Popertee: Providing Brands With “More Than Just The Space”

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Lucinda Kelly, CEO of online marketplace Popertee, talks about providing brands with physical space to get in touch with customers and learn more about their behaviour. How it works:

Describe Popertee in 50 or less words.

Popertee is an online marketplace that connects brands directly with vacant spaces allowing them to have a physical presence quickly and cost effectively. Popertee also works with a marketplace of partners that assist in marketing, fitout, insurance and staffing making it quicker than ever to have a presence for your brand.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

I always knew I would have my own business, there was never going to be another path for me. It was about timing – learning from the corporate world was always important to me before going out on my own. I can’t tell you why I wanted to be an entrepreneur, it’s just in me! Maybe it’s genetic?! My Dad was involved in retail and commercial property and was always entrepreneurial too.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

On the phone in the car on the way to the office (and What’sApp while driving tut tut I know!), stop for coffee, get to office, coffee, emails, on average 3 meetings per day, one to ones with team on progress, daily stand up for product development and sales, coffee, check in with property and marketing contacts (email or phone), coffee, planning/strategy check in, drive home, ride pony, play with dogs, sleep.

In 7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

60% of global brands use physical spaces as a key part of their marketing spend to better connect with their customers and learn more about their behaviours. Popertee drove this change and allowed brands for the first time ever to book high footfall, city centre retail spaces to better connect with their customers. Global agencies reference Popertee as a game changer in the marketing landscape where they use the platform to measure their campaigns and track customer engagement through physical spaces.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We have milestones set out for the year across sales, marketing, product development, operations, etc. We have a 3 year plan set out and all the team have visibility. We are all in this together, the vision is clear and we’re all aligned on where we want to be and how we want to get there. Of course things change but broadly this helps us to stay on track.

Already pivoted? Did customers use Popertee like you imagined it in the beginning?

We started off as the “Airbnb for pop-ups” but we’ve adjusted this based on feedback and are now updating our brand where we’re positioning ourselves as “more than just the space”. The feedback was that many of the agencies are looking for supporting services as part of the product offering – marketing, fitout, etc. So we not only find the brand the perfect space but we assist in getting th full end to end pop up campaign live quickly and cost effectively.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We got onto the NDRC Launchpad accelerator which got us up and running with a little cash. We then received €50K from Enterprise Ireland as part of the Competitive Start Fund. And now we’re about to start a seed round. So financed!

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

I think what’s really helped us is a genuinely sound, reliable, active Advisory Board. They help us to keep on track and as all are experienced, it has been really brought home to us about how important getting paying customers is early more than anything else. You could go off piste quite quickly and win an award and think you’re great. They bring us back to base and ensure we keep moving forward and ensuring we have a great product/market fit. In my eyes, validation never stops. Markets change, competitors change and we need to be always on.

What do you look for in team members?

Honesty, passion, and a great culture fit. Also we like fun people in here. We’re in this together but want to have fun whilst we do it. That’s really important. We have a magician and think we could even put a boyband together with the amount of interns that play instruments!

Why would a talent join your team?

They love the vision for the business, the energy and know that we’re genuine when it comes to minding them for their future.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

Probably seeing one of our first customers, House of Peroni, come to life in Dublin and being proud that we matched the marketing agency with this unique space. It got great media attraction and made the team really proud.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Get a great mentor. Sit back, have a cup of tea and think about a couple of your biggest challenges. This will help you focus on who the right fit should/could be for this person.



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