Launched in early 2017, Yakatak is the new football app giving fans and groups of friends a new platform to air their takes on the sport’s issues, as they happen.
Business Advice spoke to serial entrepreneur and Yakatak founder, Simon Davis, to find out more about his new venture.
Who are you and what’s your business?
My name is Simon Davies, founder CEO of Yakatak, a mobile platform for creating video reactions to sports events and sharing them across all social media.
How long have you been around for?
Five years now. We started in the BBC Worldwide Labs incubator program based in their Media Centre back in 2012.
How do you make money?
Yakatak is an environment for interaction with and amongst millennial sports fans. We provide brands with a contextual environment within which to make highly relevant offers, and facilitate services relating to their consumers’ passion.
What makes you different and why should people take notice?
Social media is instrumental in the 21st century, and recently we’re seeing this penetrate the sporting industry
A key differentiator is that Yakatak notifies fans when their rival teams are doing badly and in doing so, turbo charges what we all love – firing off friendly footballing insults to our mates!
What was key in terms of getting started?
Finding investors and great developers, both with a passion for football, were the key ingredients.
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
Personally in business, it would be co-founding another venture called Snaptu, based in Tel Aviv, which was acquired by Facebook in 2011.
We made smartphone-quality apps work on the old feature phones and grew a user base of 42m in 18 months predominantly in the emerging markets such as India and Indonesia.
What setbacks have you had along the way?
Initially we targeted feature phones and emerging markets, winning a global award from Nokia in the process. When Nokia disintegrated and cheap Android phones flooded the market, all the feature phone app stores disappeared and with it, so did our distribution channels. We had to switch quickly into an Android and iOS business in short order in order to succeed.
In five years’ time, I will be…
At the forefront of disruption in the broadcast industry as social media inevitably eats into traditional business models and corporations.
What one tip would you give to others starting out?
Find investors with a genuine interest in what you do and your vision. They will be more interested, and subsequently bring in creative ideas and relevant contacts, plus have more patience when you face obstacles and challenges.
Who are your business heroes and why?
Mark Zuckerberg and the senior Facebook team. When we sold to Facebook, they faced huge skepticism as to whether they could evolve their primarily web business into a mobile first business.
Their share price fell dramatically based on this commentary. Look at them now! Also Douglas Tompkins, founder of North Face, for his conservation interests and philanthropy.
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