SiGMA Interview with Bookee Startup
SiGMA talks to the team behind the sports betting app called Bookee
Bookee is a simple sports betting app for mobile or tablet. The company aims to create a truly unique mobile betting experience by combining wold-class technology with beautiful design. Bookee is one of the startups, which is going to in participate in SiGMA Startup Pitch later this month.
What is your company’s unique differentiating idea?
Bookee is a mobile sports betting app using technology to create a simple, personal & entertaining customer experience. Think ‘tinder’ for betting. We curate individual sports bets for the recreational gambler and provide them with a single instinctive binary action for each bet — swipe right to bet or left to reject.
What differentiates you from your competitors? Specifically, what do you provide that is currently not available in the market or how do you differ from your competitors?
The large betting companies in the UK address mobile as an afterthought, condensing their desktop propositions onto the small mobile screen without thinking about the unique opportunity that the interface provides. Thus, they all have the same generic look and feel; an excel spreadsheet layout full of numbers. This makes for a clunky, complex and potentially intimidating experience. Originally designed for betting shops, the format is now uniformly crammed onto a seven inch screen.
The surge of the smartphone penetration and increased app usage exposed an industry failing to understand a new generation of customers. The static overload of information stood in direct contrast to how a new generation consumed information in all other areas. The era of the newsfeed has replaced search with discovery. Rather than being presenting a strict drill-down layout, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram push pieces of bite-size content to their users, tailored specifically for them based on their clicks, swipes & taps. Curation (& personalisation) is king and it seemed the betting industry lagged behind.
Casting our eyes around the trends of other industries, we saw a gap in the market. What betting app caters to the millennial? Seeing an opportunity, we decided to take advantage of the industry’s approach to mobile. Our answer was Bookee; a mobile app, founded on a promise as simple as it was ambitious; to create the first betting experience solely designed for the modern smartphone user. Bookee was born to solve a problem; to provide a simple, personal and intuitive betting experience.
What milestones or tangible traction have you achieved to date?
Bookee launched in June of 2016 and was quickly dubbed the ‘tinder of betting’. Starting with a simple initial offering, we set out to prove the concept. Bookee began as a single vertical product purely for IOS devices. In early 2017, we scaled out our operation to include Android phones and we were among the first in the queue for the Google Play Store. We’re now in both App stores with a casino offering and our looking to bring out a web version very soon.
As a startup, entering a marketplace against established, well-resourced competitors is extremely tough. However, in an industry of lookalikes, Bookee drew immediate media attention for being a truly innovative product. This culminated in Bookee winning the highly competitive Brightest Minds Award at the iGaming Conference inside our first six months of trading. Within the same timeframe and with very little marketing, Bookee had attracted 800 first time depositors at a very low CPA.
2016 was used to hone the product using lean startup methodology. Every day we called customers asking for feedback. This customer-centric approach led every new iteration and app update. New features were only added based on the wants and desires of our customers. With this growing understanding of our customer base, who were showing promising signs of retention. Bookee grew from a proven concept into a fully functioning business.
2017 brought a slightly bigger marketing push using inventive social media campaigns to communicate the app’s simplicity. The focus on quality creative content resulted in videos routinely going viral – the most successful amassing over 4.5 million views. Since working us, many micro-influencers have gone on to work with much bigger brands (ArsenalFanTV with Ladbrokes, Al Foran with William Hill etc.).
Please explain your objectives for participating in SIGMA Pitch Event.
Bookee are participating in the SIGMA Pitch Event to showcase our product to investors, competitors and potential customers. We’re raising money to reach the next stage in our evolution to grow the team and marketing power as well as network in the industry.
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