We had an interesting chat with Mr. “Graham Carrick”, CEO at the Dublin – Ireland based start-up “RunLastMan”
Below is the interview we conducted with him:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
RunLastMan.com is a fully licensed sports betting platform empowering
people to raise funds for a club or charity through live sports prediction
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
We launched in Sep 2013 in beta before a full Irish launch in
November with our favourite clients. After our Irish launch came our UK launch in
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
The company makes money by charging a 10% fee on all funds taken in
through running competitions hosted on our site. Additionally we offer white label
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
The founders are friends separately since childhood with Graham being the company’s
founder and CEO & Ronan being the COO. Graham’s looks after the day to day running
of the company with Ronan running the sales.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your
product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique
about you and what’s new about what you make?
Our business model is highly unique in that we are a hybrid of a sports betting company and a
crowdfunding platform. Additionally we’re exploring partnerships with several large
media organizations in the UK and Ireland seeking to engage their online readership.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
So far we have had over 17,500 paid players on our site since
Nov 2013 and over €195,000 in transactions. Our customer base has grown from 75
clubs in June to over 450 today.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over
As Fundraising is core to the company’s being,
competitors include pen, paper and excel and traditional fundraisers such as table
quizzes and poker nights.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
As a startup with a gaming element we are excluded from all state funding, which has
created significant challenges in securing early stage investment.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
Outsiders tend to massively underestimate the amount of red tape
involved in growing a gaming related startup with each country having different
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We’re succeeding as we have
transformed a traditional offline fundraiser into a viral and zero risk fundraiser
that anyone can run in aid of their local club or charity. All our games are run
with the world’s largest sports events.
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand
We’re currently exploring white labelled versions of
our games for online media companies. Other potential areas we’re expanding into
include offering a white labelled fundraising platform for major charities to tap
into a permanently male donor pool.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
Our idea is based on solving a real world problem by digitizing and
automating the entire process of running a “Last Man Standing” game. Anyone who
raises funds, be it for a club or charity, seeks a year round product offering
recurring revenue, which is what we provide.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
We’ve learned that securing a winning all rounded team at the very start is
absolutely gold dust in succeeding as a startup. Not sounding too cliche but it’s
also vital to test your product in a small market first before jumping into the deep
end were costs sky rocket.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Six months from now our biggest problem will be managing growth, as has
been for the previous six before. RunLastMan.com provides people with a unique year
round fundraising solution by providing a host of online sports prediction
competitions based on the world’s largest sporting events. As there’s no upfront
costs to setting up an online fundraiser there is zero risk to the club or charity
with RunLastMan managing all licensing, communication and payments for the
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
RLM generates revenue by taking a 10% stake in the total tournament pot. The remaining pot raised
is split between the club/charity the funds are being raised for and the winner(s).
Further revenue streams are being realized from a white label enterprise product,
which is being offered to online media companies and kit manufacturers. Additional
revenue channels are currently being explored with large media companies.
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
The key market need we are currently exploiting is that traditional fundraising for
clubs and charities is very difficult:
a.) the vast majority of fundraisers are still purely offline affairs,
b.) entrants are not incentivized to enter traditional online fundraisers,
c.) there is no transparency in existing fundraisers, and
d.) existing fundraisers exist in isolation with no engagement or sense of community.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
We acquire customers through a mix of email marketing,
Google AdWords, direct sales and an extensive SEO and content marketing
strategy. Link selling is our key scaling focus where once we obtain a foothold in a
region we target fellow grassroots clubs in that league or area.
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try
you? : New customers see other local clubs raising funds and
promoting competitions on Facebook and Twitter before deciding to run their own on
our site. Word of mouth is a major factor in clubs running second and third
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
Easiest fundraiser you’ll ever run, fun, automated and hassle free
fundraiser. Currently 35% of our customers run repeat fundraisers on the site with
our for 2015 being getting to 50,000 customers.
20. How are you going to scale? : We’re scaling through a mix
of a targeted SEO campaign, Adwords as well as direct selling formula. Viral
marketing is absolutely core to our growth with clubs and charities connecting their
social streams, which auto posts regular updates every week.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking
for? : Expanding our games to include more leagues and sports
is the core request we get on a day to day basis. Also a mobile app is currently in
the design phase, which will be launching in August with the new English Premier
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand
your start-up’s operations accordingly?
Our aim from day one
was to grow internationally and as such we have built the site to cater for multiple
currencies and languages. Starting off in a small market such as Ireland (only 4.5m)
enabled us to fine tune the product before launching into the UK.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your
goals? : We have a product with major global appeal and and we
intend to add more and more sports to grow into other markets such as Australia and
the United States (were gambling is legal of course).
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you
currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
Yes we’ve hired our first sales rep and plan to hire another three in
2015. Anyone interested in working in our Dublin office can email
firstname.lastname@example.org or at 353868908424.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals
(VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the
first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
Yes all of the above. We’re talking to major media organizations
about partnering with a white label solution for their readers and growing their
advertising spend. We’re also in discussions with several large charity brands.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Launch your product as soon as you get the idea and there being zero shame in failing fast.
The earlier your product is launched the earlier the feedback loop begins, which
leads to faster learning and a better product.