A VENTURE PROGRAMME SUCCESS STORY
Easier use of gift cards wanted? Smart Octopus Solution has the answer
This success story was part of the EIT Digital Venture Programme, supporting entrepreneurial teams with deep tech business ideas to finalise their MVP and start their venture. Click here for more information and to apply for the 2020 edition.
If you’ve ever tried to give something special and unique, you will know the challenge of finding the perfect present. It was to address this problem that gift cards and many kinds of vouchers were developed. But as users of these products, we never think about the management process. Shopping malls and their individual shops accept many different types and the service behind each card is varied, which makes the acceptance process complicated.
The young but determined team behind Smart Octopus Solutions are working on a solution. Their service offers a better and much easier way to manage different types of gift cards and vouchers. "The main idea was to do something simple. And our main drivers were connectivity, security, and transparency," says Jurij Triller, the CEO of Smart Octopus Solutions Ltd. "Traditional gift cards work like vouchers: they have to be spent in one payment. Or if there is an opportunity to use it more than once, the software solution is far too expensive. This is the reason why we started to think about a cheaper and much simpler model.”
Smart Octopus Solution’s brand-new gift card can be loaded with a set amount of money and used more than once, in different stores within shopping mall. The only limit is the amount of money on the card. “The customers can buy the card at the info point or a kiosk machine, but there is also the opportunity to do the whole process online," explains Triller. The payment data is logged into a web-based application and can be accessed by a browser. Thus, this gift card system offers a new approach and a simplified way of processing.
Good ideas need development
Good ideas need development, Jurij Triller underlines, requiring funding and help at the beginning: "We heard about EIT Digital's Venture Program and it sounded like a good opportunity. They offered a funding and development programme, providing the basics of a company, and new connections essential for improvement," he says. They used the given resources for growth and after some months signed the first contracts with new customers.
Now, Smart Octopus Solution is covering 7 Qlandia and 2 Supernova shopping malls in Slovenia and also has partners in Croatia in 10 Supernova malls. The company’s goal is to serve different mall chains in the EU with a potential of more than 9,500 potential clients.