MyBagCheck officially launched in the Apple App Store in November. It has since had about 300 downloads, with about 10 percent of users actually taking advantage of the service; luggage pick-up, storage and delivery within New York City.
But founder Micah B. Lewis—who self-funded the company with $60,000 of his own capital after conceiving of the idea in late 2016—currently prioritizes download growth over actual service consumption. Download numbers spark investor interest and Lewis is seeking $1 million in angel investment in order to develop more sizable scale.
When you deal with B2C and you want to be on investors’ radar, you need millions of downloads and you can spend a lot upfront on app downloads that might use it once or twice or never –and that’s a lot of wasted revenue…So the goal is to have 50 hotels in Manhattan sign up with the platform.
Lewis has implemented a B2B marketing strategy in order to drive more consumers to the app or in his words, “the main focus is to have business partnerships that will do the marketing for me.” He’s introducing a web app that will enable hotel concierges to make MyBagCheck bookings on behalf of guests, incentivizing hotels to keep their storage space under capacity at no cost to the property while also providing them with a means of enhancing their guest service quotient.
“The two boutique hotels in New York that are currently signed up have added to their guests’ service experience because they no longer have to backtrack to the hotel hours after check-out when they’re headed to the airport,” he noted, further pointing out that it also provides an option for Airbnb guests who have no choice but to take their luggage with them at check out.
Intent on building a diverse marketing model that will make it difficult to replicate the business in a year or two, Lewis is also forging partnerships with concierge companies that service a selection of New York City apartment buildings as well as small, boutique retailers that strive to offer customers distinguishing services.
While Lewis plans to expand into other major gateway markets in the US and internationally, he doesn’t anticipate that happening in the next year to 18 months. For now he wants to prove the model in New York where the business currently operates on-demand, 24/7. When bags are retrieved from customers, they are secured with a uniquely numbered zip tag before they are brought to an undisclosed, secure location where they are stored until redelivered to the customer.
Lewis’ legal team and insurance brokers have all approved the process in order to put the requisite business filings and policies in place.
To get to this point, Lewis drew from his past professional experience working for several startups in San Francisco before moving to New York where he’s worked for Apple and most recently, selling HR solutions to small and medium sized business for TriNet. “To understand how these companies operate, you have to ask the right questions and I approach my business the same way,” he said.
However, Lewis was lacking in actual tech experience; he had never coded. So after researching platforms for building an app without a developer background, he initially built the MyBagCheck app through bubble.is. After nearly a year of building the framework and the front end of the app, he turned his work over to a professional development team in Eastern Europe to add some additional features before launching in the iTunes store in November.
Going forward, Lewis is confident MyBagCheck will change how people travel in the next three to five years as they will no longer need to arrive at the airport and wait for bags before immediately heading to their hotel to drop them off. “People’s travel behavior is dictated by flight times and this app will be a game changer for the travel industry,” he added.
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