Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Rebekah Campbell, CEO and co-founder of queue-dodging foodie app Hey You.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Hey You is an app to discover local cafes, order, pay and get loyalty. It is used by more than 180,000 customers, 600 cafes and processes 60,000 transactions each week with 4% average weekly growth. The vendor product helps cafe owners to run promotions, connect with customers and run their businesses more efficiently.
Hey You formed in 2015 following the merger of three Australian tech start-ups: Posse, Beat the Q and eCoffee Card. The Company is backed by Westpac's venture fund Reinventure, along with high profile Silicon Valley Angel investors.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We grow by focussing on hyper local areas of the various CBDs. Once we have a few key cafes on board in an area, then a large proportion of their customers use the product and demand it at every other cafe. For example, at the new Barangaroo business centre, one in ten people use our app to order breakfast or lunch every day.
Almost every cafe offers Hey You. We've got sales teams in place in Sydney and Melbourne and this year we'll expand this to all of the other capital cities. We've never spent a single cent advertising to customers - it's all about making the service available at key outlets and then we take off through word of mouth as people promote Hey You to their friends and colleagues.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
Our business is transitioning from being a start-up to a grownup company. This comes with a whole range of challenges. For example: how to maintain agility, energy and creativity with a much larger team; how to ensure our service is reliable as our customers have much higher expectations of us.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Early on we had a lot of competitors but now there aren't really any of note. We differentiated ourselves by focusing on delivering a great user experience and then by encouraging our users to refer the product to their friends and other cafes. After a while, cafes that used our competitors switched to us because their customers were asking for it.
We believe we are pioneering a new way of doing business that is borderless, culture and gender inclusive, highly connected and meaningful.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Airbnb. I've just come back from summer holiday all booked on Airbnb. Amazing service.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Take long periods of time to be by yourself and think.
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