Guillermo Arce of Reva tells us about booking sports facilities in Paraguay.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Guillermo Arce: My family and my cofounder’s families are doing ok. A few of them have had the virus but everything went well. How are yours?
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Reva.
Guillermo Arce: On January, 16th I turned 28 years old, I’ve been a computer engineer since June 2017. I met my co-founders in college about ten years ago and we’ve been working in this company since 2017, every one of us as a full-time job. I’ve always been a sports fan, I enjoy playing soccer, tennis, padel, and in South America, if you want to play you have to book in a private sports facility. So we founded this company because of how hard it was to find and book a sports court.
How does Reva innovate?
Guillermo Arce: In South America, especially in Paraguay, we are a few years behind in terms of innovation. If you want to play a sport, you have to book in a private sports facility, but before Reva came to market, there was no easy way to find and book these courts, any other way than calling one by one. And the facilities kept their bookings with pen and paper, so it was pretty hard. We innovate by giving them all a solution, the players can find and book online in no time, and the facilities have everything they need one click away.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Guillermo Arce: The first three months were pretty hard, from March to May we went straight to zero as all the sports facilities were closed and no sports were allowed.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Guillermo Arce: We all have to make difficult choices during the pandemic, but as we kept Reva with a small team, we kept all of the team to this day. We always believed that there were too few of us, but the pandemic taught us to keep small and the people we hire should be superstars and should be treated like that.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Guillermo Arce: We are in constant communication with our customers, but as Reva is a marketplace, we also maintain constant communication with our users. Their opinion is the most valuable thing we can get. Specific tools? Of course, social media to keep them engaged, our own push notifications, but also, Google forms to get their opinions in different matters, and MailChimp to announce new features.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Guillermo Arce: Sensitive subject in Paraguay. The government provides no benefits for startups, thus doesn’t care to keep startups and small businesses afloat.
Your final thoughts?
Guillermo Arce: I want to thank you for the interview, it’s an honor and a pleasure for us to be noted outside our own country, and also means that we’re doing some things right. We still have a long way to walk, but in Reva, we believe that we can be as good as any other startup from anywhere in the world.
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