Apple’s Passbook provides passport for MeNetwork growth
Thanks to integration with Apple's Passbook app on launch (above), MeNetwork saw more than 80,000 downloads.
"In the last 10 days, we've seen over 80,000 downloads of our app," MeNetwork co-founder Craig Page said less than two weeks after the Apple digital wallet launch. A veteran of the technology industry for over 35 years, Page said the group was excited for the success, and attributes much of it to unexpected attention in Europe.
"(Since the Passbook launch), it's been a non-stop conversation with sellers in Europe," Craig said.
"We made some educated guesses that places like Europe would blow up for us, and we laid a good foundation (there)," co-founder Michael "Spike" Stevens said. "It was half good predictive ability, half luck. And trust me, in the world of startups, luck is the one thing you need a lot of."
Implemented by a team of five working out of Omaha and Boulder, Colo., the MeNetwork app brings together consumers and merchants on its mobile platform. It works to cut out the marketing middleman by allowing merchants to direct offers and marketing events toward users of the app. Users can download the app and browse the merchants in their area to see individual offers, deals, upcoming events and announcements.
Page said the Passbook opportunity was something the group had been talking about since it was first announced, and they made sure MeNetwork would be ready for its launch.
"By having one of the world's largest companies say, 'Hey, pay attention … this is the future,' it rapidly changes consumer attitudes and habits," Stevens said. "And that's what you need when you're trying to roll out solutions that break new ground.”
Though the MeNetwork app's Passbook integration didn't earn it a featured spot in the App Store in the U.S., it was featured heavily in European countries, and even climbed in popularity to becoming the No. 1 app in Italy for over a week.
"It's been excitement on one hand, and overall disappointment on the other because the U.S. iTunes didn't feature us," Page said. Page believes that if the app could get as much traction in the U.S. as it has in Europe, the business would explode; which is the kind of opportunity the group is ready for.
"We want the challenge, we can't wait for it," Page said.
The next steps for the MeNetwork group include plans to integrate nonprofits into its system, making it easier for nonprofits to take contributions from individuals. The group also plans to focus attention on re-sellers who have an established relationship with merchants.
The main task the MeNetwork group is focusing on now, however, is raising a Series A round of funding from venture capitalists. With this next round of funding, the group plans to accomplish its next goal: achieving 1 million downloads over 60 days.
"The next three months are critical," Page said, "and we are so prepared for growth."
Credits: Screenshots courtesy of MeNetwork. Craige Page headshot from menetwork.com.