Jeremy Cox, Co-Founder and CEO of AmazingCo tells us how the company helps people discover what’s on offer near them, such as a special night with their partner or some time together as a family.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jeremy Cox: We’re doing very well, thank you. We welcomed our second child in October and are thankful that our home city, Melbourne, is out of the heavy restrictions.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded AmazingCo.
Jeremy Cox: I founded my first business over 20 years ago, which, little did I know at the time, would be just the start of many entrepreneurial ventures. A decade ago, I co-founded Edrolo, an EdTech start-up currently operating in over 1000 schools across Australia. Around the same time, we seeded the original ideas of what would become AmazingCo, now the world’s leading leisure time experiences company, where I am co-founder and CEO.
I am incredibly lucky to work with people I knew and trusted long before the ideation of AmazingCo. My wife Silvia and best friend Nick make up AmazingCo’s other two co-founders. They share my passion for offering people the chance to form better connections with their loved ones through unique experiences – while supporting local businesses.
How does AmazingCo innovate?
Jeremy Cox: When the pandemic began to impact our social activity, we adapted to a virtual-only offering as quickly as we could. At-home murder mysteries, pamper nights and gourmet experiences kept families, friends and couples entertained throughout the various lockdowns.
We knew entering into the ‘new normal’ would require a long-term commitment to offering a hybrid approach. With the appetite for online experiences higher than in pre-pandemic times, we have shifted our offering to meet our customers’ needs by keeping both options on the table.
Our customers continue to be the driving force behind our innovations at AmazingCo. We constantly collect feedback and ensure all our experiences have gone through multiple trial stages before going to market. This ensures that every innovation helps people connect with their city and cultivate meaningful connections with those close to them.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Jeremy Cox: For a number of months last year, many people could only leave their houses for essential purposes. As our experiences were no longer permitted within any of the 50 cities we operate in, booking volumes dropped by a staggering 95%. This had a huge impact on our cash flow, so with heavy hearts, we made the very tough call to ask our team to either stand down or take a pay decrease.
Today, we’re happy to say we have been able to increase team back up to 70 people, which is where we were pre-covid. What’s changed since then, we’re now servicing three times the booking volumes!
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jeremy Cox: Yes, with AmazingCo’s in-person experience offering temporarily halted by the lockdown measures enforced across the world, we had to learn to adapt to our new circumstances. Though this put a spanner in the works, it made us more determined than ever to deliver on our mission to help people connect.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Jeremy Cox: We build all of our own software in-house, and through the crisis, we’ve been able to apply our in-person experiences software to our at-home experiences. This quick transition is a testament to the amazing talent in our development team, and without them, we simply wouldn’t be where we are now.
From a business management perspective, it has been a process of keeping the team engaged around our core mission to connect people. By helping people see through the immediate and devastating impact of the pandemic, we have been able to emerge far stronger and with a heightened purpose.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jeremy Cox: Our competitors broadly range from sports games, concerts, cafes, pubs all the way up to the likes of industry giants Netflix and Uber Eats. Large or small, our competitors continue to drive us to create experiences that compel people to use their leisure time in more considered, inspired ways.
We’ll do this by continuing to create amazing experiences that make people feel more connected and like they’ve made the most of their weekend.