SBC Business Correspondent Mark McGuinness continues his series of interviews with innovative start-up’s looking to take the igaming industry by storm.
Today he speaks with EiG Start-Up Launch Pad runners up, DiscountIF and their CEO Lewis Holland about innovation by creating and engaging customers in new ways to shop for products.
MM: Lewis can you tell us a bit about your own background in the industry?
Lewis: I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years in leadership roles at Betfair and Unibet. I’ve worked across the entire suite of gaming and sports, focusing on product & process innovation.
MM: Why did you decide to launch DiscountIF and who came up with the great brand name?
Lewis: After leaving Betfair I wanted to work with start-ups and innovative concepts – the gambling industry has an innovation problem, but this is also true for the online retail industry too.
— Lee Keys (@theguessingman) September 28, 2014
With DiscountIF we’ve created a new and engaging way to shop for products that you want, with an innovative discount proposition that people seem to love. It’s not aimed at the traditional sports punter, it’s aimed at the retail consumer – a much larger marketplace. The DiscountIF brand name was the first one drafted for the concept. We had numerous sessions to come up with other brand names (such as LuckyLlamas), but we always returned back to DiscountIF!
MM: The business was shortlisted for the EiG Start-Up Launch Pad recently in Berlin. How important was that to attend and what response did you have from the industry? Lewis: Prior to launch DiscountIF already won an award in Malta, the TAKEOFF Seed Fund award. After a month of launching our Beta site, it was great news to know we were shortlisted for another award. This year’s Launch Pad event was said to have been the most competitive one so far. We came 2nd in the competition and only narrowly missed the win by a few votes. We had a packed conference with a lot of interest from operators, investors, affiliate networks, journalists and other start-ups.
Reactions to the concept were encouraging – we keep hearing things like “why would you not shop this way?” and “it’s a no-brainer!”. These are all the same reactions we’ve got from our customers. This important thing is that our proposition is a retail one and first and foremost we’re selling products that customers want. Existing operators who have contacted us see this as an interesting new approach of attracting a new kind of customer to the gaming market.
MM: Christmas is coming including a packed sporting calendar. What can customers’ look forward to during this busy period in online retail and sport from DiscountIF?
Lewis: One of the funny things that we have discovered is that people find DiscountIF attractive for buying gifts – they like the idea of getting their money back! We love the idea of everyone sitting down to watch the Boxing Day fixtures with some people more interested in the outcome than others… We’re anticipating high demand through December with some very attractive promotions, including the opportunity to purchase your turkey and get your money back if it snows on Christmas Day.
MM: What’s next for DiscountIF as we look towards a new year?
Lewis: We’re just closing a fresh round of investment during which we’ve got interest from our previous investors, senior gaming leaders and retail tech investors. Following a very successful Beta launch, we are now focused solely on the product – we have loads of new features and developments, and a product roadmap that stretches off into the distance. We’re incredibly keen to hear from partners – retailers, gaming companies, individuals – in fact, anyone who wants to be part of the DiscountIF story going forward.
MM: And finally anything else you wish to share with SBC readers?
Lewis: We’ve received a lot of great feedback during our beta launch. A staggering 60%+ of customers who got 100% cashback have shared their experience on twitter. We’ve shared below some of the positive comments we’ve received recently:
Lewis Holland Founder & CEO DiscountIF.com