Launched last year, Grafetee is a mobile app which enables anyone to create a location-based service in minutes for web and mobile devices.
I asked founder Juha Huttunen about Grafetee and its plans for world domination…
In one sentence, what is Grafetee?
Grafetee enables anyone to create a location-based service in minutes for web and mobile devices.
What problem/s does Grafetee solve?
If an organisation or person has location-based data they want to send to others or they want to crowdsource location-based data from others, Grafetee enables the creation of such a service in minutes without any software development.
It’s like WordPress for location-based data and services.
When and why did you launch it?
We launched the mobile app in the fall of 2012. Our new self-service version which people can sign up and create their own services with is launching in late January 2013.
We’re launching this because of the success we had implementing it alongside the Finnish Police and got a lot of requests to do a similar service to a wide range of applications we wouldn’t have thought on our own.
With our service, members of the community were able to report crime. We thought that enabling people to build their own services would be cool.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audiences are organisations and people with a strong interest in location-based data of any kind. Typically these are companies like mobile operators, utilities companies, government organisations like the police. Basically anyone who has built infrastructure or who needs to collect observations from a wide geographical area from its customers.
What are your immediate goals?
Our most immediate goal is to find out how exactly people are interested in using our service and in what scope, then we’ll develop our product accordingly. After that we want to grow the company to be the number one company in location-based services sector.
What were the biggest challenges involved in building Grafetee?
We didn’t run into any major challenges technically. Of course always the biggest challenge is to develop a product that does what customers want it to do. It takes several iterations, feedback and metrics analysis so time is a slight issue.
How will the company make money?
Organisations will pay a monthly fee for using the service.
Who is in your team?
Our team is very lean consisting only two full time people, Juha Huttunen and Arttu Ylärakkola. Juha is a serial entrepreneur, technology enthusiast and a geek.
Getting his first computer in the early 80s changed him for good and later his studies, work and much of his free time have been about computers and applying technology to solve practical problems of people and companies.
Before founding Grafetee, Juha founded a personalized travel guide website Tripsay.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five year’s time?
In one year’s time we want to be on a growth track with significant revenues already so that we’ve proven that it’s a business. In three year’s time we want to be a large and profitable company.
In five year’s time we want to be the biggest company in the location-based services business.
Other than Grafetee, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?
There are many of course but at least Trello, AgileZen, Zite, Kindle app, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, Skype, Google calendar and Google Reader to mention a few.
The newest addition is Pipedrive (a CRM solution) that looks really promising although I’ve been using it just a few days.