In the eight months since Bellhop's second campaign closed on Republic, a lot has happened. Bellhop had a new round of funding, and now a subsequent funding round is in progress. Last week, the app officially launched in NYC, and the next day Bellhop was featured in both WIRED and Business Insider.
Bellhop CEO and Founder Payam Safa launched a beta version of the app a few months after the last Republic campaign closed in December of 2017. He and his team leveraged the user feedback to refine the app’s features.
“After we closed the campaign, we redesigned and rebuilt the app that you see an app store now,” Safa said. “We launched the beta in the app store a couple months later, around the end of December, and then we spent about six months in a public beta.”
In addition to learning from the beta version, Safa and the team were also able to familiarize themselves with the suppliers in the industry, learning who was best to work with, and they also were able hone in on their user base.
We got a better understanding of what our target demographics are going to be, how to reach them and over what channels.
After running a beta version for six months, Safa felt he'd refined the app enough to take it to the mainstream market. It launched officially on July 10.
Safa, Nick Ferris, and Kevin J. Ross still make up the core team, but they’ve hired a few new team members, including someone to manage business development and a couple of engineers. As far as future goals are concerned, Payam hopes to see Bellhop launch in other major cities throughout the globe within the next year.
“We'd want to be officially launched in the top 10 global cities worldwide,” Safa said. “A good thing about our business, from a team standpoint, is it doesn’t have to be significantly larger for this to happen. Maybe we’d need another 50% increase, but we don’t need to drastically increase in size.”
Amassing more users is another big goal for Safa, but he’s also looking to integrate Bellhop into other verticals.
“We want to expand from ride shares to include bike shares and potentially public transit.”
Over the course of two campaigns that ran on Republic in 2017, Bellhop raised a total of $353,935 — $106,499 in the first campaign that ended in September 2017, and $247,436 in their final campaign. They launched a second campaign due to a high demand from investors.
Safa credits the success of these campaigns on Republic with much of Bellhop’s further success.
Having that community of support behind us—600-plus individuals who invested in us, has been very helpful because they shared us with their networks.
“It's done wonders for us,” Safa said of his campaigns on Republic. “It's helped us launch a new version of the product to get us to the next series of milestones of getting that version out there, growing our user base, generating traction and transactional volumes, and increasing revenues. It helped with reaching those next milestones, which helped us raise more money subsequently, and is now getting to the point where we can raise that next round as well.”