Swayy: David Gabriele

The "world’s first" hotel and restaurant booking website for digital influencers helps businesses increase sales via targeted, scalable influencer marketing

Name: David Gabriele
Company Name: Swayy
Location: London
Date Launched: 14/02/17
Website: swayy.me

Tell us what your business does

We’re the world’s first hotel and restaurant booking website for digital influencers. We help venues find, analyze, book, pay for, and review digital influencers.

We combine technology from technology giants: Uber, Dropbox, UpWork and Airbnb as well our own technology which includes the world’s first fake follower detection system in the hospitality space.

In doing so, we help hotels and restaurants run scalable influencer marketing campaigns.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

Frustrated at the lack of quality assurance tools, huge inefficiencies, time, and costs involved in running scalable influencer campaigns.

How did you know there was a market for it?

I experienced the frustrations first hand. 

What were you doing before starting up?

I trained and qualified as a corporate lawyer in the City.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Rather than a will to run my own business, I have always just been very curious. This led me to law school, business school, working in the City, and now solving a very real problem which every hotel and restaurant worldwide faces.

How did you raise the money?

Angel investment from the head of media investing at one of the world’s biggest institutional investors.

Describe your business model and how you make money

1. Venues and agencies pay an affordable monthly subscription to access unlimited influencers.
2. Swayy takes a commission where venues and agencies organise paid collaborations with influencers. Swayy also offers the ability to arrange unpaid collaborations free of charge.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Finding talent who think beyond short-term personal gain. Demonstrating the demand for Swayy’s technology and the long term potential has helped us attract a team of world class people.

What was your first big breakthrough?

Signing one of the world’s most prestigious hotel groups to the platform.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

You must be motivated by your mission. If you’re not thinking about it when you’re brushing your teeth, it’s not important enough to you.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

The end goal is to help every hotel and restaurant worldwide become more competitive, by benefiting from the technology we have developed. With interest from over 400 hotels and restaurants worldwide already, hopefully we will be even closer to achieving our mission.

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