We had an in-depth interview with Mr. Sergio Smirnov, the founder of the Russian-based start-up company “Seamayor.com”.
All registered users can comment and submit photos for all the POIs. In only one click you can add friends, follow their activities and track specific POI changes.Another outstanding feature is a marine trip planner. You can plan an itinerary for yachting or diving trip and share it with others. Along with having fun, you can get a lot of useful information for your trip. Such things as fuel consumption and trip timing will make your life easier and the captain feel happy.
Below, is the interview that we have conducted with Mr. Smirnov:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Seamayor.com” is all about?
Seamayor.com solves two main problems for marine traveler:
a. It shows a variety of places to visit all over the world and allows you to share it with friends.
b. It consolidates places into one adventure in one touch and makes clear and usable guides.
Seamayor.com helps to find a lot of cool places to visit with photos, contacts and descriptions, collects tips from other travelers helping you to make a right choice. With seamayor.com it is easy to add our personal POIs and mix them into a cool adventure. Trip info tool help you to build a useful trip guide. Just add your cruising speed, fuel consumption, choose your trip units and you’ll get full journey info, including mileage, timing, and total trip fuel.
2. What stage is “Seamayor.com” at?
3. What is “Seamayor.com” business model and how does it work?
We plan to combine several models: 1. User activity monetization with some extra features in Skipper pro version (web+mobile app), 2. Place owner side monetization with some extra features and promo actions for verified place owners, for example place page extra branding or Featured place AD.
We also thinking about Foursquare model, still thinking…FS financial results are actually poor at the moment.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
I met my friend and co-founder Max 10 years ago. He was my co-ed @ Moscow State University of International Relations. With our programmers Andrew and Tony I worked together on some web projects during my agency work.
I’m in charge of project leading, new features and team control. Max leads all legal and financial issues.
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?
It’s just unique =) Try to find a large POI’s base all over the world, itinerary planer and social features in one place and with user friendly interface.
6. What is your growth like? and what milestones has “Seamayor.com” achieved so far?
We are at the very beginning right now. Finishing some new features for v 1.0 and working on mobile app with checkins and full social features. Anyway, without AD, except small FB campaign for public beta launch we got about 3000+ users like/connect to our page, some of them became regular users and fans. Not bad, but far from 30+ millions potential users.
7. Who are your competitors?
Earthnc.com with only US coast and marinas.com with old fashioned design and UI and poor social features.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Main obstacles are lack of time and money. We got tons of new ideas, the main challenge is to prioritize them and find money to keep going with development.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
They don’t understand one thing: some young and daring team can come one day and take all their clients. Most of marine and around companies are still living in 20th century without understanding the power of technology.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
Because we are working hard every day, making our service better and better. And we are IT professionals who understand and love the sea. We plan to grow up 10+ million users within next 2-3 years and start monetizing our service.
11. If “Seamayor.com” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
We plan to expand into international charter/brokerage/management app but I think not within seamayor, maybe in some new parallel project.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “Seamayor.com” based on?
Just because we are sea maniacs =) actually it was nearly impossible to find friendly service to plan your aquatic adventure. It was the starting point. After we analyzed this market we understand that most players don’t use all tech resources and new features that already exists. Good chance to win for us.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
That yachting and sailing community is very cautious – you need to be very accurate with new features and new technologies.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
a. New server
b. App support
c. Community management
15. What’s the benefit for the user?
Information and loyalty.
16. How did customers and/or users find out about you?
Mostly from FB and some articles. We plan a campaign with iOS app launch.
17. Who are your current users? Who are your target users?
Mostly sailors and marine tourists. We plan to involve more scuba divers and fishing fans.
18. Where do new users come from and what makes new users try you?
Friends recommendation. They try it because they really need this service and of course it’s funky =)
19. What do your users say about your product and/or service?
Seamayor.com provides us with a very useful service to plan a perfect marine trip. First of all it helps to find a lot of cool places to visit with photos, contacts and descriptions. They are collecting tips from other travelers helping us to make a right choice. With seamayor.com it is easy to add our personal POIs and mix them into a cool adventure. Trip info tool is fabulous! Just add your cruising speed, fuel consumption, choose your trip units and you’ll get full journey info, including mileage, timing, and total trip fuel.
Check out new seamayor.com features: full screen map in places and adventures, ruler tool – now you can measure distance from one place to another, variate sailing time per day and get more accurate adventure time and overall fuel consumption.
There are so many location-based services and apps out there, but nothing global and useful for sailors and other sea dogs to make their trips easier and full of fun. Seamayor is the place to make friends with other marine adventurers, so it’s the best spot to find or share perfect sailing guide.
20. How are you going to scale?
Seamayor is currently Working on iOs and Android apps with checkins right now to make platform fully mobile and social. Also we plan to make a Skipper version for professionals with lot of useful features and give vitrified access to POIs owners.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers keep asking for?
Professional marine charts layers.
22. Are you going to internationalize?
23. How big do you think you can get?
30 million users (sailors, tourists, divers, fishing fans)
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?
Next year we plan to grow our team. We will be hiring some cool programmers and sales masters.
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?
We plan to contact some VCs next year, when first financial record will be achieved.
26. Finally, what advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Never stop reading, analyzing and thinking.