Nikos Ioannou – Panos Lazaretos: “brooqLy connects people through treats”
The co-founders of the brooqLy application, Nikos Ioannou and Panos Lazaretos talk exclusively to STARTUPPER MAG about the innovative app that teaches us the "art of treating", while sharing their business plans, both for Greece and abroad!They also introduce Eleni Maridaki, who is the 3rd founding member of brooqLy, while they also talk to us about the difficulties they faced during the pandemic, in which they essentially developed the idea of the app. As we will read the next stop of brooqLy is the market of Turkey, while the goal, as Nikos Ioannou and Panos Lazaretos mention, is for the Startup to "open" 3 new markets – countries every year
STARTUPPER MAG: Through brooqLy you teach the “art of treating”, an innovation by Greek standards. Tell us a few words about this project. How did you come up with this idea?
Nikos Ioannou: Interactivity is one of the “cores” of innovation and essentially the beginning of the idea arose from the years of delivery.gr, when in 2015, in an effort to solve a technical problem created by transactions from foreign cards, we saw that many people chose to treat their own people, in Greece.
brooqLy is an app and at the same time a social network, which connects people through the treat. The ways one can offer a treat are twofold. Either remotely or in-shop (inside the store). And that has two advantages. On the one hand you connect with your loved ones, eliminating distances or other circumstances that do not allow you at that moment to be close to them, and on the other hand you meet new faces and somehow the “art of treating” becomes “the art of together.”
STARTUPPER MAG: The coronavirus pandemic was a conjuncture that changed everyone’s daily life internationally, while affecting business and the economy. It was also a time when the idea of brooqLy matured. How easy or difficult was it for you to start a new business step, when almost the entire business was locked down?
Panos Lazaretos: The coronavirus pandemic helped us because we were given the opportunity to do all the corporate procedures online.
Imagine that the entire team of founders held the first face-to-face meeting after the pandemic. So, in this context, we tried to look at the post-covid era, in which people strongly want to get out of the house and enjoy their company outside the house.
At the same time brooqLy creates multiple benefits to businesses. In addition to the turnover at the physical point, it creates an economic space with the remote treats. And because it is also a social network, directed at global development, the stores pass before the eyes of many potential consumers, in different regions of the world.
STARTUPPER MAG: What was the big bet when brooqLy was released in 2022?
Panos Lazaretos: It was to test an original app that will try, by marrying features from different application directions, to make our night out more meaningful, giving a solution, on the one hand, to original processes (such as treating), and to get closer to our friends on the other hand, but also to make new ones.At the same time, we wanted to contribute to the empowerment of entertainment-related businesses, which were hit very hard at the time of the bans due to the pandemic measures.
STARTUPPER MAG: How do you see the field of delivery shaping up in the future? This is an industry that is increasingly attracting attention in our country and more and more often new food delivery platforms are being created. Also, how does brooqLy respond to any competitors and how does it innovate?
Nikos Ioannou: brooqLy has strategically chosen to place itself today in the non-delivery situation, where its user enjoys a night out and seeks to make it easier and more interesting.
It has chosen a more modern application proposal, which differs from the classic online food ordering platforms, where the user chooses from a static entry of a restaurant and from its menu, it builds a basket. BrooqLy’s social network component gives a strong sense of dynamics and real time.
STARTUPPER MAG: You have undoubtedly created a startup, which has upgraded and complemented our nights out. In addition to the field of entertainment, do you plan to improve other aspects of our daily lives?
Nikos Ioannou: The direction of brooqly is to become a complete “out of home entertainment” app with strong characteristics of the social network, we could describe it as an active and not only passive social network, where a user is just getting an update.
Condensing the information, our vision is that whatever the user wants to do outside his home to have fun, to think about brooqLy.
STARTUPPER MAG: We know that brooqLy is already operating in Romania. Do you intend to expand to other foreign countries and if so, to which ones?
Panos Lazaretos: The development of brooqLy has been made on the model of local partners, who undertake in its entirety, the purchase of their interest.
brooqLy started its journey from Romania, followed by Greece, soon starting in Turkey in 2022. In our business plan we aim to grow the company in 3 countries every year.
STARTUPPER MAG: Finally, we would like a mini resume from you, the founders and shareholders of brooqLy.
Panos Lazaretos: Dr. Nikos Ioannou is the founder of delivery.gr, the first chronologically (2006) online food ordering platform in Greece, which was acquired in 2019. In the post-exit period, it attempts and invests in technology startups.
Panos Lazaretos specializes in international business development with a significant track record in the development and management of company networks in many countries.
Eleni Maridaki comes from the financial sector and has extensive experience in the management of companies, which can be listed on the American stock exchange.