When you’re comparing student loan or financial providers, you can spend hours looking at slightly different services on Google. It can get tedious and, in the end, can leave you even more confused.
FetchMi aggregates all the necessary information for you to easily make side-by-side comparisons of services and companies — with industries ranging from recreation to education to volunteering opportunities — based on reviews, ratings, and distance. With built in user-to-business messaging and a user-friendly layout, you won’t miss any red flags while picking the right company for your specific needs.
“If someone is trying to find a music instructor, a tutor, or another service based company online, they must browse through website after website,” says co-founder Gabe Fish, currently a student at Tufts University. “By the end they may settle for a company that isn’t perfect or more expensive than necessary because they do not have the time to search through 10 pages of Google results.”
Fish, along with co-founder and Emory student Eric Yang, found their idea in typical startup fashion — by learning from their last failure. Here, they share more about how it all happened, how they holed up in an airbnb over the summer to build it, and the challenges of being a student founder.
What’s your pitch?
FetchMi aims to redefine the customer experience with service providers by making industries transparent and accessible. It helps people find, compare, and communicate with education, recreation, career, and finance services. Users can then sort companies based on reviews, ratings (aggregated from across the web), and distance to further hone in results.
By presenting the most important company information in standardized FetchMi cards users can help users save hours that they would spend searching through websites. Side-to-side compare feature and built-in real-time user-business messaging provide people the information they need to choose the best companies.
How did you get the idea for it?
The idea of FetchMi arose from a previous startup attempt. We founded an educational agency that tried to help international students adapt into American society. This concept came out of the challenges faced by Eric as an international student. We were competing against established market players. This process showed us how difficult it could be for parents to access the information they need to choose between these agencies. We noticed the same problem when we looked across other service categories. People have difficulty accessing the information they needed to make informed decisions in finding the best companies to fit their needs.
Looking toward e-commerce sites such as Alibaba and Amazon, we saw how these players have made online shopping easy by providing standardized and accessible merchandise information. People can see how products are different from one another based on price, delivery date, product information, and review. We believe that people should be able to compare company information just like they would for products.
How does FetchMi equalize the playing field between large and small businesses?
Many small businesses have a difficult time competing online. They have weak online presences as they do not have the capital to build and maintain well-designed websites or spend large sums of money on online ads needed to compete with large market players.
On FetchMi, all businesses (large and small) have standardized cards and comprehensive reviews where they can stand out based on a customer preferences for service offerings, pricing, reviews, and location rather than by size and marketing budget. We want to empower the small- and medium-sized service businesses to showcase services and get recognized by consumers.
You built the company at an airbnb in East Point over a summer break. Why did you choose to build your company in Atlanta?
Once we came up with the idea and were set on spending the summer working on it, we never gave it a second thought that we would set up shop in Atlanta. While we had networks in Boston, Philadelphia, and Irvine, CA, we knew that the friendly atmosphere, diverse population, and affordability Atlanta provides would make it the best choice.
With our lofty goals, we could think of no better place to lay our roots than the heart of the South. In addition, the fact that many of our team members go to Emory University adds to our credibility in interacting interact with customers and service providers.
What’s your current funding status?
We raised $50,000 in pre-seed funding; seeking an investment of $500,000 from investors with connections in the tech industry.
What’s your revenue model?
Since we are an internet company in an early stage, we think the most important thing for us right now is to build a solid customer base. The site is free for both customers and businesses as of right now, but in the future once we have gained people’s trust and significant amount of traffic, we will begin to monetize the site.
We aim to build out our platform into a marketplace by implementing a payment platform. Users will be able to purchase services and make arrangements with companies directly on FetchMi. We will charge a small convenience fee for this service. This will provide value to customers and businesses and will round-out our one-stop-stopping platform. Also, we plan to implement a tailored concierge service. We will match users with the most suitable companies and manage communication and logistics.
How do you hope to scale your product beyond just adding companies to the platform?
Our business is relatively easy to scale because there are many service categories that we have not tapped into yet and there are many service companies within those categories. Right now we are based in Atlanta and focus on four categories — education, recreation, career, and finance. Once we get a solid stronghold in these categories and have recognition in Atlanta, we will try to tap into other service categories as well as expand into other cities.
We are in the process of building a web crawler that will capture potential service based companies across the net that could be listed on FetchMi. In the near future, we will also include a payment system. Eventually, we aim to utilize the power of AI to recommend service companies based on a series of parameters and data points.