I caught up with Pär Bäck from ShopJoy. They are working on a tool that will enable the possibility of communicating with a smartphone user at the right time, at the right place, with the perfect content.
Tell us about yourself and your background
The company The Incredible Journey AB was founded in Spring 2013 by myself and Per Anell. We are working with mobile marketing and our first product is called ShopJoy. We have known each other since 1997, when we both studied at the University of Linköping. Per has a master in Economics and I have a master in System Development.
Per has been working within the financial sector with sales and marketing and previously to starting ShopJoy, he worked at Brummer and Partners. Myself, I have been working as a manager within the IT-sector and previously to starting ShopJoy, I worked as a Business Area Manager at EVRY.
Currently we are a network-based company, working in a virtual team and the team consists of
- Peter, UI designer
- Fredrik, IOS-developer
- Rikard, Android-developer
- Per, Senior advisor
What is the problem that Shopjoy is trying to solve?
Marketing is changing, and a lot of companies are looking for new ways of communicating with their customers. One area which is interesting is the smartphone. ShopJoy enables the possibility of communicating with a smartphone user at the right time, at the right place and with the right content.
ShopJoy enables the possibility of communicating with a smartphone user at the right time, on the right place and with the right content.
We believe that “the right time” is when a consumer enters for example a store, a mall or a museum. The active choice of entering a location triggers the interest in what a store can offer.
“The right place” is also correlated to a physical place, a location. By using ShopJoy, a store owner can influence and affect a consumer before making the final buying decision.
With the “right content”, we create the possibility to send personalized information to a consumer.
You are currently in Tokyo meeting with Yamaha, is Japan one of your first markets to launch in?
We have been looking into different technical solutions to match our business idea, finding out that infrasound is todays best way of finding the exact location of a users smartphone. We have been in Tokyo to close a deal with Yamaha regarding their product called Infosound. ShopJoy will be one of the first companies in Europe using Infosound.
We had two great days with Yamaha, who are really interested in the European market as well as our business idea. Since the business culture is somewhat different between Sweden and Japan, we spent some time together with Business Sweden prior to our meetings whit Yamaha, just learning for example how to act, what to say in different situations but also the very important ceremony when exchanging business cards.
So, the answer to your question is actually no, we are not looking into Japan as our first market, the reason for our trip was to close the deal regarding Infosound as an vital part of ShopJoy.
Your website only shows a promotion video as of now, when are you planning to launch?
We are currently developing a prototype and at the same time, working with marketing and sales. The prototype will be ready within two weeks, giving us the possibility to demonstrate the functionality of ShopJoy both to potential customers and investors. We are planning to launch a very early version of the product late 2013, expanding rapidly during 2014.
We are planning to launch a very early version of the product late 2013, expanding rapidly during 2014.
Do you have any investors or is the company bootstrapped?
Our first step, developing the prototype and working with market and sales, are financed by the founders in addition to an innovation loan from Almi. We have a discussion with a couple of business angels regarding our next step, but we are also thinking about approaching Venture Capital-firms.
What is the next step for Shopjoy?
As mentioned, we are launching our prototype internally within two weeks. We have several meetings planned during October both with potential customers and investors, where we will demonstrate the prototype. The input from this meetings will give us guidance in the product development and sales and market in the future. We are in a very exciting period right now