07 August 2015: Earlier this week, Wayra start-up Qudini was selected as the global supplier of queue management for the Telefónica Group, which includes commercial brands such as Movistar, Vivo and O2.
The deal represents the first time a Wayra UK start-up has rolled out a digital product or service across Telefonica’s operating businesses in both Europe and Latin America.
This is, however, just one example of how our start-ups have found product market fit within Telefonica’s commercial brands.
Qudini had already launched its queue management and reservation app throughout O2’s 270 stores across the United Kingdom and others followed suit. RotaGeek launched its dynamic mobile staff scheduling system with O2; and Doutissima, one of the largest online health forums, is now live across Brazil thanks, in part, to Telefonica. But that’s not all.
Eventstag and Living Indie provide entertainment services across O2 music and sponsored sporting events; Jollydeck, a learning and communications solution, is in the process of renewing its contract with O2 SMB and the UK’s leading mobile payments wallet, Yoyo – who recently closed a $10M series a round – is in advanced talks with Telefonica in Spain on a potential rollout there.
All this activity equates to more than $5M in contracted revenue for our start-ups, who have used the relationship with Telefonica to build relationships with other leading brands, including of House of Fraser and Apple. Over 50% of our start-ups have also held trials with Telefonica since our inauguration three years ago.
These start-ups and others like them will tell you that gaining a sustained audience with a big corporate is often a herculean task given the pace and scale of corporate life. And if you’re not in a corporate accelerator, which provides a breadth and depth of access unattainable for those outside of the organisation, the task can be near impossible.
So, what ingredients are needed to deliver a deal like Qudini? To help answer that question, Abby Barton, Head of Wayra UK’s Business Development Team (who dedicate their time on finding product market fit within Telefonica Globally) – have shared some tips on working with corporates: “Hand it to them on a plate” – Make it so easy that it is hard for the corporate to say no. Often start up is synonym with “effort” (amongst other really positive things…) so don’t make it a hurdle to do business with you.
Use trials or proof of concepts as a way to get in the door – don’t be afraid to offer a free trial period to get in the corporates door. But do lock down the T&Cs, KPIs, what success looks like post the trial period.
Think about ways of clever partnering with the corporate – often corporates have no capex to build new products and solutions, so partnering is a way for startups to get distribution and the corporate to the innovation.
Be persistent – your solution may not be top of mind for the corporate at that specific point of time but it may be in 6 months.Hustle to find the right contacts within the organisation that can help you get the right audience with decision makers.
Don’t put all your eggs in one or two corporates basket. You need to have various opportunities on the go especially as sales pipelines with corporates are often as long as a year or 18 months. You don’t want a situation where your success or failure is riding on one source.
Risk mitigate – show the corporate that you have thought of every eventuality involved with rolling out your solution. This demonstrates you care about being a great provider and can really deliver under all circumstances.
Focus – Be laser focused on your objective with the corporate and deliver that brilliantly, less is more to begin with – with this under your belt you can then look to widen and deepen the relationship.
Found this of interest? Then check out our other posts on corporate acceleration: