Hibye aims at being protagonist of the Internet of People revolution providing new forms of interaction.
- Milan, Italy
Categories: SaaS/PaaS Digital Mixed B2B/B2C
- Social Media
- Company number
- Incorporation date
- 9 Nov 2016
- Investment sought:
- Equity offered:
Hibye is a social network that allows users to engage with people around them, to share interests and needs and have real-time interaction.
Hibye believes everyone represents a networking opportunity and its purpose is to be a social facilitator and ice-breaker to incentivise people to start interacting.
Hibye can be used in three capacities:
• Personal: Hibye gives full visibility of user profiles of people nearby creating new interaction opportunities either based on common interests or live needs.
• Professional: Hibye enhances networking relations during conventions, conferences, seminars and business meetings as all the participants can spot potential business partners. Networking is no longer random, but structured and qualified.
• Commercial: Hibye offers a localised advertising and customer service. The user can spot and interact with commercial profiles, with the long term plan being that they can take advantage of real-time targeted promotions.
Anytime and anywhere we are continuously surrounded by people, people we mostly don’t know. Many social platforms show contents based on personal contact lists, either of friends or followers. The point is that:
- users who are not connected with each other are invisible even if they share a mutual physical space.
- being invisible, users can’t share interests or needs with people nearby.
- being invisible, users can’t have a real-time interaction with the world around them.
We feel people have thousands of needs but they can't download the same amount of apps because they lack the knowledge, willingness, time or storage space in their smartphones.
Hibye provides a variety of services into one single app, from sharing a drink or meal to finding a business partner during a conference or an event, from sharing a taxi ride to finding someone to talk with, from splitting promotions or freight costs to finding someone to play with.
Everything for real.
Substantial accomplishments to date
After achieving the initial business plan:
- as founders, we have invested €100,000 in November 2016.
- we have built the team by hiring two developers as full-time employees.
- in March 2017, we closed a seed round for another €206,000.
- we launched our MVP on July 2017 as scheduled.
- we continue to update our product.
- we have over 10,000 users.
- churn rate at 30 days is 72.39%.
- on average every user views 10 pages.
- on average each session lasts about 3 minutes.
- on average every user posts 2.6 interests.
- on average every user likes more than 8 interests.
We have been into a few Italian High Schools and Universities to show how Hibye can be used against bullying. In fact Hibye is a real-time tool that can also be used by teenagers to ask for help from people around, discouraging bullying behaviours.
Italian top newspapers such as "Il Sole 24 Ore" and magazines such as "Wired" and "GQ Italia" have mentioned us:
We can rely on over 10,000 users so far but we don't want to start monetising yet, since our goal now is focused on developing the product and building a mass of users.
Hibye is a free platform for private users but we plan to charge a fee for commercial users. We plan to charge:
- a basic fee in order to create a corporate profile, which will include a dedicated platform where the client can manage multiple geo-localised profiles which show products or live interaction with customers.
- a premium fee for premium services, such as statistics and other data.
- a variable fee from time to time to get additional visibility on the platform.
Hibye’s market is online digital advertising which globally counted for $227 billion in 2017 and which is supposed to overcome $300 billion by 2020. We aim for our first customers to be large retail chains such as McDonald's and Starbucks who can extract huge benefits from our services.
Use of proceeds
We are looking for a minimum of €150,000 for 6%.
We intend to invest the raised money as follows:
- Fostering the product development by hiring a new developer. Hibye 2.0 is in the pipeline but we want to release Hibye 3.0 shortly afterwards.
- Boosting the user base by increasing marketing investments on multiple channels such as: online advertising, influencer marketing, digital PR and events.
- We aim to protect our brand in the USA after getting the Copyright for EU in October 2017.
Hibye’s market is digital advertising. We have decided to start from Italy since it’s possible to find experienced professionals with competitive salaries compared to the UK and US markets. Moreover, Italy is a leading country in terms of the utilisation rate of social networks:
• Out of over 60 million Italians, 31 million of them surf the internet by mobile. Furthermore, 47% of Italian internet users have social network accounts.
• In Italy the digital advertising market counted for €2.5 billion in 2017.
Hibye was born in Italy but our market is global online advertising that in 2017 reached $229 billion and for the foreseeable future should grow at 10% YoY surpassing $300 billion already by 2019.
We aim for our first customers to be large retail chains such as McDonalds or Starbucks and then anyone who either owns a physical shop or works as a freelancer.
Characteristics of target market
With more than $90 billion in the digital advertising market, the USA is the biggest market. The European digital advertising market lags behind, as it counts for less than half of the US market. The rest of the world counts for less than $20 billion.
We believe the digital advertising market has been very concentrated in the US in 2017. In the USA, during 2017, Google and Facebook got 63% of the market and another 12% went to other tech companies such as Microsoft & Amazon and other social networks. In 2019, their market share is expected to increase to 67 and 16% respectively.
We believe the biggest players are going to take most of the digital advertising market not only because they have hundreds of millions of active users but they have plenty of cash, which means they can buy the majority of new competitors.
Hibye strategy is to focus first on European and North American markets.
Hibye is open to all but marketing activities have been focused on three demographic targets:
We can split marketing activities into two macro-categories:
Offline Marketing: we sponsored small events, such as little concerts, city festivals and local sports events.
Online Marketing: this takes the majority of the budget and is split in to several channels:
· influencer marketing.
· Facebook advertising.
· direct mailing: curation, awareness and user loyalty management activities.
· social media management: implementation and management of a weekly plan on our Facebook and Instagram pages to keep our users updated about our latest activities.
· digital PR: the aim is to maximise Hibye's external communication through constant relationships with the press and the online and offline media.
· blog: we opened a company blog on Tumblr in order to increase user awareness through dedicated content creation.
The majority of social networks are based on interactions among friends or followers. Social networks based on geolocalization are not orientated towards the general public but specialise in a niche area, for example the dating sphere.
Main competitors for Hibye are:
• Nextdoor is an American social network that allows its users to communicate and interact with other users who live in the same neighbourhood and to share information, goods and services. Nextdoor raised $285.2 million since its foundation in 2010 after five investing rounds, the last one in December 2017.
• Shapr is an American social network that allows its users to connect for professional reasons. Shapr raised $16.5 million since its foundation in 2014 after three investing rounds.
• Jodel is a German social network which is popular in the Middle East because it’s based on user anonymity. Jodel raised €6 million since its foundation in 2014 after three investing rounds.