The Ramadan holiday has passed, bringing people back to Jakarta. Jakarta during Ramadan is great because most areas are basically empty; no traffic jams! Those who returned home or traveled to another city during the holiday likely experienced a long journey with traffic and heavy crowds. This is where LewatMana comes in. The Indonesian traffic monitoring startup provides users with live CCTV feeds and traffic reports to help commuters choose the best road possible and avoid traffic. 110 CCTVs are owned, set up, and maintained by LewatMana team (in partnership with building owners). It uses the Google Maps API as user interface and OpenStreetMap for backend processing.
We got in touch with LewatMana founder Hendry Soelistyo to find out how the company planned for the homecoming season. He says the team was busy installing CCTVs on congested routes and the CCTV feeds can be easily accessed through the website, mobile web, or the mobile app. He then added that the company’s user traffic was “more than double or triple the normal loads” during the holiday, which means LewatMana has become a popular source of information for travelers during this special season.
Frankly we do not have exact figures yet, but from web access there are about 115,000 users per day, not including mobile app users, of which we are not sure yet the exact figures. But as ideas there are total about almost 700,000 combined mobile app users across Android (Free), Android (Paid), Blackberry, Blackberry 10, Nokia, and Windows phone. Another popular service is the @lewatmana twitter broadcast service which now has 192,128 active followers with average of 75% retweet rate (75% of our tweets are being retweeted).
We suspect that LewatMana has gained big revenue from this holiday season, but Hendry wouldn’t confirm or deny that.
Business Model and Upcoming Plans
Jakarta is infamous for its traffic jams. The idea for LewatMana started as Hendry and other commuters got fed up with the traffic and wanted to find the best route possible. The startup has been running for two years now. The team has figured out that the more people who use the service to avoid congested areas, the better it can help distribute traffic and eventually reduce the number of cars driving on the same roads. “We have worked with other mass media to distribute information including radio, TV, and online news.”
LewatMana mainly monetizes through its B2B (data feed subscription via API and ad revenue) and B2C business models (paid app, in-app-purchases and premium operator service). Hendry told us it’s currently “funded by its founders and organically from its revenues”. However, it is open to strategic investment.
On the company’s upcoming plans, Hendry says:
Since last year we have been focusing … on mobile devices. Currently, our services already available on Blackberry, Android, Blackberry 10, Nokia, Windows phone and soon iOS. We are now working on services which will be seamlessly integrated with some other special devices, which I can not reveal much, but it will be exciting and fun.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff and Charlie Custer)