Who doesn’t want free Wi-Fi? A Greek start-up took that concept to connect small business and their guests. Marissa Tejada tells us about Collectifi.
Greek Start-up Collectifi: helping businesses get the edge
In the fast-growing age of the Internet, Collectifi Founder Savas Diakosavas realized business that can offer strong, reliable Wi-Fi service for their visitors can have an edge over their competition.
“Instead of people relying in spotty public hotspot locations, we thought we could empower small businesses to provide the Wi-Fi and at the same time build a loyal customer database.”
That’s how Athens-based Collectifi was born. Completely funded by Savas and his business partners, the small business has grown to be a much-needed service for Greek businesses.
“It’s a blessing to have a useful tool and product that people want. The most frustrating part is not being able to give it to more people faster.”
For two years now, this Greek start-up helps area business optimize their Wi-Fi reach. When someone visits a restaurant, shop or office, that person can check their smart phone to get connect to Wi-Fi and get online. Collectifi’s customized login screen pops up asking for an e-mail to authorize free and strong Wi-Fi. As a result, the business easily begins to grow an e-mail list, which is a proven marketing tool, to help inform visitors and customers of news updates or specials in the future.
“Through Collectifi, front-end advertising and data collection can now be controlled by a small business which puts amazing power and savings in the hands of small business and not big corporations. Everything is more personalized this way.”
Collectifi launched right after the capital controls hit Greece in July 2105. Since then, Savas saids the economic crisis in Greece has led to dips in sales and late bill payments. The positive thing, he says, is that Collectifi continues to sell their product.
“We are happy about this kind of success. We only wish that the market was better for everyone because there are so many great start-ups and businesses here in Greece. People here have fantastic ideas.”
To keep competitive rates in the Greek climate, Savas said they rely on volume sales.
“Without large investment, only cashflow and minor support, I think the hardest part has been growing to this point our client subscriptions are finally covering the overall business costs.”
At first, marketing the product was tough because offering free Wi-Fi to grow an email or client database was unheard of. Savas explained that clients end up understanding it and when they invest — they reap the benefits of the results. He added that today, a majority of potential clients have already become familiar with Wi-Fi login systems, which makes his job a bit easier.
Hundreds of businesses utilize Collectifi software including bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants, garages, libraries, and medical offices.
“We have truly wonderful customers and we know we’re doing something right because year to year we lose less than one percent of clients through cancellations. We can say with all enthusiasm that people love what we do and love how our system works.”
Future of Collectifi
Looking ahead, Savas plans to expand Collectifi services to at least 10 more cities in Greece and then reach out their services to other European countries. But, in his view, Collectifi has reached success already.
“It doesn’t matter if we are serving just one or 10,000 customers. If we are doing it right and with passion and enthusiasm then we are successful. We are grateful for this kind of success so far.”