LONDONLOVESBUSINESS - Sep 23 - Ross Williams is the CEO of Venntro Media Group, a parent company of WhiteLabelDating.com. The company claims 1700 partners, 25K sites and 45M members worldwide.
Q: How big is the market?
A: The UK online dating market is valued at £165M and is expected to grow to £225M by 2019. A third of adults in the UK use a site powered by us.
Q: How do you make money?
A: Our largest revenue-generating product is White Label Dating. We operate on a revenue sharing model so we only make money if our partners do.
Q: Who’s bankrolling you?
A: Venntro is completely privately owned. Steve Pammenter and I founded the business in 2003, juggling a dozen credit cards and paying them off each month.
Q: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to secure that kind of finance?
A: Juggling credit cards is a gamble. You need to be confident that the business model is going to work. It’s very hard to monetise a product if you haven’t thought about revenue generation from the off.
Q: What do you believe the key to growing this business is?
A: Move with the market. It is a constantly developing market – if you stop innovating you could end up with getting left behind.
Q: What metrics do you look at every day?
A: Revenue per customer and customer engagement.
Q: What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
A: Ensure that you have multiple levels of redundancy in all areas of the business.
Q: What’s been your biggest mistake so far?
A: In 2014, our payment processing provider made the decision to exit the dating market, giving us 60 days notice to find a new solution. We didn’t have any redundancy. We worked around the clock to resolve the issue but it was touch and go. We now have four payment providers in place.
Q: Which London startup/s are you watching?
A: I love what HER are doing at the moment. Clocked.co have also a unique product and have built a great team. The Inner Circle have a great marketing strategy, with a lot of headline grabbing campaigns.