers have to purchase the products with their own money so there is no need for them to run away; since they will not get reimbursed for the product unless they have delivered the product to the Shopper. The traveler’s are confirmed payment, since the Shoppers would have deposited funds on AirCarry payment system, PayPal, once they accept the Traveler’s offer to carry the product. These funds are transferred to the Traveler soon after the Shopper confirms delivery of the product, on AirCarry system, in the presence of the Traveler. If the product is not delivered, then the Shopper’s money is refunded back to their PayPal account. All of this is to ensure that nobody loses their money.
How does the web application work?
We have built a robust yet a very simple & easy to use web platform, where, all aspects of the transaction happens on the platform. The team spent a significant amount of time in designing and developing this platform. The development team comprised of people who shared the same passion as me, towards solving this problem and each one of them had experienced this problem as a shopper and traveler. This helped all the team members to truly understand the problem and the solution they were developing....