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This week we caught up with Nicolai Elmqvist, Co-Founder, CMO & CIO of Pointvoucher, the mobile gaming and voucher platform for major brands and cities.
How did the idea for Pointvoucher come about?
Our founder, Flemming Viktor Andersen thought up the idea whilst visiting Blackpool Pleasure Beach amusement park! Mobile gaming was growing in 2015 and vouchers were pretty big in the UK already. The combination was straightforward and the dream of combining mobile gaming with vouchers in every amusement parks in the world was there. Flemming is a visionary and could see the potential.
I met Flemming at a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, the same year and decided to jump onboard in early 2016 while the company was still in its infancy. Together with Managing Director Thomas Gadegaard, I’ve been heavily involved in building the brand and shaping the strategy to what it is now; amusement parks have been replaced by major cities and big brands have been added. In the future, we plan on bringing in 3rd party content to scale this platform fast.
How does Pointvoucher work? Does it need a internet connection?
Pointvoucher is a mobile gaming, plug & play marketing and loyalty platform, offering high-quality mobile games to brands and major cities like London, New York, and Paris. The concept is pretty simple; play a casual mobile game and earn vouchers for the time you spend playing. The dream is to build a “Netflix” of mobile games where you will actually get something real in return if you spend time playing. Even though you need an internet connection to download the games you don’t need it in order to play and earn points. So you can spend time playing on the Tube, completing levels, and it will save you a great deal of money on tangible things, like a cup of coffee.
What has been the most exciting moment in the Pointvoucher journey so far?
There have been so many, it’s hard to choose just one. In the beginning you become super excited about the concept and what it might become someday. Then it’s the first hiring, the first sale, the first release, the first PR mention, the first funding round etc. Then you have all the ups and downs. But the one moment that really stands out for me is the day that we signed the contract with London and Mr Bean to do the Play London with Mr Bean game. This had been our dream from the very beginning and when we discussed the idea that it would be fantastic to get Mr Bean starring in the game back in April 2016, it seemed impossible to get where we are now. Note to self: never be afraid to go for your dreams!
Why are you raising capital through crowdfunding?
Equity crowdfunding is a great way to allow smaller investors to participate in our funding round who normally wouldn’t be able to. It is also a way to get a lot of exposure within your own, but also external, network. The capital that comes in is of course fantastic, but it’s also a bridge to finding potential candidates for the next round since investors also use these platforms to scout for interesting future prospects.
Can you tell us a bit about your own background?
I did a masters in engineering, but have never worked in engineering. I’ve been involved in 7 startups now where the most famous one is the code collaboration service Bitbucket that was acquired by Atlassian in 2010. Besides that I’ve sold a Danish digital agency and a flipbook service.
What’s the best part about being an entrepreneur?
Growing a team and seeing how members of that team impact the business. Without a great team there is nothing. But it’s also the amount of weird tasks that you sometimes need to do and learn super fast, because there is no one else. Everyday is different and the amount of wins are insane. You get a kick from being an entrepreneur, even if the frustration is real at times.
What advice would you give people who are eager to set up their own business?
Tell the whole world about your idea, find the right people to help you, don’t give up when the plans go wrong. They will. And remember to celebrate every little victory.
What is your secret sauce?
Focus on building a culture where there is room for playing, having fun and throwing a great party now and then. The rest is hard work.
Where would you like to see Pointvoucher in a year’s time?
In a year’s time, I’d like to see Pointvoucher in Paris and New York and to have landed our first deal with a global brand. Our team should have grown bigger and the board would consist of high profile members that will help us reach the stars 2 to 3 years from now.
If you’d like to ask Nicolai’s your own questions, you can do so via the discussion forum on the campaign page, where you can also find out more about how Pointvoucher 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.