In June 2008, I joined an internet startup called Wigadoo.com. This was a website set up by 3 INSEAD graduates that was designed to solve one problem: that is organising a group of friends when money is involved can be a headache.
Wigadoo was essentially a prepaid MasterCard that each member of a group could add money onto when they agreed to do something together. Once the card was loaded with their money they could spend it on whatever they had chosen to do. So for example, a group of friends going on a stag do would organise themselves by using the Wigadoo website, opt in to attend the stag do and pay the agreed amount into the pot. Wigadoo would pool the money pot onto the prepaid Mastercard for the stag do members to use.
It was a good way of getting members of a group to commit to an idea and allow the organiser to collect the money from everyone up front – no more chasing up of people for money owed after the event.
I was in charge of the marketing, most of it being online, I setup and managed the paid search and SEO. I developed and set up an affiliate program, helped with the set up of a partner network which included partners such as Lastminute.com, Merlin Entertainment and many of the West End theatres, and I also managed the PR company, and a brand ambassador campaign on university campuses.
Unfortunately after about 6 months the company, financed by seed capital, ran out of money and affected by the onset of the credit crunch was forced to close.
Despite the challenges, we could just about show that the concept had been proven, and even with the technical complexities of setting up and running a financial service aimed at groups of people, we had a few successful Wigadoo group outcomes.