Removify was Nick Bell's startup itch that needed to be scratched
Written on the 4 July 2019 by David Simmons
Removify is helping businesses remove unwanted and fake online reviews and content with a 'no win, no fee' business model.
Nick Bell (pictured) could easily have been forgiven for taking a break from the business world following his $39 million sale of WME Group to Melbourne IT (ASX:MLB) in 2017.
But Bell couldn't keep himself away from what he loved and perhaps we are better off for it; we might have never had Bell's latest startup in our lives were he to gallivant around the Mediterranean to his heart's content.
"When I sold WME I could see that I was going to take a year off and just try to decompress and relax," says Bell.
"That lasted about three weeks."
Going straight back to work proved fruitful. Bell began to establish the now Melbourne IT-owned WME internationally, building agencies up in Hong Kong, Thailand, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and soon Panama and Vietnam.
But it is Bell's latest venture, built in conjunction with friend and business partner Andrew Whitford, that is really getting Bell excited.
Removify is the name of his new enterprise, and it is helping businesses remove unwanted and fake online reviews and content with a 'no win, no fee' business model.
Bell says he was inspired to establish Removify to complement his other business' operations as customers were constantly calling out for a service that could help scrub dodgy, defamatory content off the web.
A survey by True Local suggests a third of business owners have seen competitors leave fake news or negative reviews about their business or service online.
The process works by customers letting Bell's team know exactly what online they want removed. The team then gets to work putting together a submission to send to the publisher of the content (like Facebook, Google, Whirlpool, etc.) to put forward a case for its removal. From this point on the ball is in the hands of the publisher, but in some instances, it can take just two days for the Removify team to get the content offline.
"A lot of businesses and individuals were coming to us saying they were being affected by damaging content and they wanted it removed," says Bell.
"But as I tell everyone, we cannot remove everything, but we can help you present a case to the publisher. Customers will only pay if we are successful with the removal. It's a no risk service."
It isn't just false reviews and dodgy competitors trying to sabotage other businesses that Removify deals with, but revenge porn has quickly become a category of content that the team has moved into something to Bell's surprise.
"Revenge porn is quite common, very common actually," says Bell.
"We were actually surprised with how big the market is. We didn't realise the extent of the market, but it's actually massive."
The company is growing fast, so fast that Bell is already planning on the group's US and UK expansions just weeks after properly launching in Australia.
"The demand is there so we just need to make sure we keep up with it," says Bell.
"There's a lot going on in that space and if we don't jump on it now a lot of competition is going to come in, so we want to make sure that we take the market."
Business News Australia
Author: David Simmons