Betify is a mobile app which makes it easy to create challenges about your brand, and allows you to engage your followers, reward your fans, and measure your success.
What does it do?
Betify is the first mobile app that lets users interact with self-devised challenges and wagers.
With Betify, you can set personal goals for yourself, be it fitness or achievement landmarks, with a global support network pushing you to succeed. Betify also allows individuals to send personalized challenges to friends or open them up to a whole global community with tags.
Any brand can use Betify to increase their fan’s engagement, acquire new followers, and promote their products. Betify allows you to do so on a more intimate level than any existing social network. We also provide all the tools necessary for an efficient campaign analysis and understanding of your ROI.
Betify is a community at the service of the businesses. We aim to be the prime network for peer to peer challenges, for friends to challenge each other, and to discover amazing content. Snap a video of your challenge and get rewarded if it becomes popular!
Who is your startup aimed at?
Betify has a dual B2B/B2C model. Brands looking to increase their engagement with the public can sign up and create enticing challenges, as well as offer products or discounts as rewards. They can promote their challenges through their existing social media channels. The basic features are totally free until brands want to upgrade to enjoy our analytics or acquisition tools, amongst others. Aside from that, any individual looking for a challenge or simply to discover great content can sign up and use the platform for free!
How does your startup stand out against its competitors?
We believe our main competitors are gamification companies. We differ for four main reasons:
Network effect: Betify is a gamified social network, not a simple game layer at the top of an existing website.
Save time and money: Betify is an external solution, so brands save time and money on integration, set up, monitoring, and use.
Real engagement: We reward users with real products, not badges.
Real results: Only 25% marketers can measure the ROI of their campaign! We offer all the tools necessary to bring this figure close to 100%.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
The idea behind Betify came up to life during the Euro Football Championship 2012. I used to create custom bets with my friends on the outcome of the game, but this year my friends were away. That’s when I had the thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a platform where you could create your own bets and invite your friends?” I felt as though mobile was the best choice, because it would allow you to bet while watching the action. I then did some research to find an existing app which allowed users to create their own bets, but nothing comparable existed.
After the initial idea, I distributed a survey via social media, and found that 40% of the 300 people surveyed regularly challenge their friends in one way or another, and that 45% of the time,money is involved. I found that many people complained of either not remembering the wagers, never receiving payment, or being stuck challenging people in their immediate physical vicinity.
Betify addresses these issues, and uses virtual currency as a way around the legal restrictions of gambling. It then evolved towards the gamification and B2B model, but the core of the app is still the B2C side. Betify is a community at the service of businesses, not the other way around.
Did you have any concerns when starting your business, if so what were they?
Not really. In fact, most of my friends and family thought I was crazy because I was leaving a great situation. I knew I had enough capital to get started and survive for a while, but they were asking all sort of questions like, “What if it takes longer to take off?” and “What if nobody wants to use it?”
It might seem crazy, but I actually refused to think about these issues because I didn’t want to overthink it. If I overthink it, it is more likely that I will freak out and refuse to take the leap. Although you do need a safety net, sometimes it’s better to jump before knowing where you will land.
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
I used to study physics and engineering, but that’s about it. I read a lot about business and how investment works, but I believe that this is something that cannot really be taught. You have to go out there and experiment with it.
How did you initially raise funding for your company?
For the first eight months, I relied on my personal capital to fund the business, but there wasn’t much to fund since I was mostly looking to build a team and designing the prototype myself. Then in September last year, everything was falling into place and we met Jenson Partners through an introduction from a contact of mine. Four months later we had $250,000 in the bank!
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
To raise funds without a product is a great achievement, especially in the UK. We are also completing the development of the app, which I think is absolutely great, so that’s a second one. But mostly, I would say bringing the team together. Betify is a very big business, with B2B, B2C, events, and development, so we needed a lot of people involved. I managed to motivate 10 core people to be part of this journey, which I am very proud of.
How have you kept your business relevant and engaged with your audience over the last three years?
We haven’t launched yet, so ask me in 3 years ☺. Actually, all the small pivots and features we are implementing in this version come from customer feedback we received during our pre-launch last year, as well as from discussions with people in the industry.
How long has your startup been in the making, and who is the team behind the business?
We incorporated in May 2013, right after I started, and are about to launch. In that sense, it’s already been quite the journey. Everybody has a key role at Betify, and you can check our guest profile to see all the faces.
James (COO), Melissa (CSO), and I are the main forces behind the actual business model. Steve (awarded app developer), and Charles (Emmy nominated Game designer), are responsible for the development of the app. Chris (ex-RedBull events manager) is in charge of recruiting ambassadors and finding events to sponsors, while Rene deals with publishers to increase our traffic. Our management team oversees all that.
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a startup owner?
It is easy to get carried away by your own ideas or customer feedback, and to deviate from the initial vision. My long-term vision for Betify encompasses so many things, that I constantly need to remind myself to go step by step, because despite our funding, the budget is still very tight.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
We would like to reach milestones in terms of downloads, user retention and revenue, from both the B2C and B2B models. We also expect to raise a second round of funding to allow us to grow.
What has been your most valuable lesson so far since starting your business?
As a sole founder, you are on your own, and you need to realize that sooner than later. After you do, it’s fine, because you lower your expectations from other people. At first, it doesn’t matter what team you have behind you. When you start, the success of your startup mostly depends on you, and you shouldn’t expect someone else to pull a magic string.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
The only thing you need is a vision of something you want to change, or make happen. You don’t need a specific skill or product. People with vision generally find it hard to stand still so I would advise not to overthink the decision, and don’t wait for the perfect moment because it will never come. The rest will come as you go forward.