"Mobixpay revolutionizes the way we sell shop and save using our smartphones."
New York, New York (PRWEB) May 08, 2012
The Short Road to a Crowd Funding Campaign
Last November MobiXpay launched a bare-bones beta platform in Upper Manhattan to test merchant appetite for a real-time and free way to reach local consumer smartphones with promotions. MobiXpay quickly recruited 50 merchants who posted “loyalty” and “special” deals. The loyalty deals rewarded customers for their continued patronage. The special deals promoted limited offers to drive foot traffic. The merchants loved the platform. They created their own deals with their own terms and with no middle man to cut into profits. Great platform but all of the merchants clamored for more users.
In late February 2012 MobiXpay made the App free to users. Previously it carried a $19.99/year price tag. In weeks MobiXpay saw 100 downloads between its iPhone and Android Apps. Then consumer feedback began to roll in. This feedback encouraged a new product strategy. In a nutshell users wanted one shopping “utility” for their smartphones to help them save when they shopped. Fast forward to the crowd funding campaign.
MobiXpay launches its crowd funding campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/mobixpay. The primary goal of the campaign is to fund the additional functionality and redesign of the App that users asked for. If the funding target is met then MobiXpay releases a redesigned App this fall. If they exceed their funding target, MobiXpay includes additional “nice to have” functionality into the App (like instant messaging when a local seller posts an item that appears on a user’s wish list). In short, the funding allows MobiXpay to deliver an enhanced product that “revolutionizes the way we sell shop and save using our smartphones”.
The MobiXpay campaign is also set to test some additional assumptions regarding the efficacy of crowd funding to reach complementary goals. MobiXpay’s added goals are to use crowd funding to satisfy its crowd adoption, crowd pre-selling, and crowd staffing objectives.
A key two-fold tenet of the MobiXpay campaign is to encourage potential donors to download the App and to encourage them to get their local merchants to register and offer promotions on the platform. Cynthia Hickman, the Founder/CEO says, “first and foremost MobiXpay is a movement. It is the rare win-win where merchants drive their promotions (for free) and consumers save (using a free App). Everyone benefits from greater merchant and consumer participation”.
A “perk” of the MobiXpay campaign is for donors to contribute $75 to become mob(x)stars. This perk addresses a key need at MobiXpay to get the word out among local merchants and, where needed, to provide businesses with in-person demos of both the App and the self-service website.
But how is this donation a “perk”? MobiXpay hopes industrious mob(x)stars will leverage this opportunity to earn a fee when successfully recruiting businesses onto the platform. Mob(x)stars can also increase their local value by blogging and leveraging social and traditional media to drive consumer awareness and adoption of the MobiXpay App. Merchants are willing to pay to reach a large number of local consumers and MobiXpay will provide mob(x)stars with access to information and tools to help them create this local presence. Cynthia Hickman adds, “There are not many opportunities where an enterprising individual can make money today in a way that benefits local businesses, neighbors and their overall community.”
Finally, the MobiXpay campaign tests the efficacy of crowd funding with the pre-selling of an intangible. A clear precedent has been set for using crowd-funding to sell physical items. Other crowd funding sites embrace the industrial engineer along with the aspiring artist. Donors place themselves in line to collect a watch, comic book, see a film, etc. With the MobiXpay campaign, however, donors receive an intangible: credits to be used to be the first to sell items on the revised App. The significant pre-sell of these credits will ensure a wide range of listings are available with the re-launch. This, in turn, is designed to provide a critical mass of private deals combined with merchant offers, group coupons and online deals worthy of a one-stop shopping utility for smartphones.
Although not explicitly testing the coming potential of crowd investing, the MobiXpay campaign appears to have this base covered too. With a $1000 perk that grants a donor entry to an exclusive launch-party in New York City, the campaign lays the groundwork for identifying potential future investors and leveraging a key provision of the JOBS Act. Estimated to begin in January 2013, start-ups like MobiXpay will be able to solicit funds directly from non-accredited investors in exchange for equity.
MobiXpay is a great example of a scrappy entrepreneurial venture looking to effectively harness the potential of the “crowd”. Do visit the MobiXpay Indiegogo campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/mobixpay . Make a contribution. Join the movement. Become a mob(x)star!
About Mobixpay, Inc.
Mobixpay, Inc. was launched last fall with its beta product in Upper Manhattan, NYC. Cynthia Hickman, Mobixpay’s CEO and Founder, says “we are on our way to blanketing our users with deals - galore –that can be accessed with unparalleled convenience through their smartphones.”