Gadget Flow is the original product discovery platform for staying up to date with the latest tech, gear, and most incredible crowdfunding campaigns. Reaching over 28 million people per month, our iOS and Android apps support AR and VR for next-level product exploration.
🇺🇸 New York
🏆 3 Founders
💵 Raised Over $50,000,000 for crowdfunding and e-commerce campaigns
We interviewed Evan Varsamis, Founder and CEO of Gadget Flow, and discussed how he started Gadget Flow he shared his best advice for crowdfunding campaigns.
Who are you and what business did you start?
Crowdfunding Campaign Promotion
What crowdfunding services do you offer?
Do you have any crowdfunding campaign advice?
How are things going today with Gadget Flow and what are your plans for the future?
Where can we learn more about Gadget Flow?
My name is Evan Varsamis I’m an NYC-based Entrepreneur, Founder CEO at Gadget Flow Inc, Investor and Marketing Advisor at Qrator Ltd and contributor at Forbes, Inc, HuffPost, and American Express Essentials. Sprint Crowdfunding Fund and Crowdreach advisor and speaker. My work has been featured on Mashable, The Next Web, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Forbes, and the Web Summit.
I was always passionate about tech, coding, design, gadgets and everything in between when I was around 13 I started coding (HTML, CSS, C++) and I was so pumped that I could create something of my own as well as keep enhancing it over time. I started designing websites and launched a web design agency in Greece with a friend of mine about a year before I turned 18 ,we worked mostly with Greek retail stores as it was right around the time that everyone wanted a website, we closed the company once I graduated high school and started studying shipping and finance as I had limited time. Around that time I launched a couple of blogs that were featuring web design tutorials, roundups, photographers, graphic designers, etc. I monetized that website with banner ads and text link ads making a 4 digit profit every month. One year before I graduate from college I incorporated a media agency with my best friend and we were focusing on digital advertising, branding, and marketing in general, we had mostly customers from abroad and at that time I was also a junior broker at a shipping firm so a broker during the day and a designer in the afternoon, the reason I was doing two jobs was because I wanted to test the waters and see which one I like the most, after 8 months I focused 100% on the agency.
Mike Chliounakis (my partner and co-founder), had the initial idea of launching our own startup that was back in 2012, therefore around August that year we came up with the idea of Gadget Flow with Mike and Cassie Ousta (my wife and business partner) and due to our background as well as the resources that we had available we literally launched the business overnight, people loved the idea of being able to discover great new products every day, not necessarily known brands but quality products from all over the world, the brand quickly grew organically as we kept optimizing it and releasing new content daily.
Today Gadget Flow reaches over 30,000,000 people every month through our web platform, social, newsletters, our iOS/Android apps, push notifications, etc. We’ve worked with over 8,000 brands including Fortune 500 companies and over 4,000 crowdfunding campaigns. What we offer is native advertising to our customers through our marketing/enterprise plans. We only accept and feature products that we would feature organically anyway and our acceptance rate is around 87% at the moment.
We give the opportunity to brands, startups, and crowdfunding campaigns to get in front of our audience through featured placements, newsletter placements, social posts, etc. https://thegadgetflow.com/submit/ We also offer unboxing services in partnership with Cory Group, our host Jonny Caplan, a very well-known tech reporter unboxes a product a couple of times a month through our new segment on Youtube – https://thegadgetflow.com/unboxing/
We also have our Podcast which could be a great resource for creators – podcast.thegadgetflow.com. We mostly interview creators, C-Level execs, entrepreneurs and everything in between.
I’ve personally helped hundreds of creators over the years, sometimes with hands-on work but most of the time as a consultant. Truth is that I’ve been observing the crowdfunding market for the past 7 years, I’ve worked closely with Kickstarter’s and Indiegogo team on campaigns and I’ve seen trends come and go.
When it comes to launching a crowdfunding campaign you have to think of it as launching a business, it takes time, energy, resources and you are in it for the long run and not make a quick buck, whoever tries the opposite, fail, this is why today in 2020 ⅔ of projects fail, there is this misconception going around that you’ll go live on a crowdfunding platform and raise $100k overnight. That used to be the case back in 2014-15 but things changed, if you consider that back then there were only 500-800 projects going live every month and today over 6,000 projects launch every month you pretty much understand why that is not the case. You can still do it though with a great product, a great team and by following all the right steps.
I’ve seen the campaigns offering products for $49 and by quickly googling the tech behind the product, you can find the exact same product unbranded on Aliexpress for $3, thankfully backers became aware the past few years and we see less and less of these cases.
For people that are interested in launching a campaign we’ve created a great crowdfunding checklist here – https://thegadgetflow.com/blog/crowdfunding-checklist/ it all starts with a great product or a great idea. Then figuring out the numbers, approach, logistics, then a period of 1-3 months running a pre-launch campaign so you can gather anywhere from 5-25k subscribers then going live and using FB Ads, marketing services like ours, and PR to increase awareness, traffic and backers.
Kickstarter has been the leading reward-based crowdfunding platform in the world for many years in a row but Indiegogo is trying to follow-up pretty aggressively by capitalizing on their unique offerings/approach. I’ve seen in 2019 that tech projects performed better on Indiegogo but everything else performed better on Kickstarter, Indiegogo gives you the opportunity to install a pixel to your page and has a tracking system but there are workarounds on Kickstarter as well. Support-wise Indiegogo is doing a stellar job for the past 4 years, assisting creators, working hands-on with teams so they can get the most out of their projects, what I personally recommend is to work with both platforms, starting with Kickstarter, then moving on Indiegogo in-demand and then launching your own Amazon/eCommerce store.
If you are planning to launch a campaign and you are not willing to spend 5 hours a day learning the basics for a few months then you should either hire an agency or a consultant. I also work with marketing teams as a consultant a few times a year so if you need some guidance, feel free to reach out to me through my personal website https://evanvarsamis.com
Your answer: Things are going really well, we’ve been growing organically since day one and we’ve been profitable. We have a team of around 28 people mostly from US, Canada and Europe working remotely and 2020 is going to be all about rapid growth. We have had a dozen of M&A requests over the years but we have some great plans for our brand for the coming years, a series A funding is on the horizon, as well as opening a branch in Asia within the next few quarters.