Jakarta. A group of students from Pelita Harapan University (UPH) encountered persistent problems when trying to book sporting venues – so they built an app to fix them.
The team, led by Sharon Vanessa Halim, found that inefficiencies in booking sporting venues were often a barrier to being able to enjoy the sports they love, and soon discovered that they weren’t alone.
“This is when we came up with the idea of Muju that can help make sports, fitness, and ultimately health and wellness become a more simple, accessible, and fun experience for all,” Sharon said on Thursday.
The app aims to bring users together and connect them to sporting venues by simplifying the booking process. Users can search for available sporting facilities, look at rates, and ultimately book through a secure payment system.
“Muju will use Xendit, the leading payment gateway across Southeast Asia, as our payment platform,” she said.
The name ‘Muju’ embodies the goal of the app. It stands for ‘mulai aja dulu’, or ‘just start it first, as it aims to motivate users to ‘just start’ and engage in an active lifestyle, which a user-friendly booking system would help facilitate.
Sharon and her fellow UPH School of Business students -- Deven Sweeney, Liesky Darmawan, and Casya Lie -- see poor fitness as a big problem in Indonesia.
“The majority of people do know that staying healthy is important, yet so few are willing to put in the correct effort to stay healthy. In that sense, Muju strives to help people prevent unhealthiness from the get-go, not only [to cure] it,” she said.
The app is set to launch by the end of this year and is currently in the process of acquiring partners.
“So far, we already have five partners and are still ongoing to a target of 20 partners minimum before launching,” said Sharon.
At first, the app will mainly focus on the Jakarta metropolitan area but ultimately aims to expand its operations. “Of course, we aim to become accessible to all of Indonesia.”
Muju has ambitions beyond just sports venue booking, too.
“Muju is aiming to be a super sports app and a one-stop health solution that encourages a healthy lifestyle. There will surely be more features to come,” Sharon said.
The app comes at a time when tech startups in Indonesia and around the world are exploding onto the market, and Sharon is optimistic about the digital business environment.
“We think that the large market size and great digitization growth in Indonesia prove to be a very attractive opportunity,” she said.
However, she is also cautious, admitting that it won’t be an easy ride because rises in digital startups are starting to slow down as there are market leaders in a lot of industries already, resulting in a lot of startups closing down.
“Nevertheless, Muju does not only aim for data valuation and mere growth, but in finding the right business model and developing a product-market-fit that can thrive, survive, and bring impact to people,” she said.