Betfect: Giacomo Alpago
The tech start-up talks seed funding and tapping into an extensive market with a unique offering
Name: Giacomo Alpago
Company name: Betfect
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 09/01/2015
Tell us what your business does:
Betfect is an innovative digital platform that merges the online betting experience with a social aspect.
The platform enables users to place real bets via multiple integrated betting providers and users have the opportunity to interact with an online community, track their performance, copy and follow other peers.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I started thinking about this idea while I was finishing my BA in International Business In London, many friends and classmates were sharing their betting experience in class using social media platforms.
I believe betting should be a social experience to be shared with friends. When Harry Ogden opened the UK’s first bookmaker in the 1790’s, punters would gather in the bookies to discuss their bets and exchange tips. While the development of new technologies has made it easier to bet, it has also made the experience more individual. Our community-orientated website makes sharing and winning your bets simpler and more enjoyable.
How did you know there was a market for it?
After doing extensive research I saw an opportunity in the large betting market for a concept like Betfect. I believe the business could become a huge success as it solves an existing problem.
What were you doing before starting up?
Before starting my own venture I was doing a Master in International Business at Hult. Before this I worked for two companies between Italy, Greece and USA.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I started my first business (if you could call it that!) selling products on Ebay when I was 16 years old. Being an entrepreneur has always fascinated me since a young age as I grew up in an environment where family and business were always combined.
How did you raise the money?
What I have raised so far is mainly from family and friends but now we are ready to bring it to the next level as we are currently looking for seed funding, talking with different VC’s and business angels in London.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Before thinking about the business model we wanted to create a new experience for our audience and we are still working on this, obviously we have a business model in place now but this will change as our first priority is to create an innovative product in order to satisfy our customers.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Starting a business today is probably the best time to do so. All you need is a laptop and a smart idea. For me, the biggest challenge was knowing how to start a business in a foreign country but Google and plenty of research helped.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Breakthrough? We're young and still have a lot of work to do before we can give you a proper answer.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
In business there are no shortcuts, at the beginning I thought I reinvented the “wheel” but I'm learning that it takes time to build something that will be great. This links with my second piece of advice, don’t give up!
Also get the right talent behind you as the founding team is one of the most important elements in becoming a success; find people who balance skill set with a passion for your mission and vision. And finally get out there as soon as possible and start testing your minimum viable product (MVP).
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
In five years' time I would like to be doing what I love: working with new and innovative products in different industries.