Interview APP Founder – Duane Newton
Name Founder: Duane Newton (DN)
Name Company: Croggy
Name App: Croggy
Category App: Travel, Cycling
Is the App created for a certain country/area or worldwide: Worldwide: there are currently over 650+ shops and mechanics listed on Croggy and I will continue to add to this over time, Croggy also has the potential to be global and I have already registered shop from as far away as Canada, USA, Australia, Finland, Belgium and Italy.
Free or Paid App: Free App
App description: CROGGY App is an App that will connect you the cyclist with quick and direct access to your nearest cycle mechanic / repair / service shop!
As Founder of this fantastic App, what was your motivation to create such an App?
DN: As a keen cyclist for many years I’ve often struggled to find a local shop or mobile mechanic to fit around my busy work schedule to either service or repair my bikes.
I was surprised to learn that in the UK alone;
- 3.1 million bicycles were sold in the U.K. last year and 25 million people own one
- 741,000 working people cycle to work
- 155,000 people living in London cycle to work – Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield also saw substantial increases
- In 2014, a record 183,423 employees participated in the Government’s ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’
- The e-bike market growing rapidly. 75,000 units were sold in 2016
All these figures led me to think about who actually maintains and services the 25 million bicycles in the UK let alone across Europe and beyond to keep people on their two wheels for their daily commute, their personal challenge on one of the many great cycling routes or simply to enjoy a leisurely family day out.
The aim is to establish a quality app that provides quick, direct and a hassle free way that cyclists feel confident to use to find their nearest shop or mobile mechanic.
Why should Users download this App?
DN: Croggy provides a quick, direct and hassle free way for the cyclist to find their nearest shop or mobile mechanic for a repair or service with one click and a further two clicks providing the option to either call or get directions.
- Putting experts in direct contact with customers
- Providing quality servicing & work
- Re-directing customers from web based shops back to local knowledgeable traders, generating additional secondary income
What are the advantages compared to other similar App’s?
DN: There are several cycle ‘maintenance’ type Apps where the user can download guides and I am aware of Voncrank a competitor where users pay a monthly subscription fee.
I want to take a ‘whole industry approach’ to delivery, ensuring the environment, shops/mechanics and training providers are linked to make the App inclusive, attractive and supportive to the cyclist and the cycling industry.
Can you tell something about the process, challenges, hurdles and time spent from the moment you start (The Idea) till the moment you launched the App at the AppStore / GooglePlay?
DN: The biggest hurdle in the beginning for a non-technical like me was development, with very little budget I initially worked with a postgraduate student who developed a very basic wireframe. Unfortunately the student couldn’t take it to the level which I was hoping to share for initial market research. I then worked with pixel apps and used my money to launch the app back in July 2018, there have been several updates and addition since then. The process was frustrating and challenging at times but also extremely satisfying to see the positive reaction to the app when we launched.
Once you launched the App in the Appstore / GooglePlay, what did you do to promote this App to your target audience (user group)? Do you think Applepies (as worldwide rating and reviewing Online App Magazine) can have a certain role in this?
DN: As a start up with a very limited budget, I had to depend on organic growth through social media posts, which has made my growth very slow. I have also met with the two biggest cycle retailers in the UK who have expressed an interest in Croggy with one having all their 40 plus stores registered, both continue to watch with interest the progress made.
I think Applepies will be able to help me promote Croggy to a much more of an international audience including potentional funders and investors.
You as a visionary person, what is your view on the new technologies of the digital smartphone (App) world. Do you think that within 1 to 5 years Apps will be indispensable? So Apps will replace manual activities like controlling our home appliances from your smartphone, talk to your doctor via an App, instead of cash payments pay by your smartphone.
DN: I believe mobile phones have already become indispensable and Apps will only continue to drive this. Apps will only become more important for all industry from public health services to larger corporations.
Are you currently (still) looking for investments or funds to finalise or optimize your App?
DN: Yes, I am looking for partners and supporters to allow the app to evolve further with some exciting ideas and additions. I am also interested in partnerships to grow the user, cycle shops, stores and mechanics listed globally.
What is the business model of the App (how does the App earns money?) Think of advertisements, premium subscriptions in the App etc?
DN: The aim is to have an annual subscription for those cycle shops/stores and mechanics to be listed. I wouldn’t rule out advertisements but the customer experience must come first.
Last but not least is there anything you want to recommend other App creators/founders?
DN: For non-technical founders like me, ask what you think are those silly questions and do not be put off with any negativity by users.