First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Judah Longgrear: We are doing well. COVID-19 has shaken a lot of habits. So we used this period to spend more time with our family, which is not always a given when you’re building a tech company.
My girlfriend and I even got engaged!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Nickelytics.
Judah Longgrear: I am an entrepreneur at heart. It all started when I opened a coffee shop back in college. This first company gave me a sense, even on a small scale, of what it meant to run a company. It certainly gave me the drive to be my own boss in the long-term.
After graduating, I joined big companies like Salesforce, Gartner, and Netapp. I quickly grew to managerial sales positions but truly missed the thrill and hustle of entrepreneurship.
This was when I decided to found my own startup with real scaling potential. The Nickel Ride was on-demand rideshare paid for by advertisers. We were present in 5 cities throughout Florida and partnered with more than 60 advertisers to deliver +100K free ride to locals.
After a pivot in August last year, our venture-backed company became Nickelytics. We are currently rolling out our marketplace to connect advertisers with any vehicles worldwide. We were accelerated by leading programs Techstars and Endeavor and are trusted by the biggest names in the mobility industry today, including TIER, Cabify, and Lyft.
How does Nickelytics innovate?
Judah Longgrear: Today, large-scale advertising is too expensive and complex for small and medium-sized businesses. Yet, they represent 90% of companies worldwide and are those who need to build brand awareness the most.
So at Nickelytics, we use Big Data and automation to make effective advertising available to all.
At the same, we are the exclusive partner to new mobility leaders who are always happy to boost their very low margin effortlessly.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Judah Longgrear: As an outdoor advertising company, we certainly got affected by Covid-19 and its economic impact worldwide. But we adjusted our strategy to target the companies thriving with the pandemic, such as in the medical, education, and food delivery sectors. We also offered our services to large Enterprises, which requires longer sales cycles but leads to the biggest contracts.
We finally used this time to close +12 partnerships worldwide and become the number 1 advertising partner to micro-mobility and ride-sharing companies.
We also launched AdShield – AdShield gives each rideshare driver and passenger protection and peace of mind. All while providing high-impact brand impressions to a captive audience.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Judah Longgrear: Thanks to a governmental forgivable loan, we were also able to keep all of our staff and even continue growing to make the most of this period. As everyone was working from home, it was a good mentality shift, so we bet on an international remote team. As a result, Nickelytics was running 24/7 on multiple continents.
This time could have gone really bad for us, but we are really proud to see how great we could make it work. That comes down to the quality team we have supporting Nickelytics. Thankful for each and every one of them.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Nickelytics in the future?
Judah Longgrear: I am a huge proponent of mindfulness meditation. I try and start every day with grounding exercises and do a lot of breathwork throughout the day. I already am prone to anxiety, and running a Tech Startup only exaggerates that. I am thankful for my practice and contribute a lot to how I can overcome such stressful situations with a level of mind.
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