A Sydney entrepreneur is close to a multi-million dollar capital raising for a start-up that was conceived, attracted big name clients such as Ralph Lauren and Sportsgirl and launched all in less than a year.
BuyReply officially launched today ahead of a planned expansion to the US, where several investors are interested in closing a deal “within 60 days”, according to founder Brad Lindenberg.
The launch marks a rapid rise for BuyReply, which was only conceived as an idea by Sydney-based online entrepreneur Lindenberg, who blogs for StartupSmart, in October last year.
Lindenberg says that the business aims to be the “PayPal of the offline world”. It provides a technology platform which enables consumers to make instant purchases via traditional media ads.
Adverts in, for example, TV or magazines feature a customisable code handled by BuyReply. Consumers can instantly buy the product advertised by sending a text message, Tweet or email.
Lindenberg says that the offering is an improvement on current QR code offerings and can be used by clients to generate metrics by using different codes for different advertising mediums.
“It’s a game changer because it allows any offline medium to sell online, instantly,” he says. “If you buy via an app, that takes education to download it, but we’re just using email, which everyone is used to using.”
“This is what QR codes should’ve been. Merchants see the value in it because they are getting an instant transaction from their marketing, which they spend millions on. It’s a direct sale, so brands that go through stores such as David Jones aren’t losing any of their margin.”
Lindenberg funded the business through the sale of his last venture, LindGolf. With a team of four developers, he has created a business that has managed to secure clients including Oroton, Sportsgirl, Ralph Lauren, Guess, Marie Claire Magazine and the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Sydney.
The entrepreneur hopes to shift the business to the US after tying up a seven-figure investment deal, with several Silicon Valley figures close to taking a stake.
“I’m confident we’ll get the money within the next 60 days,” he says. “The feedback has been that this is a unique idea in a potentially very large market of offline to online commerce.”
“We want to move to the US, expand our engineer force and build sales teams in the US, Europe and Australia. We’ve worked hard to execute the idea this quickly. It’s helped that I’ve done the consumer internet thing before.”
“We’ve worked around the clock for eight months. The thing is, with transactional businesses, you need more than a minimum viable product – you need to get it right from start to finish.”
Lindenberg says he aims to have 500,000 customers using the system within the next year. BuyReply will take a cut of between 3-6% for each transaction.