While running a successful carbon credit trading business while at university, Jason Scott and Jon Rout realised the potential of cashing in on the power word of mouth has on sales.
After teaming up with technical chief Chris Samios, the trio launched Bundl last month. The business works by giving consumers deals on utilities such as electricity and gas, providing them with cash rewards if they share the deal with others.
Scott tells StartupSmart why he thinks the marketplace needs a Bundl.
Can you explain a bit about your backgrounds?
Jon and I met on the first day of university and started our previous business venture, a direct sales and carbon credit trading company, whilst in our last year of university.
That company went quite well, with our door-to-door sales program creating over $3.5 million worth of carbon credits in 18 months.
In late 2010, the government significantly altered the carbon trading scheme we operated under and it became clear that continuing to work in the green space would be very risky.
We decided the time had come to transition the business into something more sustainable, whilst still making use of our relationships with electricity retailers.
The idea for Bundl was born, we fleshed out some initial concepts and designs and Chris, our lead developer joined the team shortly after.
What gave you the idea for Bundl?
In our previous business selling door-to-door, we saw firsthand how significant positive word of mouth recommendation from a neighbour or friend could be for future sales.
This insight became the core of the original Bundl offer, and we saw a significant opportunity as people continue to move their offline relationships online to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
The remainder of our business model; cash rewards, a choice of suppliers for every service, and being able to apply for all your services with one simple form, is derived from our own frustrations as consumers.
As young guys in Sydney, we moved home on average once every year and spent countless hours answering the same application questions over and over again.
We first dealt with the electricity company, followed by the gas retailer, before doing it all again to get broadband internet and phone set up.
It just seemed like an incredible waste of time and we knew there had to be a better way, so we built something we would use.
What made you decide there was a gap in the market for this?
Most people don’t go to a baker, butcher and greengrocer anymore; they opt for the convenience of a supermarket instead.
Yet, when it comes to gas, electricity, internet, mobile and insurance, you are required to deal with all of these suppliers separately.
We saw a big gap in the market for a service that brought all the key services from a range of suppliers together in one easy place and could help save customers both time and money.
Secondly, energy and phone products have traditionally been marketed through door-to-door direct selling.
This channel is very expensive and in decline as people get sick of companies knocking on their front door or calling during dinner, forcing suppliers to branch out into other channels, such as online.