Sowdri Murugesan
Aug 18, 2018 · 3 min read

Before starting Zagl I was part of a project called Restoplus where we made white-labeled mobile apps for restaurants.

Long story short, if you look at the state of online ordering for restaurants in Australia, the entire scene was dominated by Menulog and this posed a few key problems for the restaurants:

  • There was a huge percentage commission for each order
  • The platform allowed bidding for the top spot in the search results, which lead to unfair competition among the participating restaurants
  • Finally there was no ownership whatsoever of the customers of the individual restaurants

Looking at this, we decided that providing white-labeled mobile apps for each of these restaurants could provide a solution for them, as they could ask their customers to simply download their app, thereby building their own audience and could also be in touch with their customers using push notifications. At the end of the day it provided then with a first-party ordering channel which they gladly embraced.

Little over an year in operation, Apple came along and said AppStore will no longer support white-labeled mobile apps.

It was a terrible blow for a service provider like us and more importantly it also meant that small businesses could no longer have their own mobile app.

From Apple’s point of view, if you look at the download count of each of these apps on the app store, while a few had 1000s of downloads, a majority of our clients had an average of 100 to 200 downloads. If you are Apple, then you might ask

Why do you really need an app if all you have is 200 downloads?

This totally makes sense from Apple’s point of view but if you are a small business owner and if those two hundred customers are your regulars, which means that they are the lifeline of the business, it is really important for you to have an app even if it means that there is ever going to be 200 people using it.

So the key take away from this argument is that for a lot of small businesses micro communities matter. It cannot be brushed aside as being too trivial for the AppStore.

Now that Apple has anyways band White Labeled apps. We had to come up with a solution to enable micro-communities to thrive.

That’s why we came over the idea of Zagl, which is a community-based ecommerce platform, that truly enables micro-communities to thrive at scale without any form of competition between the participating businesses.

The concept behind Zagl is simple:

Connect 🤝 Engage 🔔 Sell 🛍

A preview of how one of our clients Jimmies looks on Zagl:

Now Jimmies sits on the home page of all of their followers. They could also be engaged using push notifications.

If you are an online entrepreneur who is working with a niche audience and if you’re looking for a platform which would enable you to connect with them, engage with them and sell to them, then Zagl could be a perfect place for you to setup your online store.

In near future, I reckon that will be two types of organisations, the truly big ones, the giants and a lot of really small businesses catering to niche audiences.

It is precisely the latter where micro-communities matter and we believe that Zagl would play a pivotal role in enabling these kinds businesses. For further information please visit I or write to

Photo by Troy on Unsplash

Zagl - Mobile Commerce Platform

The smartest alternative for a mobile app

Sowdri Murugesan

Written by

Co-Founder @ Zagl & Sustainable Restaurant Movement

Zagl - Mobile Commerce Platform

The smartest alternative for a mobile app

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