[Advertisement feature by SwipeStation]
This week we caught up with Adam King, CEO of the click & collect mobile payment app that enables fans to order food and drink from their seats, SwipeStation.
Can you tell us a bit about the idea behind SwipeStation?
SwipeStation was invented by my business partner, Syd Nadim, who was fed up of queueing for the bar at rugby matches. He worked out that the fastest way of getting served at a stadium was by removing the entire transaction process from the service area – even the payment.
The system also needed to be completely idiot-proof, so that an untrained member of staff would be able to serve just as fast as an experienced bar-person.
Finally, the service needed to be stable – even under intense pressure. Fans needed to be able to create orders on their phone but without using the internet – as connectivity is so poor in stadiums.
How have you managed to develop a mobile payment app that can operate without the internet?
Our app looks and feels like a typical mobile payment app. You can create an order in 3 clicks. However, the clever bit is that the app actually turns your order into a QR code, which you scan at a Swipestation next to the bar. The SwipeStation is hard-wired to the internet and processes the order – instantly printing off a drinks voucher.
Do you have any plans for international expansion?
The financial projections that are downloadable on our campaign are for the UK only because there was only so much we could cover in that document. However, we have ambitious plans for international expansion. We are already working with the UK’s largest stadium catering company, who have 22 stadiums in the UK and over 280 venues worldwide. We are currently in two of their stadiums and are in discussions for more next season.
Why are you raising capital through crowdfunding?
We believe we have the best product on the market and no one comes close to us for speed of service and fan experience. We want to put SwipeStations in every stadium in the UK then expand to different countries and different markets (festivals etc). We need a capital injection to execute these ambitious plans and dominate the market.
Can you tell us a bit about your own background?
I started my first business when I was 26 – a chain of bespoke tailoring stores called King & Allen – which grew from a £500 investment to £1m turnover in 4 years. I have won awards for entrepreneurship and I’m sometimes asked to speak at events about my experiences – which I really enjoy.
Syd started his first business (a digital agency called Clock) 20 years ago as a Prince’s Trust start-up. Clock now employ just shy of 50 people and build websites for some really big brands (including some stadiums). In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in recognition of “outstanding achievement in the development of business and entrepreneurial education.”
What’s the best part about being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur can be stressful, heartbreaking and extremely hard work. But it’s also incredibly fun and rewarding. I get to work with fantastic people who inspire and amaze me constantly, and every day is different.
What advice would you give people who are eager to set up their own business?
The key to success is follow your gut but then to use measurable data to guage the popularity of your idea. It’s not sexy advice like “never give up!” or “fail fast!” (which completely contradict each other), but I firmly believe that a risk that has been calculated and tested is no longer a risk.
Where would you like to see SwipeStation in a year’s time?
We are already producing great results for some of the world’s best caterers at the UK’s top stadiums. Over the next year I’d like to see us grow those sales, owning the market and earning increasing revenue that can be invested back into the company so we can continue to grow and improve our valuation for our investors!
If you’d like to ask Adam your own questions, you can do so via the discussion forum on the campaign page, where you can also find out more about how SwipeStation will be bringing their exciting new product to market.
Investing in startups involves risks, including loss of capital, illiquidity, lack of dividends and dilution, and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. This blog post has been approved as a financial promotion by Seedrs Limited.