Tech Pitch: DAD
Founder Ben Wynn on how his own Dad inspired the launch of his 'video visit' DIY repair service, raising funding, and being based in 'grown up Shoreditch'...
Company name: DAD
Founder: Ben Wynn (40)
Background: Before founding DAD, Wynn was chief product officer at mobile solutions company Somo where he ran an incubator focused on using mobile technologies to create sector disruptive products and platforms.
Based in: Farringdon, London
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
- DAD allows consumers to fix up their home using video technology which connects them to an expert.
- You have a video visit with an expert who talks you through how to do things like fixing a leaking tap or broken toilet seat; all for just £10.
- If the problem can’t be solved over the phone, DAD will send one of its expert technicians out to help.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
People generally don’t have the time to sit in all day and wait for a plumber to come and fix their leaky taps. So generally you find yourself just either putting up with it or cluelessly trying to fix it yourself. DAD empowers people to fix problems around the home with an added sense of independence. Through guidance from an expert with a lifetime of experience, the user becomes confident in what they are doing and avoids being left with a large bill for something that is probably simple to fix yourself.
The rise of websites such as YouTube and Google has made information more accessible than ever, meaning that many people will now search how to do things themselves. However, when you’re trying to work out how to do something yourself and having to search through thousands, if not millions, of online pages, finding the right information is an arduous process. DAD takes out all the lengthy and painful leg work and gives you the exact information you need with almost guaranteed accuracy.
The second benefit of the video call lies in that if we do need to send a technician to your home we know what’s required, what parts are needed and what the challenges are up front – that means the chance of being able to fix it first time sky rockets.
Are you funded?
Yes, we recently secured £2m in seed funding. Read the full funding news story here.
What you were doing before starting?
I’ve always been an innovator and have looked to sniff out business opportunities since I was young. As a teenager at the height of the 1980’s skateboarding craze, having realised I was more crash than cool, I designed, manufactured and sold skateboards as a source of income. It was my first business venture. After school I studied engineering at university and got my first job in tech shortly after graduation.
The idea for DAD came some years later, when I was trying to change a tap but ended up flooding the bathroom. The first person I thought to call was my Dad; he was travelling at the time but I FaceTimed him and he guided me through how to fix the problem. Hence the idea for DAD, and the name, was born.
What’s the best thing about where you based?
Our offices are based in Farringdon, or as we like to call it, ‘the grown up Shoreditch’. We’re surrounded by startups all at different stages, giving it a real community feel.
Everyone’s goals are varied but there is a mutual understanding about what it’s like working in a start-up. As such, you always have advice on your doorstep and like-minded people who you can share experiences with.