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 Dipra Ray, CEO of 3D body scanning company mPort.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea
mPort believes that every body is unique. Since there are so many different body types, our fully automated 3D body scanning pods (mPods) help people achieve their health and weight loss goals by capturing accurate body measurements. We’re located in high foot traffic shopping centres and are on a mission to make body tracking simple, accessible and affordable.
We allow customers to get measured for free to understand how the technology works and then provide a premium plan at $50 per year which allows them to get access to unlimited body scans throughout the year. We strongly believe that the more a person scans and learns about their body shape, and the more empowered they are to make any changes.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We’re investing heavily in customer awareness – most people are keen to know more about their body but aren’t aware that mPort can help them do this. We’re focused on adding more value to our customers as well so we can keep them part of our ecosystem for even longer.
We’ve previously raised capital from a range of private sources, and while capital raising remains an option for us (given our strong growth), our preference is to become self sufficient.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
We have no direct competitors who provide 3D body avatars on a retail level in Australia or globally. We compete more broadly against other types of body scanning devices such as Dexa and bio impedance scales. We stand out against these competitors as none of them can actually provide a 3D image of your body shape. A number is powerful, but as we all know, an image speaks a thousand words.
We also strongly stand out on our pricing model – most competitors tend to charge on a per scan level (ranging from $30 a scan to $200 a scan). We believe this puts a cap on how many times a user can measure themselves using that method. We provide a flat subscription rate of $50 per year which is significantly more affordable for all customers. We can do this because of our scale and the fact that all our machines are fully automated.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
Consumer awareness is the biggest challenge facing us. Our technology and offering is world class and we just can’t wait to let more people know about the great things that are on offer here at mPort.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Probably Whatsapp now (though it would compete very closely with email).
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Good things take twice as long and cost twice as much… and you’ve got to be in it for the long haul.
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