My Startup: Wi5
Wi5 enables customers to order and pay at bars and restaurants without having to go through the tedious process of downloading an app.
Wi5’s order and pay interface is designed with mobile in mind. The owner believes that it allows customers to easily discover, order and pay in record time, reducing queuing times and increasing throughput, all within an extremely secure environment.
Their clients already include BMW, Renault, Capital One and Telefonica.
Founder: Prask Sutton
Founded: December 2016
We spoke to Prask to find out more about his startup...
Why did you start Wi5?
Working in interaction design, I witnessed a lot of brands pouring resources into apps that nobody was downloading and saw a way to get people engaging with brands on their phones in a much more practical way.
Tell us more about the product?
Wi5 is all about getting more people who are visiting restaurants and coffee shops to order and pay on their phones; skipping queues and saving time. The big difference is you don’t need to download an app to do it. By piggybacking the existing consumer behaviour of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots, we’re able to circumvent the usual barriers to entry. And because they’re using their own devices, Wi5 can personalise each customer’s experience.
Where’s the business at right now?
We recently closed an £8m seed round and are rolling out to various merchants in the UK and mainland Europe, whilst making inroads to wider markets, including the US. We’re also building up our IP portfolio. The most exciting advancements are around recent hires — we’re growing a roster of top talent that’s propelling the business forward in leaps and bounds!
What are your aims for the next year?
Of course, we’ve got ambitious targets with respect to revenue and scaling; working towards specific goals with key merchants, but to me, success over the next 12 months will be measured by the impact of our work, validating that we’re building technology that really matters.
What’s been the hardest thing about getting Wi5 off the ground?
Working with corporates and enterprise brands from the off has always been a challenge as however willing, many of them aren’t configured to collaborate with startups.
Why should more people be using or investing in Wi5?
Because who doesn’t want that added convenience? Who doesn’t want to save time whilst also having a better customer experience? Personally, I’m not a fan of waiting in line; it sucks to be ‘next’. Not to be too Nobody-puts-Baby-in-the-corner about it, but one of the greatest things about Wi5 is that it puts everyone to the front of the queue.
How much will it cost customers to use?
End users? Not a penny. As for why, because life should be easier. You shouldn’t have to stand in line to order a burger and fries or get up from your seat to get another flat white. There are more interesting things to focus on.