Meet the Entrepreneur: Firm2Find
With a company value of €1.7 million, over 500.000 app users and a new product ready for production, Firm2Find are working towards "a world without lost people, pets and belongings."
Co-founder Miguel Delcour explains why he ditched his successful consultancy company for Firm2Find, and why their new product, Tool2Find, is so useful in a world with ageing populations and declining social security.
How did you become an entrepreneur, and why?
It all goes back to when I met my co-founder Jacco van Mierlo on a government-subsidised innovation project. While working together on this project we became interested in GPS tracking and did some basic research around the technology and its potential uses. What we found was quite surprising, and suggested there was a genuine market need for a tool that enabled people to easily find other people. For example, we learnt that 70 children are lost on beaches in the Netherlands every day.
As parents ourselves, it was only natural that we began applying this to our own lives. We imagined losing our children at Efteling, the largest theme park in the Netherlands, and then attempting to find them again - an impossible task without GPS. That's what persuaded me to leave the successful consulting company I was running at the time and start Firm2Find with Jacco. We did some more research into the market opportunity, and saw huge potential for personal GPS tracking on a global scale. That's when we knew we were on to something.
What kind of entrepreneur are you?
As you might expect from a former business consultant, I'm extremely business-oriented. I focus my energy on the financial, administrative and management aspects of entrepreneurship. That's why myself and Jacco make a good team. He brings the innovation and creativity, while I ensure we always have a strong business foundation. My wife joined us a couple of years ago, which gave us a massive boost. She's bilingual (Dutch and Chinese) and has a solid network in China which we used to develop our app, App2Find, while keeping costs low. We also have a Dutch-Brazilian CTO, Daniël Brito, and a full-time technical employee.
In a few sentences, introduce your company
The corporate vision of Firm2Find is a world without lost people, pets and belongings. We design and manufacture cutting-edge location-based services which enable users to manage and track people, vehicles and assets. Our accurate and easy-to-use GPS tracking solutions improve time management and response times for businesses, while offering security and peace of mind to parents and those with elderly relatives.
Describe the past, present and future of your company
Firm2Find was founded a few years ago, and we have already successfully launched an app, App2Find, which currently has 500,000 users worldwide and averages between 500 and 1000 downloads per day. However, since the app works from smartphone to smartphone, we set out to build a simple tool that could be used by young children. That's where the idea behind Tool2Find came from. As a free app with no revenue model, App2Find is essentially a marketing tool for Tool2Find, a small and user-friendly GPS tracker that we have just finished developing and now want to produce and bring to market.
Tool2Find was originally intended for children, but we're confident it has a much greater market potential. It can be used by businesses to constantly track their assets and vehicles, pet owners and those with elderly relatives. In fact, we find the elderly market the most interesting at the moment. In the Netherlands, for example, the government has recently introduced legislation encouraging elderly people to stay at home rather than relocate to a nursing home. In a wider sense, ageing populations and declining social security across Europe and beyond are leading to more and more elderly people being left at home alone without a support network. We see a growing need for a tool that enables family members to be confident about the whereabouts and safety of their older relatives when they're not around.
App2Find works all over the world and is available in 9 languages. Tool2Find works in 190 countries. This makes us highly confident in the scalability of our company as a whole. In fact, we have already secured a partner who is willing and able to run our operations in Germany. Although the Netherlands is a great launchpad for Firm2Find, the company's future definitely lies in the global market.
What is the unique value of the products/services you offer?
The main difference between us and our competitors - Kidswatcher, for example (who ran a successful crowdfunding campaign on Symbid last year) - is the multifunctional nature of our products and services. They are not limited to a particular target customer group, such as parents of children or children themselves, but can literally be used by anyone wishing to track and manage anything.
In terms of our investment proposition, we have a proven track record with App2Find and have already finished developing Tool2Find. As it's now ready for production, we expect a quick return on investment for investors. The majority of crowdfunding campaigns begin pre-development, which makes this a special opportunity.
What is the main goal of your equity crowdfunding campaign?
We developed everything internally, and now we need funding to start production. It's that simple. We're almost ready to hit the market.
What have you learnt from your equity crowdfunding campaign so far?
We did a lot of research into crowdfunding before we began our campaign. We even ran a campaign on Indiegogo as a form of advanced selling before we developed our product. This taught us that the bigger platforms are almost too big. You can be in the spotlight for an hour or so, and then you just disappear: there were around 50 new campaigns from companies in our sector every day! This makes it really difficult to build the momentum of your crowdfunding campaign with steady, regular investment.
Because of our previous experience with crowdfunding, I had a good idea of what to expect from our Symbid campaign in terms of generating interest. In fact, I've recently been asked to advise another entrepreneur on their equity crowdfunding campaign.
The Symbid network seemed generally open to investing and not overly focused on financial return. Our experience certainly shows that Symbid investors are mainly in it to help the entrepreneur rather than making money, which is seen as a nice plus. We like that mentality because we want our investors to be genuinely involved in our company, and for the right reasons. Of course, with an expected ROI of 303% we want investors to be aware of the financial incentive too.
Also, we believe that potential investors find it easier to trust a platform like Symbid because of their proven track record, solid processes and checks and balances. We found trust to be an issue on Indiegogo, for example, because many of our potential backers were influenced by negative experiences in the past.
In general, equity crowdfunding makes it easier to attract smaller investments because there's no need for a notary and the extensive legal fees that come with offline investing.
Give 3 key reasons to invest in your company
Scalability and global opportunities – huge market across multiple countries
Quick return as Tool2Find is developed and ready to enter production - we've estimated ROI at 303%
Multifunctional use of the product - large potential customer base
Firm2Find are crowdfunding now on Symbid, view their full pitch and invest here.
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