Hollabox: London’s first video discovery app reworks the Snapchat model
Adam Beveridge, co-founder of new video discovery app Hollabox, tells Business Advice the story behind the startup building on the Snapchat model to give Londoners an immersive experience of the capital.
Who are you and what’s your business?
I’m Adam Beveridge, one of the co-founders of Hollabox. We’re London’s first video discovery app, so you can literally step into and see inside the best bars, restaurants and things to do that this wonderful city has to offer.
How long have you been around for?
We launched in June this year and in just eight weeks we have had over 10, 000 video views on our app.
We started out with a different iteration of our product a few years ago, but it didn’t have the right product to market fit. Sufficeto say we learnt fast and pivoted to what we have today.
Some say that startups are a rollercoasterride and we have literally had the lows of watching our first product fail in the market, to today’s new adventure. Weve had the fuel for this fire for quite a long time.
How do you make money?
We have one revenue stream currently running and three in the pipeline. The first being the premium tier of our platform, where businesses can have premium placement of their content and receivedata packages on performance and demographics viewing their content.
Soon we will offer other features including location-based advertising, which will allow chains and brands to have their content appear on the app when a user is nearby one of their locations. This type of marketing isoften the difference between a user choosing to walk into a Starbucks over a Costa, for example.
Additionally, we will have the ability to offer site integrations, for large complexes like Westfield. This means users will have bespoke content visibleto them when nearby one of these sites and when within one.
This helpsbusinesses increase footfall to their complexes, improving customer experience and navigation once inside.
Lastly, we will have the ability to offer in-story advertising, as popularised by Snapchat. These allow brands to run full-screen ads in-between our clips, for the most immersive mobile advertising currently available.
What makes you different and why should people take notice?
Product wise, were doing something innovative that so far the market has really valued and loved.
Wereview and recommend London’s best bars, restaurants and hot spots, but what people are enjoying is that unlike other discovery apps that showcase staged pictures, mostly of empty restaurants, we drop you straight into the action, using real life videos in a Snapchat-style.
This means you can immerse yourself into the experience and get the truest sense of the atmosphere and clientele.
As a business, we’re here for the long run. We’re having great fun along the way, visiting and doing all the cool thingsfeatured on our app ourselves.
What was key starting your video discovery app?
Two things I think they’re more important than funding or even an idea.
The first is being motivated. I’ve always found the fear of failing to be greater motivation than that of succeeding. Whatever obstacleswere thrown at Hollabox, I knew myself and the team were motivated to keep pushing to make it work.
The second of which wasbeing open-minded. This doesn’t mean I took everything that everyone said as gospel, but for starting Hollabox, it meant being willing to learn, and step outside of our own Hollabox “bubble” as it were, and see what other people were seeing.
Mainly so we could think as our users thought, see what investors saw, but also importantly look back on ourselves to remind us what we’d already achieved.
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
I’m particularly proud of that we were accepted onto the Firstbourne Accelerator programme that was being piloted our university town of Bournemouth. Our product was failing in the marketplace, but we beat 100s of other applications to receive 25, 000 funding from Creative England and work with Silicon South and Bournemouth’s digital network to re-imagine and deliver the Hollabox we have today.
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.
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