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Meet the startups in Area 31: Riderstate

Author: César Martin, Riderstate [1]

My name is César Martín and I’m cofunder at RiderState [1], the first social game for bicycle users. An app (Android and iOS) that registers the activities of cyclists and a game based on GPS in which Rider (the player) hast to conquer the World riding a bike. An unique adventure.

Are you ready to conquer the World?

Where did you get the idea?mapa-mundi-riderstate

In fact, the first idea was completely different as the current project. I n the beginning we were 4 classmates of Complutense University who shared the passion for the bicycle. The initial idea was a cycling magazine, but we realized that this idea was impossible. This project wasn’t within reach. Then, the smarphones appeared in front of our eyes. We started thinking in an app based on GPS for cyclist, but we realized there were many potential competitors (Strava, Endomondo, Runtastic…).

We have always wanted to create something different. Therefore, we started thinking about a game. We realized that cyclist hadn’t an app to enjoy while riding the bike. The first idea was a game with leaderboards based in distance, average speed, kilometres…, but it wasn’t enough. Then, gamification won importance on the project. Under this premise, we found the way: a game to conquer the World whit your bicycle. This is how we got the idea, although it hasn’t been easy to develop the first social game for bicycle users.

How long have you been working on the idea?

We have been working on the idea since three years ago, although we started to develop the current mobile app since May 2013.  We launched the Android app of RiderState April 15th 2014. After a short while, we launched the iOS app too.

How does RiderState work?

RiderState works by chopping the world map up into squares of 10,000 sq metres. Your goal is to dominate as much of the map in your local area as you can, by riding your bike. The cyclist rides the bike and RiderState tracks his activity in real time. Once the cyclist finishes, the app shows the conquered territories of your track along with the activity stats (distance, time, average speed…).  Player has to conquer the World riding a bike, for that purpose he must to beat your friends or neighbors, and become the Governor of your street, district or city. Also, the app lets more funcionalities:

What is the business model?

RiderState has a multiplatform business model. RiderState’s business model is divided in 3 phases:

What kinds of investors does the company have?

Like a lot of startups, firstly FFF (Friend, family and fools). Moreover, we have got a public financing from ENISA and we have raised funds by a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo last February. Now, when we achieve the fixed goals in the business area, we’re going to look for financing: our seed round.

What are those goalequipo-riderstates?

We are already achieving the first customers, in the bicycle sector companies. Moreover we are working hard to improve our users growth numbers.

In your opinion, what is most important: the market, the product, or the team?

We have already the most important thing: a great team. If you have a great team, you can consider a certainty that you will have a fantastic product. However, you can have an amazing game, but if users don’t play, you have nothing. User has the key. For us, user is the most important too, because he or she is the final customer of the app. If we want to improve the product, have to know their opinions, ideas, suggestions…

What are the most difficult of the experience as entrepreneur?

Find the correct way. We learn to fail and rise up, but nobody teaches you about how to take decisions. However, for each mistake, we are more qualified entrepreneurs

In your opinion, what are the most important personality traits to be a successful entrepreneur?.

Have the ability to learn from one’s mistakes. A person who accepts the change. Believe in yourself. Decision, analytical and hard-working.

Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you had the chance?

Have a strategic plan. When the first business begins, we discover there were lot of new things for us and don’t know how to confront them. In the beginning we didn’t create a strategic plan, including each branch of the startup (business, development, communication, analytics…). As we say in Spain: “It is never too late to change things”

What advice would you like to give to potential entrepreneurs?