Ever been stuck in the queue for movie tickets when you are in a rush? This newest startup can definitely help you. Having just implemented their beta launch, FanNow has already garnered a fanbase and many happy users.
Learn what FanNow is all about in our exclusive interview with Steven Path, Founder and CEO of Pathmazing, the company that created FanNow. This Cambodian entrepreneur wishes to change the landscape of e-commerce here, and even provided excellent tips for aspiring startup founders.
(This interview has been edited for flow and clarity.)
Can you introduce yourself and explain what FanNow is?
I’m Steven Path, the CEO of Pathmazing. We are the developers of FanNow. It is essentially the first major e-commerce product in Cambodia. With this, we are hoping to jumpstart e-commerce here.
To solve the very real problem of queues for movie tickets in Cambodia, we came up with FanNow. We noticed that the cinemas have become very popular here in the last couple of years, and the demand is to the point where some movies are sold out a day or two in advance. This makes it very inconvenient for a moviegoer to go to the cinema. Either the movie is sold out, or they get bad seats.
FanNow is solving this problem to the consumer, and also solves a concern for cinema owners. The worry with websites where consumers book anonymously with their phone numbers is that they might not show up. Therefore, the cinema owners will lose the potential profits from those seats. For us, we have the e-payment gateway that allows you to select seats and make a purchase all online.
To be able to do all these in advance saves a lot of time and makes the whole movie experience much more pleasant. We take it one step further by using geolocation, allowing consumers to invite friends close to them or the cinema along for the movie.
We also provide phone top-up services online and hot deals. Using e-tickets, consumers can easily redeem their tickets or deals.
Who make up your payment gateway?
All the major local and international payment providers such as Wing, Pay&Go, PayPal, Visa, major credit and debit cards. We are working with ACCLEDA bank, a major bank here as well. I believe this is the key to truly accelerate e-commerce in Cambodia.
Where do you think we stand in e-commerce in Cambodia?
A very early stage, the infrastructure is just starting to be developed. Our company is doing the best we can to help. The way present this to the banks, payment providers as well as retailers, is that this is a win-win for all parties. It doesn’t matter who developed the payment gateway or who sells the items, e-commerce is a potentially huge industry for Cambodia to capitalise on.
We also need the cooperation from the government. Being on the board of directors of the ICT Federation, I can tell you that we are trying to work with the government to help implement the e-commerce law here in Cambodia.
Can you explain the coin-based loyalty system that FanNow uses?
You can win coins through games that you play as well as through purchases. We want to create a sense of loyalty. When you earn enough coins, you can redeem them to win prizes or to participate in a lucky draw.
How has user reception been towards FanNow from the beta launch?
It has been exceptional. From month to month, it grew over 100%. Within 3 months, it has become the number one e-commerce app and website in Cambodia according to Wing’s rankings of their seven partners.
When will FanNow be launched publicly?
Within a week or two.
What are your future plans for FanNow?
Our goal for FanNow is to focus on the entertainment sector. Movies, KTVs, restaurants, hot deals and more.
Do you have any last words or inspiring advice for aspiring startup founders?
In Cambodia, the tendency with many young people is to start a business by themselves, to handle everything on their own. What I say to them is that they should seek mentorship after graduation, and work with companies to gain experience. From this, they can gain valuable insights from other successful startup founders and entrepreneurs.
Another thing would be to look at collaborating with many key strategic partners. The reality in the market is its competitiveness, which would require you to select partners in order to help your startup maximise its potential. Do not expect to outcompete everything on your own.
Check out FanNow.com, or download FanNow’s app from the app and play stores.