TinderUs: Michael Raven

Serial entrepreneur Michael Raven discusses spotting the potential in Tinder's "red hot market" and why you don't need large capital to make your online business a success

Name: Michael Raven
Company name: TinderUs
Number of Employees: 3
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 18/06/14
Website: www.tinderus.com

Tell us what your business does:

We consult Tinder users on their profiles, ensuring they’re putting their best online persona forward and maximising the way they represent themselves.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I came up with the idea, made the platform and received two bookings – all within three hours! The idea was initially brought up in conversation as a joke; a friend said he wasn’t having too much success so another of my friends helped choose new images and a new tagline. The idea grew from there.

How did you know there was a market for it?

Tinder has well over one billion swipes – the market is red hot.

What were you doing before starting up?

I run Catch London, a PR and growth hacking agency for tech start-ups and this has helped me to get coverage for TinderUs. So far we’ve appeared in Business Insider, Mashable, Huffington Post, ABC News, AOL, Gizmodo and a few others.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I’ve worked for a ‘boss’ for about two months in my entire life. I’ve made my own money from a very young age, turning a large profit from reselling on eBay when I was 13 and going on to run numerous online ventures since.

How did you raise the money?

Bootstrap. The entire thing has cost me £3.89 so far! Anyone who thinks they need large capital to start an online business with no overheads needs to look at how I started TinderUs – over £4,000 revenue from £3.89 in under two months.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

We charge a client £30 per consultancy and then I pay my consultants £15 – simplicity at its best.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

None really! All my consultants continue to surprise me with their commitment and the quality of their work. Every client has been delighted.

What was your first big breakthrough?

There’s a few – making $100 after one hour of launching and then hitting over 500,000 hits to the site in a month were both big breakthroughs for the business. Also getting on Mashable Video, which has been played all over the world.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Keep trying and don’t let failure set you back. Most ideas won’t work, so don’t think just because you think you’ve got the ‘next big thing’ that it’s going to work.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

I want to expand my agency to more start-up hubs throughout the world. We have a presence in New York and last year I was living in San Francisco, working with clients out there. I’d also like to start a VC fund, with the main aim to give funding, support and mentorship to the younger generations – to help them to innovate and build the next big web platforms.

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