Wahooly is a name for initiating business focused on helping launch other start-ups. The way Wahooly hopes to accomplish its goal is not traditional by any standards. However, it is more in line with current marketing ideas and practices. Rather than requiring users to fork over money to support a project, Wahooly takes advantage of social promotion, connectivity, and feedback as a means of supporting and growing the start-up. As compensation for their support, users become invested in the new company.
How does it work?
An example from Wahooly’s site describing its service goes as follows: imagine there is a new, social, photo-sharing site that needs help getting its feet off the ground. After setting up a deal with Wahooly, the photo start-up is presented to Wahooly users who, if they think the site has potential, can sign up to support it and help it grow. The number of users who can sign up to support is limited to a predefined amount depending on the needs of the start-up. Each user will then hold an equal share of a portion of the start-up.
How do Wahooly users make money and what is there for the start-up?
Ultimately, the value of a user’s share is dependent upon how much they help the startup. Active Wahooly users, those that contribute high quality feedback and are the biggest advocates for the brand, are rewarded with more points, meaning an increased value of their share. Users can track the always-fluctuating value of their share and their ranking amongst the other photo startups supporters on their Dashboard page.
It’s a win-win situation for both the start-up and users: the more buzz built and improvements to the start-up, the more compensation a user receives!
Quality supporters are the biggest help
Not just anyone is able to hop in on the Wahooly action. Wahooly partnered with Klout, the questionably reliable social-influence measurement site, to find over 25,000 high-ranking influencers. These users are very socially connected and are probably early adopters. Needless to say, highly influential people who are credible and can reach out to many others can be utilized to great effect for promotion. I’m hoping that Wahooly is kept as an exclusive system to maintain the quality of service it hopes to provide.
Wahooly launches with three start-ups
Wahooly launched, albeit in beta mode, on February 1st with three start-up companies looking for support. Over the course of 2012, Wahooly will introduce over 200 more start-ups to its users, most of which are consumer-targeted, web-based applications.
Wahooly definitely has an interesting model and may provide more to its users and clients than any other site like it. Only time will tell if what it strives to do comes to fruition. A quick way to tell is if some of the first start-ups to be introduced on the site achieve success. As Wahooly says, “social capital is the future,” but can Wahooly really prove itself.