You know how when you go to a really big business event like an exhibition or conference, it can be hard to strike up a conversation with people you’re interested in talking to?
Whether it’s the sheer volume of people and action, or you’re too intimidated to walk up to the person and say ‘hi’, many of us tend to keep to ourselves.
One startup that wants to do away with the lack of conversations at these events is Appsaya, which was started in 2015 by 3 French co-founders and 1 Malaysian co-founder: Mamadou Ndiaye, Yoann Gueguen, Dr Harouna Sow, and Nik Rose Aida Ariff.
Vulcan Post reached out to Mamadou, who’s also the CEO of the company, to learn more about how Appsaya got started and how it works.
Finding Opportunities Elsewhere
Its current form as a business-matching platform actually came from a pivot, Mamadou told us.
“We started in France with an appointment booking platform for service based businesses (doctors, dentists, etc.). Then we created Appsaya in Malaysia focusing on health and wellness,” he said.
However, they arrived too early in the market and couldn’t validate their product, generating very little revenue even after scaling down too.
Later, Mamadou, who loves socialising, met a friend who noticed that the Appsaya platform could actually serve another industry that his team had never thought of—the business events industry.
“After a few discussions with an event organiser, they agreed that we leverage on Appsaya’s appointment scheduling engine and build a business matching platform for the world’s leading trade show in the Halal industry, MIHAS. It was a full success and a global exposure for our company’s capability,” Mamadou proudly shared.
From there, Appsaya has experienced tremendous growth and now serves world leaders in B2B events in Asia, Europe, and North America.
“So, the idea came from a powerful meeting,” Mamadou concluded, “We believe that in-person meetings are by far the most powerful way to build connections and grow businesses.”
Appsaya, which stands for ‘Appointment Saya’ (my appointment), has two separate apps that are linked: one for attendees, and one for organisers.
For the organisers, it offers a dashboard to monitor performances of their events (like ROI) and get actionable insights.
This tool allows them to see who is meeting who, what industries are the most dynamic in terms of interactions, and they can also communicate with attendees through messages, for examples.
It can still be accessed even a year after the event for past references, and events with as little as 200 attendees can still leverage its features.
ROI is measured by checking on attendee engagement on the platform: the number of meetings per attendee, total number of meetings, attendees’ account activation rate, user logins, most selected interests, and most represented industries or countries, to name a few.
On the other hand, attendees mainly will use Appsaya to schedule their appointments at the event.
There is also something called the business matching platform which matches people based on their interests, which can differ based on the type of event.
At exhibitions, interests are the products and services provided by exhibitors or searched by buyers.
For conferences, interests can be the set of skills, position, country, discussion content, speaker profile, and more.
There may be a bunch of other networking apps out there, but according to Mamadou, their advantage is that downloading the app isn’t always necessary, if at all.
Appsaya has a web version and is fully mobile-friendly, since they’re aware that event attendees mostly dislike downloading apps simply for a 3-day event.
One of the advantages that Mamadou said Appsaya has over other networking apps is that it’s fully customisable and integrated and has all features included in its pricing model.
They can also tailor the solution to any event and showcase brand identities clearly since Appsaya can be fully white labelled.
Appsaya charges event organisers per event and per number of accounts on the platform, and it’s totally free for attendees.
From its launch with a capital of US$30,000, Appsaya has managed to successfully pivot and enter a new industry as well as gain leadership in Malaysia and with Global Islamic Economy events in 2 years.
In 2019, they served MIHAS, which received 30,000 attendees. Some other clients they’ve had so far are Informa Markets, Halal Expo Canada, and Halal Expo London.
They’ve seen a 700% growth in revenue as well over the last 2 years, according to Mamadou, and they’ve been selected as one of the top 25 startups (out of 1170 ones) for MaGIC Global Accelerator Program.
Following their success so far, Mamadou and his team have high hopes for the next 2 years.
First, they aim to strengthen their leadership position in Malaysia and Islamic B2B events worldwide, and second, they want to gain market shares in selected ASEAN countries and Europe where they have a strong base.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups we’ve written on here.
Featured Image Credit: Appsaya