MatchPint, an app which helps you find the nearest sports pubs or bars showing your favourite sport live on Sky Sports or BT Sport, were finalists on Tech City News' Elevator Pitch which was held at Club Workspace Bethnal Green last month. We talked to founder Leo MacLehose about raising 400K, gearing up for Series A investment, finding techies to build his dream and how exactly he built up to 200,000 unique users every month.

MatchPint, an app which helps you find the nearest sports pubs or bars showing your favourite sport live on Sky Sports or BT Sport, were finalists on Tech City News' Elevator Pitch which was held at Club Workspace Bethnal Green last month. We talked to founder Leo MacLehose about raising 400K, gearing up for Series A investment, finding techies to build his dream and how exactly he built up to 200,000 unique users every month.

Check out MatchPint here

How did you come up with the idea for MatchPint?

MatchPint was born out of necessity I guess, as I’m half French, half Scottish. That meant finding pubs in London that were showing the matches I wanted to watch on TV was often pretty tricky.

Can you tell us a bit about your business journey? How have you financed it?

I guess watching people go to pubs in Paris during the Rugby World Cup in 2007 was where the initial idea arose from. A couple of years passed and still, no one was offering an even vaguely satisfactory answer to the problem of sports fans not knowing which pubs are showing which games on TV, so I embarked on this adventure. I started by fleshing the concept it out into a business plan, then whilst at university began canvassing friends and family to try and get a little bit of investment.

Fortunately, this wasn’t too hard due to sport and pubs being such relatable and widely loved things. Once we’d got up and running as a business and proved we had a bit of traction in those two industries we moved on to finding angel investors with strategic value. We’ve managed to raise 400k to date, we’re now a core team of 5, supplemented by a network of contractors and we’re building up to a round of Series A investment.

Your background is in business, rather than tech. How did you go about finding developers and building the website and app?

We’ve actually ended up with development teams across Argentina, India and France. The key for us, and I know it sounds pretty obvious, was networking though. We found it can be quite difficult to recruit tech people off the web, for example, as, even if you sit down and meet them, you don’t really know if they’re going to be of any value to you until you start working with them. If you can get recommendations from friends and peers it’s much easier to get a better idea of what you’re potentially going to work with and where their strengths/weaknesses lie.

You’re on Android and iPhone. Were you always going to prioritise both? Where do you see growth?

We started off first with iPhone and the obvious next step was Android. I’d say Android is a more difficult platform to develop on, mainly because your work can look beautiful on some devices on and a complete mess on others. I think if you can nail Android, with the number of handsets being used worldwide now, the potential for most growth obviously lies there. What we’ve found though is that it’s easier to create a great product on iPhone because of that standardisation across the hardware. Once we’ve nailed our Android product though, that’s where I see the most growth.

You have 200,000 unique users every month. How did you go about building up your network?

With MatchPint we’re lucky in that we’ve got people looking for us. So obviously a strong SEO strategy has been key for us, meaning that when people search for the service we provide, without knowing we exist, they end up discovering us. We’re pretty active on social media, using that as a means to solve the problems of people searching for pubs showing game. There’s also one final key factor of leveraging the novelty aspect of MatchPint in that it’s a product that people get. When you describe what it does to someone for the first time, people tend recognise that they’ve had that problem before and understand how it can be useful. So we’re trying to make the most of users as multipliers and make people ambassadors for what we’re trying to do.

What’s next?

WORLD DOMINATION! Ahem. So the big focus is to develop our relationships with pubs in the UK to really ensure that our coverage is as good as it can be. Then we’re really excited about the Rugby World Cup, England are hosting next year and hope to do a big, really interesting campaign for that. And then, that's where the world domination comes in as we look to expand to foreign markets.

Follow MatchPint on Twitter. Troll Leo here.