Spoonfed Media: Henry Erskine Crum and Alexander Will
The Spoonfed founders on their plans for global domination
Company name: Spoonfed Media Website:www.spoonfed.co.uk/london Founders: Henry Erskine Crum and Alexander Will Age: 25 Based: London Staff Numbers: 12 full-time staff plus a network of over 50 contributors Date started: July 2007
Tell us what your business does Spoonfed is the smart, definitive guide to what’s on in London. At Spoonfed, you get truly localised event listings and social organisation tools to keep you and your friends up to date and in the know about top London events. We have a database of over 30,000 events per month, all categorised with relevant, specific tags added by our editorial team to make it quick, easy and fun to find things to do in London. Spoonfed also offers users the tools to share their favourite events with friends, make plans and send invites, manage RSVPs and chat about the event.
Where did the idea for your business come from? We first met in an abstract maths class while studying at LSE in 2004. At university we tried to take advantage of London entertainment but poor event listings inspired us to create a solution to connect Londoners with great events.
How did you know there was a market for it? Unlike other events listings services, Spoonfed offers local event listings organised by post code, tube stop or area of London, the social organization tools you need to plan a great night out with your friends, and access to all of our listing information on your phone.
What planning did you do before you started up?We did a lot of research before creating a business plan, something that gave us a much more effective roadmap through Spoonfed’s early days. We also recognised the value of a mentor who could help guide and support us. We were lucky to find a mentor in Kevin Eyres, MD of LinkedIn Europe, who became Spoonfed’s chairman in July 2007.
How did you raise the money? Spoonfed has been angel funded through a successful funding round completed summer 2008 and we’re just completing a second angel funding round.
How have you promoted your business? We’ve used traditional PR, online marketing and focused on ways to increase our natural search traffic. The Event Radar application and recent site developments have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the likes of Tech Crunch, Financial Times and The Guardian. Twitter has also been a great resource, helping us engage with users, spread the word about Spoonfed and promote London’s best events.
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What has your growth been like? Since Spoonfed’s launch in November 2008, we have grown to over 100,000 unique users per month and within 12 months we hope to be approaching one million. This phenomenal growth has increased revenue through advertising and ticket sales however our primary revenue stream will be driven through our unique service for promoters and event owners, Bullseye, set to be launched later this summer.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs? Build a strong team early and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. Having great people on board and a mentor to support you can help you to manage many of the challenges that face an early start-up.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time We plan for Spoonfed to be in all the major European cities, throughout the UK and in major urban cities in the US within the next 5 years. We also plan to bring the Spoonfed’s Event Radar, currently available on the iPhone, to all mobile handsets.