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Hotspot Revenue | Liberty and Free WiFi for All

by Kristyn Back

If we all share one thing in common, it’s our love of free WiFi. Whether at a local coffee shop or hotel conference room, we mooch where we can because data overage charges are real (and who even has unlimited data these days). But businesses offering free WiFi need a way to monetize off our freeloading, and users need to spend less time being bothered by ads (and more time on reddit… or working). Enter Hotspot Revenue, a proximity marketing platform enhancing user experience while also increasing the marketing potential of WiFi. Here at Hype, we use free WiFi all the time, so we sat down with one of the partners to get the scoop.

Hotspot Revenue’s leading gentlemen are Bill Bingham, Michael Rettig, and James Kelly. This powerhouse trio have each successfully founded their own businesses: Bingham with Atlanta Techworks, Retting with the nonprofit logistics provider LIFT, and Kelley with Atlanta Techpro. If that wasn’t enough, they also have 20+ years of tech experience ranging from infrastructure design to strategic planning and financial management. Their latest company is off to a soaring start and recently voted as one of the most innovative startups in Atlanta.

Back in 2007, WiFi’s pay-per-use model was making customers unhappy, and the founders knew a shift in revenue needed to happen (and give us all what we really want – free WiFi). Fast forward to 2015, and businesses are still struggling to offer a free solution with optimal monetization. While iBeacon was born to fill that need, Hotspot Revenue invented a way to do it over WiFi, instead of Bluetooth. As Bingham describes, “the process created a delivery system that is scalable to support the likes of say, IHG properties or every Arby’s location – giving someone like Coca-Cola the ability to broadcast their brand everywhere Coke is sold, without the need to download an app.”

“For consumers, perception quickly becomes reality. Smart companies know this and are starting to pay attention to the user experience (UX) when in their store or place of business. Until now, the only way to present an ad – and offset the cost of delivering the WiFi service – was to use a splash page (also known as portal capturing), which is 100% obtrusive. No one wants to be derailed from their destination, and they certainly don’t want to be forced to look at an ad while this interruption happens.”

“Our solution enhances rather than interrupts – so the user gets a more pleasant experience and receives helpful, relevant insights into the business they are patronizing. At the same time we deliver an unobtrusive and perpetual delivery system – a way to reach this highly targeted demographic. Not just one time per person per session, rather the messages rotate every 15 seconds for the length of their time online. Remember the last time you were in a strange town at a hotel and used WiFi. Wouldn’t you want to know that they have a gym that’s open 24hrs? That there is a pool on the roof? That room service delivers until midnight? Of course. And believe me, the hotel wants you to know too.”

What sets Hotspot Revenue apart from the competition is their patent pending technology, “TalkingWiFi™.” “The technology was built to integrate into any existing network topology, so any company offering WiFi either to their customers or as a service isn’t competition. We are in a race to make the general public aware that there is a better solution than iBeacon or Bluetooth available to them. Not to knock the competition – there are some situations where Bluetooth or an app makes great sense. We are all in the proximity marketing space, and a good campaign shouldn’t be limited to a single medium.”

The founders are all family men with strong ties in the Atlanta community. “We are an Atlanta based company and see no reason to change that. The tech scene here is booming and we are making great new connections daily being housed in the Atlanta Tech Village. After a long ‘pre-roll’, it feels great to be hitting the ground running knowing we are in the right place at the right time!”

Hotspot Revenue is bootstrapped and seeking $950k for continued R&D and to hire sales and marketing staff and interns. They are actively seeking investors who can bring strategic relationships to the table, as well as capital.

Follow Hotspot Revenue:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hotspotrev
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hotspotrev
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/hotspot-revenue

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