Pedro Ast, founder and CEO of Bvddy, Miami
Twenty-five-year-old Pedro Ast is a former professional tennis player who transferred his athletic passion into an entrepreneurial endeavor with Bvddy, a sports matchmaking app that lets people search for partners for the sport of their choice as well as find and organize their own sports events and activities.
Q: What was the inspiration for Bvddy and how long did it take you to create this app?
Pedro Ast: As a former professional tennis player and student athlete, the main inspiration was my constant problem to find people within my skill level to play tennis with. It was a constant hassle for me to find people to play tennis, and after college when most of the friends I played with either moved to a new city or started a new job, and it became more difficult each time to find people to play with. So we could say that the main inspiration came from my everyday problem of whom can I play with. To put a specific time frame on how much time it took to create the app is tricky because there are so many different stages when creating such product, and you are really never finished because any digital product is in need of constant iterations. But, I would say that the first MVP we build in like eight weeks or so to test the initial concept.
Q: How did you raise investor financing for this project?
Pedro Ast: To date we’ve raised much around $2.5 million. Raising money is always an interesting journey, especially with how much the funding scene has changed. For a pre-revenue consumer-driven product like ours, it is much tougher. But we’ve been able to do so mainly due to our focus from day one in creating a product that generates value for people.
Q: How are you marketing Bvddy? And is this strictly for the US market or does it work in other countries?
Pedro Ast: Most of our growth has been very organic, but we are starting to ramp up with some digital campaigns on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In the very beginning we had very grassroot strategies in Miami, which was the first city where we launched our Beta. There we did anything that required minimal resources and involved the community around us from weekly soccer games to local brand ambassador’s events such as run clubs and yoga events. As we continue to scale our focus remains the U.S. market, but our service can still be used in other countries although we have no growth initiatives in other markets aside from the U.S. for now.
Q: What are your 2017 goals for the company?
Pedro Ast: To continue to build a great product that people really enjoy using and bring as many people together to play sports as possible. We will also like to surpass 1,000,000 happy users.
Bvddy is online at www.bvddy.com