Naomi Owusu is Co-Founder and CEO at Tickaroo. Tickaroo provides a live blogging tool for their partners and clients. Tickaroo’s highly developed, comprehensive, and customisable live content tool is used by publishing houses, media companies, editorial staff, and sports clubs around the world to create immersive live content and better engage with their audiences. At Tickaroo, Naomi is responsible for strategy and growth.
I had my first permanent job in a Software Agency, where I was responsible for building the first Apps for our sports and media clients. They weren’t used to websites so for me it was very interesting briefing the clients on new formats and possibilities as well as ensuring that we had the data streams available to deliver excellent products to their audiences. Everything was new and moving at a very fast pace. The perfect learning environment and after 7 years in the agency, I started Tickaroo together with three co-founders.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
Because there were always issues with data in building the apps at the agency, especially for sports clients, I had the idea to create an app where news updates can easily be reported in real time and data streams can be delivered to any digital product, e.g. on a website or mobile app which is easy, fast and has the best performance. That is how we started Tickaroo. Since then, we have pivoted to the Liveblogging Tool for sports and news, but our mission has stayed the same. Be as user-friendly as possible and deliver great performance by using rock solid technology.
How did you achieve awareness?
First, we released the app for free for sports fans, so that they could use our technology to score from every game. After a while, publishers became aware that our app is very fast, very easy to use and delivers quality data. They started using it for live news reporting and then we started to work with B2B clients. It was more of a door-to-door job. We talked to the publishers in Germany and acquired the biggest market share in comparison to our competitors. We have been working very closely with our clients and partners. We are tailoring and improving the app, that turned to a whole platform with many features over time to serve the needs of our clients, editors and their audiences. The editors have all tools they need for great live story telling at their fingertips. They can keep their audiences informed and engaged all while earning more money.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
We have a strategic investor that had been working with the company for three years before they made their investment. We secured one investment round in 2015 and since then we have reached our company break-even point last year.
What are the key successes?
A key success is the setup and the flexibility of our technology making the data very fast. We have optimised it so that we can handle millions of simultaneous requests at a very fast pace.
Furthermore, being very easy to use and very easy to set up is crucial for today’s editors. They have a lot of information and sources coming in and cannot focus on dealing with the technology.
As we also know that the habits of audiences are rapidly changing, we prioritise features that meet the needs of today’s audiences such as reading news on their phones, getting quick updates, wanting higher engagement and personalisation. Also, we have the features that enable users to monetise the liveblog.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
There are so many Software as a Services out there. Because of that, we always make sure that we bring relevance to the table. We make sure that we support our clients and listening to them and understanding their processes and needs is crucial for success.
What are your plans now/for the future?
We want to show international clients and audiences how great digital live story telling can be. We are looking for international partners and are learning from the markets so we can meet their needs and demand. We are adding new features to our tool to make it even more easy to use, engaging and monetisable. Also in terms of monetisation and AI, we are working on research and development for article generation and solutions for fact checking.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
When you love your idea and you love what you are doing, never give up, pivot if you need to, find the right people that support your mission. Also, celebrate the good days and learn from the bad days.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Always know and examine your financial streams. Where is the money coming from and why, where is it going to and why. When you know that, you can actually change, pivot and work your way to the profit zone. Get rid of the black holes that cost you money in the long term or find a good reason why it is worth it.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
Dalai Lama: because he is always chill. And he says things that make you chill. As an entrepreneur you will need that a lot.
Taylor Swift: Either she is a very smart business woman or she has very good advisors but then again it is very important to gather the people that will support you in your mission and not stop you from it.
Ben Horowitz: I just loved his book “hard things about hard things” – It kept me going. Everyone starting a business should read that.
Last but not least my parents: They played a great part in shaping the person I am today with my beliefs, ambition and ability to absorb, adjust and reflect and act.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
I have a few but “talent wins games, teamwork and intelligence wins championships” by Michael Jordan, is an evergreen.
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
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