Over the past few years, technology has led to massive disruption in commerce, media and recently, finance and investing through the online crowdfunding space. Interestingly, as each of these fields evolves, we’re seeing many of them coalesce in a number of innovative ways. This trend is exemplified in the new startup Peeks, an ecommerce enabled live video streaming platform that allows users to interact and transact with each other in real time, using real currency.
Recently, Equities.com spoke with Peeks CEO Mark Itwaru about how Peeks is pushing the crowdfunding space forward, and what we can expect from ecommerce in the near future. Check out the interview below:
Equities: Thanks for speaking with us today, Mark. So to start, what is Peeks?
Mark Itwaru: We took a look at all the trends in social media, and we saw everything becoming progressively more real time. Facebook has designed something where you post and your friends get back to you. Then you have Instagram, where people snap a picture and within hours, they have even more media. So, it was the real time aspect that we waited on, and we decided to embrace real-time live streaming in the payment space. Typically, social media’s unique ability in business is to attract tens of millions of users in a very short period of time. So, I was looking at that coming from the same space. As a payments company, it took us 10 years to get four million users, and as a social media company we could be getting 100 million in a year.
We knew that if we had the right social media play and customer acquisitions role, we could attract a lot of users and get them interested in a variety of our features. So, after copious amounts of research, designing and engineering the service, we landed on a live streaming economic social network that allows people to interact and transact with their viewers worldwide in real time.
EQ: Can you walk me through how a user could utilize Peeks?
Itwaru: It could be used in a wide variety of ways, but in many cases, users will set up a sort of crowdfunding program. You could upload videos of your crowdfunding goals, tell people when you’re going to stream live, livestream to a global audience. If you have an engaged audience, you could leverage that for a better position in the app, so more people could see you and you could attract a larger audience. Your audience can interact with you, ask you questions, and you can get feedback.
EQ: What types of crowdfunding activities are your users involved in?
Itwaru: There are several types of crowdfunding – everything from the typical type of crowdfunding to equity-based financing, perspective-based financing offerings, and then random-based financing toward public offerings.
Already, we’ve got a great deal of crowdfunding activity going on – including some very interesting co-operative businesses. We’ve got one right now that’s a cooperative grocery store where everybody invests. It’s a wide variety of…