Bazaar66: Jack Telford, Martin Jones and Ioannis Prapas
With the sharing economy showing unstoppable growth, these entrepreneurs decided it was time you could find all the best marketplaces in the one place
Name: Jack Telford, Martin Jones and Ioannis Prapas
Company Name: Bazaar66
Location: West Midlands
Date Launched: 18/07/16
Twitter handle: @Bazaar_66
Tell us what your business does:
Bazaar66.com is an online directory of the world’s best sharing economy websites. From Uber to Airbnb and some great but less know websites.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The founding team made up of Martin, Ioannis and I believe the sharing economy is in its infancy. We noticed there wasn’t a place to easily search through all of the best online marketplaces so decided to create one ourselves.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The sharing economy is frequently mentioned for its disruptive nature. This is increasing every year. Uber and taxis, Airbnb and travel accommodation, Udemy and education, Upwork and recruitment etc.
We realised that most people only know about the major online marketplaces, so we knew if we could put all marketplaces in one place, this would add value. (Currently 50-60 marketplaces and growing daily).
What were you doing before starting up?
Martin and I are co-founders of online marketplaces Trobs and Total Freelance respectively, two online marketplaces within the UK recruitment market. Both have experienced rapid growth in recent months, however found time to start Bazaar66.com.
Ioannis has just completed his Masters at Aston University and was an employee at Trobs. Martin and I saw the potential in Ioannis and offered him a place on the Bazaar66 founding team.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Martin and I both have our own businesses (and still do). We both have been employees for others but both certainly prefer building businesses.
How did you raise the money?
The founding team have put money in for the initial development and marketing.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
The business model works on a referral basis e.g. if a user from Bazaar66.com visits a Freelancer.com and posts a job, Bazaar66.com will receive a commission for referring them.
As the number of visitors grows, we will give marketplaces the opportunity to sponsor categories.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Getting the name out there! Our SEO strategy will take some time to build, however, it has already contributed well. We’re constantly testing ways of increasing brand awareness.
Martin and Ioannis are particularly strong in this area. The Birmingham press also wrote about Bazaar66.com on launch.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Establishing the site in a few months and already hosting the world’s biggest and best online marketplaces.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Focus, focus and focus, plus get used to sacrificing leisure time but always know the end result is more rewarding then the odd trip to the pub.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
We want Bazaar66.com to be the go to place for users worldwide who want to know about any online marketplace.