Adir Shiffman, the entrepreneur who sold his venture HelpMeChoose.com.au to Mortgage Choice last year, has returned to the start-up market with the launch of a new cash back shopping portal.
Shiffman’s latest venture, StartHere.com.au, has racked up some impressive numbers already, despite only officially launching on Monday.
The site has 10,000 signed-up members, with $4 million sales completed already. More than 900 online stores are selling their products through the portal, including Apple, Dell, Vodafone and Dick Smith.
The site works by allowing members to sign up for free. They then buy products via StartHere.com.au, receiving a partial rebate, depending on their membership level.
StartHere.com.au charges retailers to have a presence on the portal, with Shiffman saying that customers are passed on “up to 90%” of this amount, per transaction.
Shiffman says he first came up with the idea in 2001, working with Steve Ford, who built the site’s technology, to create the business.
Last year, Shiffman, a doctor by trade, made headlines for selling his previous start-up HelpMeChoose.com.au to Mortgage Choice for an undisclosed amount.
“I’d seen crude versions of this kind of thing in the UK and I thought it would be an interesting challenge,” Shiffman tells StartupSmart.
“The technical challenge wasn’t easy. It couldn’t be done back then, but the market has moved on a lot in the last 10 years.”
“We are probably 1% of where we need to be in terms of online retail in Australia. StartHere can provide a good cost per acquisition for businesses. We have loyal members who may not have thought of going to these brands. The challenge now is to give them exclusive deals.”
Shiffman says that he was looking to build the membership to one million people, saying: “The good thing about this business is that it would baffle me why anyone would not want to join up. They’d be crazy not to. I haven’t spent $1 on marketing and we’ve got 10,000 subscribers.”
“We will probably look to raise funding next year. At the moment, I have funded it myself. When I sold HelpMeChoose on a Friday, I went to the beach and relaxed on the Monday and by Tuesday I was already over the retirement lifestyle. Entrepreneurship is in your blood.”
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