Q&A with Ilya Rouss founder of Teleporting
Teleporting is an ecosystem for the self-employed where you can find any type of activity on your road to self-improvement. We caught up with Ilya Rouss, Founder and Managing Director of Teleporting.
Can you tell me about your background and where Teleporting fits into this?
Teleporting is basically a combination of all things that I enjoy the most in life. They are traveling, meeting people, and entrepreneurship. I am a serial entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in tech, sports marketing, computer production, and the automotive industry. It's natural for me to think about business opportunities.
I studied marketing at the University of Palermo and sports communications at the University of Buenos Aires and my first big venture was a media agency which I founded in 2013. We worked with Moto GP superstar Jorge Lorenzo and other pro-athletes, Formula 1, Red Bull, Yamaha, and Mercedes-Benz.
Throughout my life I tried my hand at different things, like opening a restaurant on a ski slope and starting a bike shop. As you can see, many of my business projects are somehow connected to sports and experiences.
Currently I'm a partner at Xplusone APP, a company that develops mobile applications for curated marketplaces in various verticals, a partner at the Spanish automotive corporation EBRO, the founder of the bicycle brand Forestal and the CEO and founder of Teleporting.
What does Teleporting do?
Teleporting is an edutainment ecosystem that connects modern experience-seekers with experience providers. These experiences are intended to help people grow and can be divided into the following categories: travel and amusement, education, sports, arts and design, beauty and health, food and cuisine, children and parenting, and pets.
It helps people find tour guides, makeup artists, cooking masterclasses, sporting gear rentals, dog grooming, interior designers and many more experts and events of the kind anywhere in the world. So, our platform is a means for finding professionals who can enrich your experience of life. On the flip side, it's a tool for providers of such services to promote their businesses and reach out to new audiences.
What is the importance of this technology?
We spend an awful lot of time on our phones but at the same time we crave in-person connection. The COVID-19 pandemic locked people in and showed how much we depreciated the importance of real-life communication that can't be substituted by any digital means.
A recent Deloitte report said that about one-third of American consumers experienced digital fatigue because of the necessity to use too many digital tools during the pandemic lockdowns. Also there was a study showing that people feel better when they socialise both digitally and in-person rather than when they're not socialising but in-person interactions bring more enjoyment.
So, we use the power of technology to connect people in the real world. Rather than trying to force people to come together within the digital space even more, we want to let them rediscover the joy of being out in the physical environment.
Could you tell me about the specific technology involved?
I don't want to get into the technical side of the project because it’s going to be quite boring. Though, probably, it's important to mention that we are working on the architecture that will provide an effortless user experience. We don't want Teleporting to be just a marketplace of experiences, it should be a joyful experience itself.
Our app is designed to become the core of human communication and bring back the true power of community. It's not just another platform to waste your time and potential online, but an ecosystem that inspires real life interactions and individual growth.
How many are on your team and how have you grown to where you are today?
We have a relatively small team of dedicated professionals who understand the concept and believe in it. They devote their time and knowledge for executing the vision behind Teleporting which I'm highly grateful for. I believe that having an excellent team plays a huge role in the success of a product.
How do you differentiate from your competitors?
We are building a complex and broad but effective ecosystem which is beneficial for both experience-seekers and experience providers. We work hard on being able to guarantee the high-quality of any experience that gets a spot on our app. For this purpose we manually moderate any content that gets on Teleporting.
Could you discuss your funding process?
For now we are investing our own money into the project, but Teleporting is on its way to raise seed money in order to grow faster and in a sustainable manner.
What has been the biggest overall challenge so far?
Right now we are in the process of pivoting. We started out as a marketplace just for travellers with all experiences serving the goal to get the most of exploring new countries and cities as a tourist.
Now we are aiming at a broader range of experiences and services and see our target audience as self-employed individuals who strive for growth and self-improvement. We are switching from the narrow niche traveling to a more diverse theme of edutainment.
What is next for Teleporting? Discuss your growth strategy.
We are planning to launch the app with the first set of features on all app marketplaces mid-April. Considering that we started to work on it at the end of the last year, it is a fantastic accomplishment.
We've already onboarded a team of ambassadors who share our vision, they are going to represent the platform at its best. At this point we are aiming at an organic growth strategy, because we know that Teleporting is a working concept and a great solution that can be used by many.