Could it help you meet new people?
Company: Heygreengo Limited (trading as ‘HeyGreenGO’)
What it does, in a sentence: Innovative social media app development & operation
Founded: London, Oct 2015
Founder/s: James Murdoch ; Craig Walsh; St. John Hughes
Size of team: Directly – 3; Indirectly – Digital Mobile Innovations (DMI); ASO Co. ; Squareface; Candoo PR. Total count = 18
Your name and role: St. John Hughes CEO
What problem are you trying to solve?
At best, the definition of relationships when technology is at the centre of connectivity, can mean nothing more than the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. Relationships are however not a function or derivative of technology.
The majority of current social media encourages people to get online, define oneself online, and stay online (i.e., they adopt a technology centred approach). Doing so has increasingly become an exercise of impression management and profile curation in an attempt to gain recognition and seek and maintain (demanding effort and time) ‘relationships’ with ‘contacts’. There are two main outcomes:
a) It significantly constrains the opportunity to meet actual people, and thereby derive more meaningful relationships, be these with friends, family or business based; and
b) It erodes visibility of what people are actually like versus what they claim to be, and is ultimately reducing trust in the system.
The solution, HeyGreenGO is an online, geolocation based platform (i.e., it recognises the utility value of digital mobile in its own right, that has engaged literally billions of people, and will continue to do so) that enables like-minded people to easily and quickly find and arrange to meet up with one another, whether 1-on-1, or in a group. It is based upon connecting people with similar interests who actually can meet in person. It takes online, offline for people to experience others for who they actually are, thereby presenting the scope for more relationships that are more meaningful and have value. The platform is user interest defined (i.e., the scope is as wide as the diversity of interests people have).
How big is the market – and how much of it do you think you can own?
The size of the market is as large as a global population of smart phone users. Nearly 80 per cent of social media time is now spent on mobile devices. By way of example: as of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.79bn monthly active users, HeyGreenGO has the potential to participate on a comparable scale.
How do you make money?
The app is free to download and use. New, enhanced features will be released as in-app purchases (the main platform will however function without these enhanced features, so the enhanced features are optional).
Who’s on your team that makes you think you can do this?
All three founders, in addition to the very strong, key partners mentioned above, who are industry leading experts in their fields.
Who’s bankrolling you?
Founder funded to date.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs trying to secure that kind of finance?
In terms of raising finance, it’s important to be well prepared with relevant, accurate and up-to-date information on the company, business, assets (people, IP, etc.) and core proposal/product. This is essential for due diligence. A well prepared investor proposition will not only carry greater weight, but should make the process of due diligence and investing more efficient. Ideally engage with investors that know your sector/market, and involve solicitors experienced in the relevant field.
What do you believe the key to growing this business is?
The core concept of what one’s doing has to address a genuine need, that you strongly believe in, and have a solution that is scalable to address this. HeyGreenGO is relevant in all these respects. Equally important is a founder’s determination to succeed, and scalability of business operations (the alternative is exhaustion). Of particular importance for this business is the skill set to further enhance the product; plan/predict; innovate; and respond to the way users engage with the product.
What metrics do you look at every day?
CPI; user numbers; user retention/attrition; user engagement; social behaviour; technology advancement; market competition
What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Timeline planning.Strategically arranging business measurables around feature development and the synchronicity of the marketing exercises required when necessary. Now have a more solid basis for estimating and planning around timelines to deliver targets, e.g. releasing updated versions of the app.
What’s been your biggest mistake so far?
Not cementing brand definition ahead of/in alignment with product development – this necessitated retrospective changes to some of the assets created. Not a major mistake, but would probably have been more efficient overall if there was better alignment/coordination between branding and product development.
What do you think is on the horizon for your industry in the year ahead?
The app has just been released, and so significant traction with and growth of the customer (users) base is envisioned, backed by robust marketing and PR strategy, involving some innovative and exciting ideas/activities.
Which London start-up/s are you watching, and why?
Provides efficient route to/filtering of potentially relevant information from multiple sources as a tool to inform investment decisions.
Pushing the realm of AR…