CONTRIBUTOR: Emma Castle
MEET THE START-UP: GREG CURCIO FROM ROAMNI
What is Roamni?
Roamni is an App and platform that provides a world-wide audio tour guide in your pocket, combining the latest smartphone technology and designed to allow anyone to self-publish audio tours and stories, and get paid for their creativity.
Tourists and locals can listen and follow the journey of these stories, gain a different perspective on their surroundings and share the knowledge of what they have learned throughout the world. The platform is easy to access, convenient to use and offers tours and stories at a price well below live tour guide operators.
Anyone who creates their own audio tour or story can publish for free or assign a price, and when purchased by a user, can get paid a generous percentage of the transaction.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves …
Jason [Fabbri, Roamni Co-founder) and I are best mates and business partners. We met while we were working at Origin Energy in 2012. We both have corporate backgrounds, with Jason’s expertise in Change Management and mine in digital and innovation.
We both still work in corporate; Jason for IAG as a Change Lead and I work for NAB as a Senior Manager and Product Owner.
Jason also teaches at Torrens University since graduating from an MBA at RMIT.
I have two young boys, 3 years and 18 months old, and just renovated a house in Surrey Hills, Melbourne.
Balancing commitments, work, family and Roamni is a challenge, but extremely rewarding!
Where did the idea come from?
We [Greg and Co-founder Jason Fabbri] like to always start with the problem worth solving = gap in the market.
It centres around two factors: 1) bad experiences with tours in a city. For example, have you ever been to a city and gone on a local tour guide that was expensive, not very authentic and not convenient?
Roamni solves this problem by providing audio tours from local passionate people, that can be experienced at any time, at a fraction of the price of a local tour guide. And the good news is, every Roamni tour host can earn money from selling their tours. This particular two-sided market place is unique, and the user generated content is something that travellers and locals want, but does not yet exist in this format.
The other problem we’re solving is more of an emotional journey for us (and many other users): 2) The other inspiration came from our grandparents. They came out to Australia from Italy and had a lot of stories of their local neighbourhood.
Mine were in Carlton and Brunswick, Jason’s in Oakleigh and Carnegie. Unfortunately, they passed away before we had any chance of recording these stories. We definitely see Roamni also as a tool for preserving our historical knowledge and a way to share that with visitors and locals alike. Our Story of Place feature allows that to happen very easily, showcasing a single point on the map and linking it to a story.
This is where we believe that Roamni can create a greater sense of empathy for each other.
Where do you see it going in the next year?
Australia, US and EU tour content reaching a tipping point. Also, our first business customers using Roamni as part of their social media strategy. And a major international event who will use Roamni to engage with their fans in a unique way.
If someone walked up to you and offered to help, what would you ask for?
Content, content, content. We want to hear from everyone and anyone who would like to contribute stories to Roamni. And businesses who see storytelling as a key part of their social media and engagement strategy.