Sydney's 'Tinder for brands' poised to dominate overseas
Written on the 31 August 2018 by David Simmons
In the three and a half years since Jessica Ruhfus founded Collabosaurus her disruptive platform has attracted a considerable amount of attention.
Lovingly dubbed as 'Tinder for brands', Collabosaurus has dramatically changed the role of marketing experts in Australia.
The platform, which works by matching up complementary brands together to work on collaborative projects, allegedly can do what a marketing expert takes 33 hours to do in just an hour and 15 minutes.
This type of disruption is unprecedented, and is quickly altering the role of marketing experts, and empowering small businesses to play in the big leagues.
Before founding Collabosaurus, Ruhfus was saw first-hand the barriers small and big businesses alike ran into when looking to collaborate with other brands.
As a fashion and lifestyle PR agent, Ruhfus says her job was bogged down in lengthy periods of cold pitching and unanswered emails.
"It was always such a hassle putting together goodie bag inclusions and catering partners to create an incredible experience at an event," says Ruhfus.
"We used to be on such a limited budget, and it was so frustrating to pull together, and so time consuming."
Jessica Ruhfus founder of Collabosaurus
Her next role, as an educator teaching small businesses and startups how to DIY their own marketing, showed her first hand how difficult it can be for small businesses to reach out for collaborations.
"I found that a lot of the small businesses weren't actively pursuing marketing and partnership collaborations because they had a huge lack of confidence about pitching, who to pitch to, and how to come up with a creative idea," says Ruhfus.
"So I saw it from both sides, and Tinder was just starting to become popular, so I thought it would be perfect to have a Tinder style platform for businesses to connect on."
There are plenty of success stories where larger companies have reached out to smaller Australian businesses on the simple, seamless platform.
For example, Topshop and The Dessert Parlour teamed up for an event where The Dessert Parlour provided custom doughnuts for a massive student event; giving The Dessert Parlour access to a new market, and ensuring Topshop's catering was top notch. And these two brands are just two of 4,500 that are currently active on the site.
That's not to say everything has been smooth sailing for Ruhfus and Collabosaurus.
"We had a lot of press at the beginning, and I found the interest was very much there, but the product wasn't right at the start," says Ruhfus.
"It started as a platform purely for publicists because that's where my experience was and I saw a huge need but it wasn't really translating to the market demographic of startups and small businesses."
"We redesigned the website and at that point we were able to quadruple our numbers in a week."
The next step for Collabosaurus is expansion. As an online play, with plenty of potential, Ruhfus hopes the platform will take off in the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand all sectors that organically have attracted some attention already.
"If you want to grow your customer base in LA traditionally you would have to do a tonne of research, cold pitching, following up and potentially going over the to try and network and get connections down pat," says Ruhfus.
"Whereas with Collabosaurus you'd be able to build great brand collaborations and have that follow on effect of networking anyway in those areas in just about 24 minutes."
Business News Australia
Author: David Simmons