Fluttr: James Kay, Alexis Robert and Ben Hacking
The angel invested start-up discusses the significance of having a strong team, getting the product market fit and possible revenue streams for app businesses
Name: James Kay, Alexis Robert and Ben Hacking
Company name: Fluttr
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 10/01/2015
Number of Employees: 3
Tell us what your business does:
Fluttr is a music events discovery platform. It takes the form of an invitation-only network that lets you share your best nights out with your followers.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
We have been involved in the events industry for about five years in New York City, London and Paris, as event promoters, event producers and DJs. We noticed that there were just a few people who were always aware of the best events to go to so we wanted to create a network that helped everyone discover these parties.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We launched a beta version of our product on iOS that got downloaded by 10,000 Londoners in just a few weeks. This indicated to us that we were going in the right direction. It then took us two months to build our real product (website and mobile app), which we just officially released.
What were you doing before starting up?
I joined a start-up, which provides cashless payment systems to music festivals, in 2013. This is where I met my co-founder and CTO Alexis Robert who had been leading the tech team for three years, and our other founding member Ben Hacking who was the business developer there.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, I started my first business when I was 16 selling T-shirts to my local skate shop, and the first thing I did after graduating from University was set up a new business.
How did you raise the money?
A group of seven angel investors backed us – just from a power point presentation. They had known us for years through previous businesses and they invested in a strong team that had already proved its skills to develop and execute.
Network and credibility really do matter when it comes to raising finance.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We’re not making any money at the moment but we have a very strong business model based on native advertising through events-specific attributes and the intelligence we build from customer interactions on our platform.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
We had to pivot a few times before we got the product right for the market. The only thing that got us go through this challenge was the tenacity of each individual in the team.We were all absolutely convinced that our vision was good but struggled to find the best way to achieve it. By sticking together and working tirelessly we got there in the end.
What was your first big breakthrough
We won the Seedcamp week this year after having pitched for an entire week at the Microsoft office in Berlin. We then had the chance to join their accelerator program, which helped us a lot in making the right decisions at the right time.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
This is a quote by Winston Churchill and I have right in front of me everyday. You should only give up when you are absolutely sure that you misjudged your market and do not start a venture if you think you’ll give up when faced with adversity. My second advice is to start talking to customers as soon as possible (read the Mom test book).
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Five years from now, I hope to have the same position in the same company. It takes time to build a fantastic product and we hope to have millions of people benefiting from what we’ve created.