We launched our online interactive raffle platform Raffolux in March 2019, with the aim of transforming the traditional raffle into an exciting, mass-market, digital experience.
We recognised that the online raffle sector was under-developed in the UK and primed for growth. The market was tired, largely occupied by single purpose raffle platforms – e.g. property or automotive – and a plethora of casual players. Our ambition from the start was to build an aspirational, mass-market brand that would become the clear market leader.
We offer people the chance to win premium, aspirational prizes whilst raising money for UK based charities of their choice. The site features a rolling collection of prizes, from holidays and cars to high-tech gadgets, with a cap on ticket sales and the maximum number of entries per player to avoid any risk of problem gambling. Raffolux has now recruited over 45,000 users and generates £5M in annualised revenue. Each of these figures increases by 10% month-on-month, and we are proud to have achieved this growth whilst rigorously safeguarding player welfare, which is reflected in our 5* Trustpilot Rating.
The company has raised over £1M in seed funding this year, mostly during lockdown, from a diverse roster of high-profile investors, in the technological, financial and e-commerce sectors, such as Carl Faker, ex-head of FICC in Europe at Goldman Sachs, and Vasilis Papadopoulos, founder and CEO of the leading telecoms supplier in Greece and Cyprus. With this capital, the plan is to take Raffolux to a Series A round in 2021.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
The original idea for a raffling platform was dreamt up by my co-founder Harry! He had the idea of creating a competition equivalent of eBay called ‘AnyRaffle’, where people could raffle off their own items online to a userbase of avid players. He shared the idea with me while I was at university, and we began working on it together.
As we refined the idea, we stumbled across a few challenges (as every start-up does!). We quickly noticed that logistical problems and issues with fraud prevention would rule-out a truly scalable platform model. So, we re-worked the idea to focus instead on aspirational prizes that we procured ourselves through high-street partners, and eventually developed our minimum viable product under the new name, Raffolux.
After launching in March last year, the company quickly gained traction so we both decided to pursue it full-time, and we haven’t looked back since.
More from Interviews
- Meet Josh Gill, CEO and Founder at Business Water Retailer & Water Supplier: Everflow
- A Chat with Jürgen Galler, CEO and Co-Founder at AI-Powered Data Management Platform: 1plusX
- Meet David Gurle, Serial Entrepreneur & Founder At Cloud Storage Company: Hive
- Interview With The Founder: Andrew Curtin of Construction Wave
- Interview With Jan Hauser, CEO of Applifting
- Meet Alice Tärk, Chief of People at Investment App: Change
- A Chat with Emma Campbell, PM at Fashion Tech Startup: Looklet
- Meet Omri Lachman, CEO at LEAP: The Platform Levelling The Playing Field For Youth Athletes With NFTs
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Keep listening – you can never know too much about the needs and expectations of your customers. You also need to be willing to apply this learning to the business, which means constantly changing and refining the business model.
Don’t compromise on standards – we are committed to adopting the highest standards of player welfare and protection and complete transparency in setting odds and selecting winners. Trust can be difficult to earn but very easy to lose if you cut corners.
Involve external experts – we are very hands-on and aim to do as much as possible in-house, but we also recognise the value of external expertise. We have worked with external specialists in areas such as legal advice, branding, website design, media buying, SEO and video production.
What can we hope to see from Raffolux in the future?
Our aim is to become a truly mass-market technology business, with millions of regular players hoping to win the most amazing raffle prizes. In doing so, we will become a substantial contributor to the UK’s charity sector.
We are currently looking to incorporate live draws into the site. Think big Saturday night gameshows, but online and running multiple times a week. Alongside this, we plan to significantly expand the size and range of our fundraising activity over the coming year. By rolling out a self-service wizard for charities and organisations, we plan to become the ultimate white label solution for charities to depend on Raffolux as an integral part of the fundraising process. Also, we have an app coming at the start of 2021. We are constantly evolving as a company, thinking of new, exciting things we can do for our consumers as we look to transform our offering into a mass-market digital experience.