Transcript for Interview with the founders of WinIt app
Hey everyone I'm Rebecca Jarvis ABC's chief business technology and economics correspondent happy Friday we have made it. We've made it through the weekend we have amazing guests here with us today Christian Obama and Lori L Le Mel arguing as they are the co founders. Of the wheat it app which I absolutely love has this app is changing people's lives in the best way by making sure we don't have to pay those part. Take it thank you very my jets it's really being very you know this does started about two years ago and it's exploded beyond our wildest dreams. It really is taken off but that's because we've putting good results on the table for people and it's really a feel good story all around for the users us the city everybody involved it's really just. A win win situations out. I love it so I can imagine a lot of you have questions feel free to put those in the comments Taylor Dunn is monitoring and will be shouting them out as they come in. This when it app for those who aren't familiar with it you guy is basically go out. And you would deal with all the mess you deal with all the insanity so once someone gets that parking ticket they go in your happen they do what. The united so basically we built this up in a way that it's very easy for the user and they don't have to do anything so the process is very simple. Just have to open yup which repeats information. And who treat your tickets directly and fight for you. The good thing about our model is that we only charge if we win this is complete he risk free. See you just have to put your ticket where a couple of weeks and you know forget it dismissed will you know charter 50% of what is the cost of. So 50% of whatever the ticket when I got somebody so basically you're saving half. You think of what you would've paid or if you guys don't win. If you don't win you can that we we added this new feature if you don't we can pay directly through yup so basically. Parking tickets as everyone knows is making huge frustration with the burden and we built this house so that we take this whole Vernon writes we've done up to do anything we just you know money through Neitzel you know. Every week pessimism that you get from them you were fighting for you if we want 150%. And you feel we can pay for yeah. You don't pay you don't win it you paid within the government to enact anything apprehend him so that to you came together at of the Backstreet Christian your family business. Has Ben. Fighting could rack basic. Yeah my family business empire commercial services we've been in business 25 plus years. Always handling commercial operators and really the reason was. Every not with the parking ticket in New York City would be calling wanting to tell me a half hour how they're not guilty. Not guilty of a parking ticket they've gotten the city and now. But so was impractical to deal with the general public with a buying tickets and so forth. On but. Through technology and through the app we've now been able to reach this greed audience. The general driver the general public the uber driver with driver gorgeous. You know them the mobbed opera kids off the school salaam it's really been grade and through the app where you handle the volumes bundled with tickets. And gotten the resolution you know as quickly as possible. You know that the main goal really for everybody involved whether it's the city of New York. Ticketed responded and or when it is to get the ticket resolved to zero right we want the tickets resolved as quickly as possible. So we really try to facilitate that process in Mexico for everybody how. Our it depends I would say generally from the time you give us the tickets what you get your determination of guilty not guilty generally about four weeks. It could be a little longer could be a little less depending on the court scheduled a hearing sessions and so forth but generally about four weeks is a good kinda barometer to a collect. And how to you get together to. Hunted him down. Thanks to this story is but he. How historians because I actually used parking tickets. In part a lot of application adds it's. You know in the city what you drive it's very hard not to get parking ticket. You know there I think the seizures of over pending in parking tickets a year and that's just New York City for over 600 million dollars. So there's a lot parking tickets around them is to get love them and then you know my friend and said you know there's a guy that count three your tickets and when it's your yet I think words you know was really. Yeah amazed by that causes like you know there's a huge market for it. Obviously the reason that that's how we deal the other movement Chris and you know we basically and I used technology combined with the his expertise to build this amazing upon. The you know I'm not I'm not a computer guided by any stretch of the means but I know a lot about parking tickets so is really a very arms and myopic relationship and it really just. Nash perfectly it's you know him and his team to the outside and it might indeed ticket side. And you know that the users and one winning really. I think it's agree. Piece of advice and practical knowledge offer for people who aren't nor'easter wanna be out doors the idea that a first. You have this problem that you face and there's an obvious solution out there Christians family as figuring out the solution. And beat the idea that technology. When you are not for an hour an innovator you're not always gonna know how to build the technology but if you have this underlying solution. Being able to partner with the right person to create the technology so that that solution can reach more people is really key. Exactly Aaron you know I mean as the business grows the more I realize you cant do it all you have to be able to find good key people to help you along the lag. To facilitate the process and really. The things you all are good that as what you should laser focus on and really make sure that you don't do good at that you do and easing at that so I know were amazing at the parking tickets there's no disputing that you know we've gotten over my. That company umpire commercial services. Up half a billion dollars a parking tickets this well over 25 years so we know how to get the tickets dismissed but. You know as far as using the apps and all the technical stuff you know that that's their expertise sell armed they've really been able to. Teach me things I didn't know as far as being able to process the tickets and so forth and really put a streamlined process in place. So I'm sure you can imagine there is heavy demand for this all over the country right now you are in New York per. When do you expand. So so right now. State agency we start with parking tickets which is when you cards part and we started to get a lot of requests from users about Hagan this. Moving violation and I got pulled over by. Cup and enough people were asking us to help and go traffic tickets it was kind of a natural extension to get into that space which is very very different than parking. We wanted to make sure that we use the same level of expertise and attention for customers when we entered these markets very careful about and other partners that we're getting. So we enter that market a few months ago and is going very very well because of the amendment is very very strong. And far I think you know we get expanding without anything other locations but again want to do it very carefully looked rock just open your. Make sure you're getting people's money back exactly right all in Seattle that that go through the went app how many of them are actually happening their tickets resolved. So we dismissed over six million dollars worth of parking ticket. Million dollars of heart yet. And that's in about two years yeah. And that the direct answers question is every single person that puts their ticket to the app gets the ticket resolved in one layer of the right. And might not necessarily be dismissed but every single tickets submitted to was. That is eligible to go to court goes to court so we're not like taking Dickens thing we don't wanna do these lines is this one does have a good shot. Every ticket gets a hearing so I think that's really a value to the users well because. Even if you have a ticket submitted and it's not dismissed there's still benefit to having the hearing on the ticket because now what happens is if the ticket is found guilty. It resets the clock on a tiny have to. So it's giving an additional time. You know and of all the tickets we do you know we get over about a third of them dismiss it's actually pretty good. And always trying to improve on that of course. We're gig questions tailor. Our. Hardest part about being an ex. There are many. I would say you know you need to make sure it's who you know. Keep yourself motivated and that's why I think having group partners is very very important and shouldn't NYC is very important so that you know. When you know you're not in the best moves you know you have someone to talk to and you know and that worked together from its you know. Fred losers it was very very helpful to be able to worker well we partners. I would say for me the main thing a lot of people don't realize about entrepreneur or eases. You don't work a nine to five your job is 24 hours a day seven days a week. I mean my brain can never shut off trying to think about ways to improve when it ways to improve the dismissal ways. Raise you know improve the process so. It's. It's really a point 47 job and here entrepreneur norv constantly thinking about your business and that's something I think that in maybe anticipates so much getting into it that it is never turns off. When it comes to buy rate partners and we hear so much about the importance I was just. In an interview with steered us. Sarah Michelle Geller boosters and she talked about how important wise for her to find the right team of people. How do you between the two you resolve. An issue if you don't agree if you're not on the same page what do you guys we just go blacks. And pets have. You have to be if you open minded and understand that you know we all in the same boat together and keep keep you know the the picture in mind then you know will jolts and trying to figure out the leash is it going to be you know it's just business right so. If you put everyone in the same room and tried to work it out usually works. And the other thing is we try to be friends still I mean we do have a social aspect outside of work and we try and you know. When it is getting pulp with work bring it back to our let's get together and go out to dinner for the night or something like that to trying kind of bring it back together and you know make sure our relationship stay strong as well as the business things wrong. More questions. There. That's a great question it's that's when. That's what we're getting a lot of those tickets right anyway that back in 2015. It was you know yeah outs were still going strong magnet. And you know. Yet again that the size of the market and that the simple. Aspect of the product needed there you can just Kabila wearing a few steps you know we just put your fair information see your ticket and submitted them software about it. It may very sense enough sense just given up well. That's how you can scale there are no way with it with individual. Correct I mean honestly for myself I realize a long time ago that I thought an apple is the solution but I didn't know how to go about getting. And you know I think a lot of entrepreneurs face that where they have this idea they have this vision in their mind. And they don't know where to go how to start my advice would be just start. Stop thinking about it does do something so what I do at that the the fought and I called them because I heard about. When it through a friend of mine and in the process like five tickets. That he knew how I got his number to call him but I just did and I was like you need to come to my office and we need to just figure this out and you know a couple of months we had a all hammered out and was off to the races. What's process because getting an app into the App Store obviously a very big deal you're not in the App Store. The chances of someone finding what you're doing. Very small how do you do it. What's your advice to people. I think putting enough to the other story is actually quite easy you just have to deal and up and greed there I think what's hard is Bihac market need and and that's where you know you have to make sure you know it. To study you know the aspect of marketing its month. Something that you have been could do it right and use different techniques you know referral and all those kind of a strategies to make sure that people can get the word actually referral is one of the very strong ethic that helped helped us grow where you know. Few would fare if her friend got your front you know you both get five dollars is something that can help you grow organically and then you know attraction goes and can good. I think a common. This perception people have apps is like it's just an app and it just goes on it's all right there's a lot behind the got to need that app. So I don't care how cool the app is that the design looks cool it's got cool little buttons. If it doesn't do what it's intended to do people like and use it. People use when it because they get their tickets dismissed and they see the result it's not. Media work maybe it didn't it's well I just saved 57 dollars honest that this is great. So I think it's important when you know if you want to put at together whenever. You have to be able to have something that works. Because as everyone knows you use an app it's buggy wood he'd be deleted from your phone immediately and use it again you know come back. So if you're gonna do it make sure it's done right that he really usually have one shot. And that's pretty much. People are. How people are everybody happy. I actually like very very important reasons or the Korean uses and we just think it's great great rush yeah. And I trust you guys got Sarah that they keep parking spot it a little bit of both yeah. And at the height of two gilts that feature where once you put your plates you have nothing to worry about them when monetary paid for free every week. It's something that's a lot of users media like because you know again parking to get something don't want having your head in Europe over driver in the year. Commercial driver on a pretty ironic parking tickets are not something might happen in your mind. So deal that features of that estimate of which are paid we get back enough work. Let me expand on that a little bit it's feature we have called ticket guardian. So essentially you put your license plate and then you submit your ticket OK fine. But what we will do is check your plate to say okay you gave us this one ticket but there's two other tickets outstanding. And I think anybody in New York especially knows. Frequently. When you go out your car there won't be a ticket there. But then he'll get a nice little notice in the mail from the city of New York saying hang on this be you have taken at such and such location and you think. Got this tech it would happen marketable on all of sometimes people pull take its offer your car to stick it on their car a whole variety of stuff so this eliminates that. And you're getting notified up front so there's no late fees no penalties and you know you can address the tickets alive floor. Questions. Teacher and and I. A sort of and so again for now. Moving violations is a huge product Europe won't -- kids are very very you know that just in New York I think to Darlington for us is going to be me about. Opening new locations offerings from those two products. Then there are a lot of other verticals we can going leg basically we see ourselves as as an advocate for drivers' rights that we helping drivers. For now we start with parking and traffic tickets but later on you can help drivers and there is different ways that was kept that in mind litigant for now. Our main focus for the next few months is really being able to continue helping drivers. The one new feature we do have however though is we just did set up a web app. So we were getting a lot of user feedback basically saying if I'd have a smaller follow and I wanna use the computer and so forth which we didn't have available in the past. So now you can submit your tickets in the computer you don't need to use the phone anymore. And I think this will hopefully help us to reach maybe some. The slightly older demographic. Maybe isn't so low tech phones savvy years. App savvy or whatever. So you know we're we're hoping about what Google bomb but so that's new. Maybe the couple weeks a month ago we just launched the web. Work with line force. Happening feel about the fact that you guys exist all belong Forstmann honestly I don't think really cares because their job is to go out and if they seen infraction or violation write a ticket. Arms so you know the law enforcement Versailles I don't think really. Has us. You know one way or the other they're just writing the ticket of the ticket should your mom you know that's free and. More questions. And. A. So are so let's explain for register course each and how it works and yes it is free. Yes so basically what the way it works out for the user is very simple you put your page information retrieved all your tickets. And in if you came to can submit them for free. Then we'll go in quartz for you will prepare you know a whole case. We have you know ex police officers are reviewed it to get them go to court to fight a ticket a few weeks after when you have the result. If the tickets is dismissed with a bloody fighting his and charge 50% of the original final month. So these are saved 50%. And if the tickets is found guilty will of this seemingly fighting these are these it has been thirty days to pay that to get that he can pay the ticket through yup. So either way you know we we welcome this news. We don't have to pay the ticket you can pay directly to the city as well it's just an option. But a lot of people choose the option to pay through the app because it's very easy. So we've actually transmitted over two million dollars worth the guilty payments to the city of New York over the last two years I'll. You know unintended. Collection agencies like. City of New York is cut. Probably good at this I'm not levels this street line's parent couple of quarters you know people last. That frequently you know I'm not necessary law enforcement but how does the city feel about it and we're partners with the city I mean. We all have the same regal goal and its resolve the ticket. So long you know instead of a thousand people a day going into the city saying all I wanna have a hearing on my ticket we can now streamline that process and say on the one person here to view the thousand tickets. So it really. Honestly frees up a lot of varies sources. And I think part why it's so successful why we get so many users is because although it's not hard to fight a ticket. It's hard to know what defense to prepare right it's hard to know what documentation to bring it. And so even though somebody might have everything all together and it seems like a good defense if it's not prepared correctly they're gonna get a guilty determination. More questions. It. There. I associate who worked with a lot of as you can imagine. Is to get that I guess and work with the love them actually. Sometimes my is that cabs over and I can the margin of that would have been very often do and a product and as you can imagine someone. That drives for work and get you know a 115 dollars to get immediate effects you know there that they take so. I think is solution like this that helps those drivers. Seen. I'm parking tickets something that they. I always say com obviously of course where Roger Bernard way in this business to make money. But it really does feel good to help people as well because. No matter who you are where you live everybody can relate to the feeling of walking out to the car. Weathers the Jersey Shore New York City power is doesn't matter and seemed to take it on the way jemaah. God you know and then what he'd go so. You know honesty save the money for it. The mom in Queens who was just dropping their kids off real quicken got a 115 dollar ticket. It's nice to be able to give back a little bit you know to the people as well when and is seen as acting. I CNN's mark unique. You know we honestly have gotten. Part of investor interest a lot of phone calls a lot of emails along. I think one of the best things that we've done since starting this business was not take any investors. Well believe it and we've done this on our own Easter we shut the whole thing and from. You know a month into it people are on the cell won't be successful unless you raise money won't be successful as yet. Venture capital partners and so forth and basic reason why we can do with LA we were making money right off the bat and he we don't wanna answered anybody else have a point we knew we knew. What our vision was. And we kind of wanted to make sure our vision got through to completion not to say we don't ever want investors and like that but at that point. We wanted to make sure we could mold in to what we wanted it to be. Our vision and down. You know luckily socialists of. I don't think it applies to every business but again like having this possibly do not raise funds for us was something very important where. You know we're able to really focus more on these products harassment and you know not raise mowers and maybe raise money from someone right. And you know having. Being able to do that really helped us you know in in two years to grow the company verses and have been trying to raise money and that that proved to be very very helpful in. You raise are really valid point both of you do that the idea that raising money is important to have business clearly can be. But it also takes a ton of time Alice founders I speak to. Who are fund raising are spending the majority of their time not doing the business not running the business but they are spending all their time meeting with investors. And ended the probably that you can you quipped it disconnected from the business and update you as where their full time jobs or six month just raise money and that they don't really understand what's going on business and that's not necessary vigil at a situation. More questions. 00. So the good thing is if you take its new old for most scenarios we can still fight the ticket. Are on the whole key with is to put the ticketing immediately don't wait don't let a penalty accrue don't hold it just get it and if it ticket falls in to judgment where general holder than a 120 days you could. Be barred from hearing ticket as long as the ticket is not in judgment. We are still label here you're tech. So you know as long as you usually within the first hundred and pointing phase of the ticket being issued even if it's late you're still good. Good great to know so tell people out there who are watching where they can find when it and find more information. Sure you can that the week and outlook column and it's also witnessed on both yeah usually an idealist. And out when it dot com. At winning that yes. Christian or else thank you so much thank you both of you good luck thank you very much the next I don't drive but when I do drive I'm sure I'll be using it a lot good. It's -- if I have a great weekend happy Friday and remember there's more episodes of real is here on FaceBook you can find our whole breakdown bitcoin yesterday and there's a lot of interest and that you can find will break down. On my FaceBook page at a brand new episode no limits the podcast coming up next week as well check and that will post it here on FaceBook. Take your one well have a great weekend thank you thank I thank you lots.
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