Sales calls, PPI, an overzealous ex. Ever wish you could avoid them all without having to compromise your mobile number? Flipper could be the answer to your problems. A mobile app that allows you to have more than one mobile number on the same device. We spoke to Josh Aspess and George Lineker, founders of Flipper, to find out where the idea originated from, their growth plans and what they are looking for from an investment perspective.
Please can you give us an overview of Flipper and how the idea originated?
Flipper enables users to download additional mobile numbers onto their existing handset via an app, that work in the same way their existing number does. We eradicate the need for two phones or SIM cards, and save the user time and money.
Our users are generally people that want an extra layer of privacy. For example, if you use your private number for work purposes, your accessible all hours of the day. Flipper allows you to switch your new number on and off as you wish, but still be contactable to friends and family on your private number.
The app was inspired by an ex of mine who was stalked after meeting a guy online. She was harassed with calls and messages over a long period, and although she continued to block each number he used to contact her, it was a thankless task. She couldn’t delete the number because she was self-employed and relied on it for work.
The more we considered the idea of disposable mobile numbers, the more we saw that there were already very successful case studies in the US and Canada, but none at the time in the UK.
What are your personal backgrounds?
George and I have relatively diverse backgrounds. I headed up the football division of a sports agency, and George co-founded music start up, GetSung prior to co-founding Flipper.
Can you tell us about the company’s journey to date?
The idea originated as far back as 2012. After speaking to friends and family we felt the concept had huge potential but we were still extremely raw in terms of tech and understanding the industry. Our first port of call was to appoint a business adviser in Syd Lawrence from wemakeawesomesh.it. Under his tutelage we then appointed a CTO in Criss Moldovan. As we were initially bootstrapping the project, an expensive one, we exchanged vested equity for both positions.
Once the team was in place we started the journey of building Flipper which resulted in the iOS version launching in June of this year, with the android version due for release in December 2017. During this time we managed to successfully raise a pre-seed round of funding that enabled the business to develop its infrastructure and engage in some early marketing & PR.
How have you monetised?
The app is monetised in two ways. We offer the user a 1/3/6 or 12 month subscription, the cost of which ranges from £1.99/month to £3.99/month, and it includes free credit used for calling and messaging.
Should the user exceed their free credit, they are then able to buy further credit via an in-app store.
What are your growth plans, and how scalable is the company? And, is this growth dependent on further funding?
We intend to be pretty aggressive in the next 12-18 months with our growth. A mixture of developing the current offering, along with pushing our B2B offering and investing in some considered marketing ploys should hopefully see us start to win a land grab of sorts in the UK. The company we have seen is extremely scalable. Current activity has made little impact on the performance of our infrastructure, and we feel we could grow to a 100 times our current size before we’d have to expand in certain areas.
Is this growth dependent on further funding?
The speed of the growth is naturally dependent on funding. Our intention it to raise again in the coming months via the SEIS and EIS. We’ve been fortunate to have been approached by a few angels since we started but its important we get the right profile of investor.
On the first round of funding we managed to secure George’s father Gary which gave us a great PR angle, especially on social media. We would ideally like one, or a combination of a few angels, that could offer the company something different. We’re not requiring daily contact but an investor with a new skill set and a history of scaling businesses would be great.