Mark Walerysiak Jr., Founder & CEO of Giverrang, that encourages its users to shop local and give back to the community. Earning up to 45% cash back is an incredible incentive and helps to give local businesses even more visibility. Bubble's no-code platform seemed like it was too good to be true for Mark, but his experience paints a vivid picture of what Bubble can do with the right mindset and goals.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
Giverrang is shop local marketplace that rewards members with “cash back” for spending at local businesses. For shoppers, Giverrang is a great way to discover local products and experiences, and earn up to 45% cash back for supporting small businesses. For merchants, Giverrang is a way to increase local visibility and sales with no up-front cost (through at least 2020), plus affordable commissions that serves merchants instead of gauging them. Basically, we’re Rakuten for small businesses, but in marketplace form. Ultimately, our mission is to boost small businesses and increase local spending, so that we can enrich our local communities.
How does your app work?
Giverrang is super easy. Just download the app, and register for free. If you’re a buyer, simply breeze through the products feed in whatever location you’re interested in and use the filters to find goods and services you want. Add a product to your cart and checkout like you would any online marketplace. For merchants, take one extra step to set up your merchant account, and once you’re set up you can list goods and services on Giverrang and wait for the sales to roll in! To top things off, we work to promote Giverrang merchant partners through our growing promotional channels (social media, newsletter, push notifications), to help provide local businesses the same marketing muscle as the big national companies.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
My background is not in anything technically related. In fact, quite the opposite as I’m schooled in the written arts (journalism, creative writing), worked in mass media at ESPN and ABC News for a few years, and then in community and economic development in my hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, and the central Connecticut region. I’ve always had a strong entrepreneurial streak, and was this sort of “intraprenuer” inside whatever organization I was a part of. I just knew it was a matter of time until I wanted to branch off with my own projects. So when I had the idea for what eventually iterated into Giverrang a few years ago, I looked around and was quickly disappointed by the cost of traditional development. I somehow stumbled across a Ted Talk on no-code tools, jumped down the rabbit hole, and that’s when I found Bubble.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
When I first discovered Bubble, I really couldn’t believe it was possible to do what it claimed to be able to do — that anyone could build functional apps without code. It was as if the skies parted, the birds began to sing, and a yellow brick road appeared with a solution to my problems just whispering me to the other side. It didn’t take me long to see that this was a completely game-changing product, and I was going to do whatever it took to immerse myself in Bubble so that I could learn not only how to build the MVP for Giverrang, but so I also knew how to build any kind of tech product.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
The product development journey is a crazy one. We originally launched the first iteration of Giverrang last year in August of 2019. Since that time we have iterated on the product three times, and finally pivoted in June into the current version. Since our re-launch in August, our users have grown by 120%, and we even made our first sale in September! The market response to our new direction has been really encouraging, so we’ll continue to charge forward and see what happens!
What are your future plans for your app?
We want to continue to gain traction. We were heading this direction with our product anyway, but in a post-COVID world Giverrang’s shop local emphasis is even more meaningful. Ideally, I want to prove my project enough to raise a seed round, lay a foundation by building our team, and really begin to scale so that we can expand our impact. I have a whole vision for building out a shop local ecosystem that will provide support to small merchants beyond a random small business Saturday, or one-off cash mob. To us, it about small business every day. We hope whoever reads this can join us in our journey!
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.