Finder.com.au is the latest project of StartupSmart mentor and online entrepreneur Fred Schebesta, who also founded credit card comparison website CreditCardFinder.com.au.
The site offers visitors easy access to resources that help them understand various financial products in the Australian market.
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In addition to detailed and customisable comparison tables, Finder offers product reviews, industry news, tips and advice for choosing the most suitable product.
Schebesta talks to StartupSmart about the benefits of starting up the second time around.
When was Finder.com.au founded and who are the founders?
It was founded in October 2009 by Frank Restuccia and myself – the same directors as our previous agency that was acquired in 2007.
What prompted you to launch Finder? What niche did you identify?
We started up Finder as we were basically sick of marketing our clients’ websites and wanted to market our own.
Great marketing ideas just got shut down and we wanted to give consumers an alternative way to easily get the information they needed when making a comparison.
We have used a lot of the innovative marketing strategies to promote our business online, although we still have a lot of work to do to build its awareness.
How did you fund the business?
Hive Empire was a business which actually started with debt from our previous agency. It borrowed money from the other company to fund start-up costs.
Although these investments didn’t return a profit, it was only after we focused heavily on CreditCardFinder.com.au for two years in 2009 and 2010 that we could pay back the debt, and have been cashflow positive and funded ever since.
How many staff do you have?
We have 18 staff in our Sydney office. I am super proud of our young team – our oldest crew member is 31 and our youngest is 20 years old.
How do you promote the business?
Public relations, search engine marketing, online advertising, word of mouth, email marketing and social media.
We make great websites that people want to come back to – between 20-30% of visitors return to our sites.