Brapper – Facebook & E-bay for motorcyclists. This Bikers App combines Geo-location technologies and e-commerce.
Brapper , as they say is the #1 Social Network and B2B2C platform for Motorcyclists. Founded by Aliaksandr Shyshuk and Alexsander Sergeyev.
Aliaksandr created this app majorly with an idea of connecting motorcyclists so that they will be able to invite each other for rides.
“Brapper” helps motorcyclists expand the circle of like-minded people and meet more often offline.
It also has a system that solves the problem of interaction for providers of motorcycle services and motorcyclists, through tag on the global map.
This is an interesting concept, where did you get this idea of leveraging the motorcyclists community?
The idea of creating a mobile application did not appear immediately. The story began in 2015. I met my cofounder while riding a motorcycle. Initially it was a small group of bikers, who, like many other groups, met on weekends and rode through the streets of Dubai.
We then decided to create a website-forum through which it was possible to follow upcoming events and ask other motorcyclists for some advice. The platform had topics to discuss, videos about the lifestyle of motorcycle community in the UAE and made a service of our motorcycles at night on the parking lot, and showed it to our subscribers on the channel.
It was our hobby to which we devoted practically all our time. Professional skills were enough to further develop the idea but the fact that everyone in today’s world have smartphones and our website was not proving to be of great interest to them.
The website could be further developed, but we wanted to create something more, but did not fully understand what it should be.
I remember the night at the gas station. I was alone at that moment. All my friends either were sleeping or were busy with their businesses. In general, I was not to go with anyone.
Nevertheless, a group of other motorcyclists periodically rode pass this gas station, but unfortunately, I was not familiar with them.
At that moment, I was visited by the thought of creating an application with which it would be able to find other bikers and able to invite for a ride together. This is especially interesting to those who recently got on a motorcycle and are not yet familiar with the local motorcyclists community. A few days later I brought my first sketches to my future partners. They liked the idea. The first version was called “Biker App“.
How did you start and what was the biggest problem you faced while starting up? How did you overcome it?
We began by studying what a Startup is and how it prepares for performances. It took a lot of time to understand the structure and sequence of actions. Part of the team began to develop a prototype, the second was looking for opportunities to participate in conferences dedicated to entrepreneurship.
Our first ever demonstration was at a big conference at Hong Kong in 2016. There were more than 1000 other projects at various stages of development. The atmosphere was very motivational. We assumed that we could find an investor there for our project. Of course, this did not happen.
After six months, we hit the 15 selected projects in GCC, participating in the SEEDSTARS GCC located in Bahrain. By that moment we had the first version of the prototype, which could already be installed on the phone and try basic functions.
Though we didn’t win, to be a part of this competition was a great success for us.
Then we tried our luck at the local incubator In5 Tech and luckily made it into the incubator!
In the summer of 2017, we registered our company Biker AE FZ-LLC under In5 Tech Support. From that moment, there was no turning back and I quit my main job. Decisions like this entails big risks, especially for expats in the UAE.
How has the UAE startup culture and the motorcyclists community helped while you started your company?
We believe that the ecosystem of the startups in the UAE has become a solid basis for us to start. Local Incubators and Accelerators offer excellent conditions. For our project, we received preferential terms for opening a license, office maintenance and work visas.
Frankly, not all start-up projects have such an opportunity. Dubai allows you to concentrate on the product and direct your own resources to develop, rather than search for funds to maintain the company.
Also, the great importance is the ability to attend thematic conferences for free and take consultations from mentors who have a good experience in a particular direction. And then there is communication and networking.
In general, I believe that the UAE today is one of the innovation centers. The place where the strongest minds gather and create ambitious projects. Projects that go down in history not only local but also world markets.
As the company’s founder, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
- Before you start your business, you should understand that any business is a long term. Work hard and don’t think about weekends.
- Gather a team of like-minded people around you and be sure that you are pursuing a common goal. Do not take the team of people who think about money in the first place.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take risks. Make mistakes and analyze risks.
- Do not rush to attract investments.
- Surround yourself with good mentors. As a rule, these are people who can boast of good performance.
- Go public and test your business model in the early stages. It will save you a lot of time and energy.
- Study for missing competencies.
- Think Big. Network. Monitor Growth.
Tell us more about the team behind Brapper.
If you are a social enthusiastic who loves to share information, interests, ideas and wants to socialize with other bikers by the minute, Brapper is your ideal place.
The founders are 2 motorcyclists. We met each other during the moto trip. One of us graduated in Design and TV-Production while the other one is the Certified IT Developer.
We are enthusiastic and dedicated to building a brand that respects the motorcycle culture and delivers the best services to the community of like-minded people through the project.
At Brapper, We are passionate about both Motorcycling and Innovations, which is how we came up with the idea.
The name Brapper appeared after we saw that Biker App was competeting with similar names in the market of mobile applications in our niche. The lack of uniqueness bothered us. The word Brapper itself is a combination of abbreviations “B-r-r-r-a-a-a-p” (which symbolizes the sound of a motorcycle when you open the throttle) and an short “App”, which means a Mobile Application. So, Br-app-er is the guy who open the throttle stick.
How is the response for Brapper so far? How do you attract new motorcyclists?
Every day we get feedback to the Support Team from our users. There are positive and negative. This mainly concerns application enhancements. Communicating with bikers gives us a clearer picture of the direction in which to develop a project. We listen all wishes and reviews, it is the one of the key factors for user’s loyalty.
Word of mouth helps the project grow organically. Also, we attract influencers in different regions who have same passion like us.
Innovative businesses call for innovative business models. Please share about it.
The current business model is fairly simple. We provide advertising services through the application. Banner advertising and targeted notifications.
A company that wants to post information about its services buys a one-year subscription. Our Current Business Model is still in Test mode.
How many countries are you in and what is the biggest challenge you face while scaling up?
Since spring 2019, Brapper is available worldwide.
Before that, only a few regions could download the app. Today, we can identify 4 key countries: United Arab Emirates, Italy, Holland and Kazakhstan.
For good growth, any new product requires strong marketing companies and an understanding of the specifics of each region. Our project is no exception. We activate new countries based on seasonality and the total number of motorcyclists in the region. There are also limitations due to the lack of multilingualism. Currently there are 5 languages in the application.
Motorcyclists community is a less known, very niche subject, throw some light on it.
It is reliable to say that motorcyclists, as a subculture, appeared in America after the Second World War. According to one of the most common versions, the first bikers were former military pilots of carrier-based aviation, who returned home.
Hence, they say “winged” theme, addiction to leather clothing, and the love of high speeds. This legend is no worse than the others, but it was not possible to find evidence of its truthfulness. The rules for which motorcycle clubs exist are formed in the 1950s and remain virtually unchanged in all countries where there are branches.
Each club has in its name the abbreviation MC (motorcycle club) or, rarely, MG (motorcycle gang) and its own heraldry.
The vast majority of biker clubs are organized on the pack principle. At the same time, there is both a hierarchy and democracy, implying that every member of a collective has full and equal rights.
Moto community in the UAE is unique. Respect, mutual assistance, tolerance, cooperation and the dissemination of positive values in society comes first.
Brapper respects these rules, but nevertheless, our project is an open area. We do not adhere to the classic concepts of moto clubs. Team Brapper has created a project for everyone who loves 2 wheels, an active lifestyle, rides and communication.
What is that one thing which you think attracts people to register at Brapper?
First of all, we believe that we have a strong media side. We popularize the application through video clips on social networks.
Users watch our channels and subsequently register.
Secondly, there is strong word of mouth trail. Also, some users find the application through search queries. And this means that our solution is in demand in the market.
We also believe that a well-realized niche product will be successful in any industry.
Do you have any competitors? How different are you from them?
Of course, we have competitors. More and more solutions appear on the mobile application market. There are projects that are similar to ours. We constantly study them and analyze the best aspects.
Basically, moto-related projects offer navigation maps and travel planners in their solutions. Mostly this part of the functionality is paid.
Our project is focused on the Social Network and is completely free for users. We also consider the project can transform to an ecosystem.