WiFi has become a nearly indispensable perk for businesses to offer their customers, but it’s largely a one-way street. The customers will make a purchase, possibly, but businesses and organizations offering WiFi do not typically receive much in return. But Czech service Myia wants to change that, allowing WiFi operators to reach out to users and perhaps offer some other benefits.
It is a bit premature to discuss the app itself, but the idea is that businesses offer customers and others access to the internet, but could be getting a bit more out of it, so Myia will offer the opportunity for WiFi users to access location-based deal offers, connect with the front desk or, perhaps, with other guests at a hotel, connect with colleagues at a conference, access coupons, or other services. The startups tells me that they intend to keep the platform free to the WiFi user, but intends to charge a fee to businesses that decide that they want to connect with their customers in this manner.
Myia entered private beta back in October, but now they are ready to go live, preparing for their official launch next month. Despite not having yet officially launched, they have attracted a decently-sized userbase, reporting that 2,000 users from around the globe currently take advantage of the service.
Ondrej Cervinka, co-founder of WujiGrid, which is developing Myia, tells me that the project has been funded by the founders up to this point, but that they will be receiving some funds as part of their participation in the program at Prague-based accelerator StartupYard (StartupYard indicates that they offer 30,000 Euro in seed funding to those who come to their program). It appears that this latest service is a marked shift from WujiGrid’s current focus, as they previously developed a platform for remotely collaborating on documents.