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Fri 9 Nov 2018 01:28 AM

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Entrepreneur of the Week: Fallound's Stefano Fallaha

The app aims to fill in lost time while driving, walking or working out, with educational, entertaining and personalised content

Entrepreneur of the Week: Fallound's Stefano Fallaha
Stefano Fallaha

Stefano Fallaha is building a startup that aims to nurture people’s minds. He is the founder and CEO of Fallound, an application and software for cars that optimises audio content based on commute time and personal interests. Under his leadership, Fallound has raised over $125,000 in funding and will see more raised during a round in April. Arabian Business speaks to the young founder of the app set to aggregate audio sports news at the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Where did the idea for Fallound come from?

We thought of all the hours people spend commuting, stuck in traffic and wasting free time. That is when we decided to build a concept that makes the most of free time by filling it with educational and entertaining content. Whether you’re driving, taking the train or simply walking, Fallound fills your free time with quality content.

Why does the market need a concept like Fallound, and what makes it different to other offerings?

People want good quality content on-the-go and which matches their interests. But they don’t know how to find it. While they can rely on existing podcast managers, these are mostly search engines for podcasts they can find on the web. Fallound, on the other hand, saves the time spent searching for a suitable podcast for each individual. We have dedicated content managers who focus on hand-picked content to offer quick, top notch audio according to the time available to spare.

What are some consumer trends that you have noticed lately?

While our users in the US lean more towards podcasts which discuss opinions, politics and finance, most of our Middle Eastern audience listens to science, technology and business podcasts.

What is your business model?

Fallound is currently free to download on the App Store and users can enjoy ad-free audio streams. However, we do have plans for monetisation via subscription fees of $3.99 per month for exclusive content (for which we are signing exclusive agreements with content publishers). A great aspect of Fallound is also that it doesn’t limit you to listening to a whole podcast, but offers you one that depend on the time you have available.

The truth is, I would never want to go back in time to undo my failures or try and skip them

What are some of your biggest challenges at the moment for Fallound?

Every day is a challenge for a startup. At Fallound, we face legal challenges when it comes to banning specific content from certain regions across the world, or even internet protocol (IP) issues since we’re creating our own summarised content with Fallound’s 2.0 AI technology. However, we are backed and supported by great content specialists, mentors and lawyers who bring a lot of value to the company through the advice that they offer. Our technology is also constantly being tested, improved and tweaked, but since it’s very advanced, we often face some technological limitations. Thankfully, Fallound’s team and advisors bring over 50 years of experience to the startup, so we find ourselves innovating in ways which we have not seen anyone else do in the industry.

What is your ultimate vision for the firm?

The vision we have for Fallound is to inspire people to value their time and use it more wisely. We want to use our technology to influence people into becoming their best and most knowledgeable selves. We infuse this time-management concept into the core business of Fallound, by making it easier, quicker and more convenient for people to discover content they’re interested in, within the timeframe they have, without wasting time searching for a subscribed podcast. So we envision Fallound as much more than a product that solves a need. It creates an environment in which people become smarter during their free time.

Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up? How did you deal with it?

These thoughts occur to me often, just as they do to any entrepreneur. I’m not the first nor the last to set up a company, but I deal with pressure in my own way. I don’t search for motivation quotes or success stories, rather, I acknowledge the difficulties and focus on finding solutions.

If you could go back and do one thing differently with Fallound, what would it be?

I don’t think about the things I could have done differently, but about the things I can do better at the moment. The journey is a constant learning curve. The truth is, I would never want to go back in time to undo my failures or try and skip them, because the feel-bad instances are the ones that shaped Fallound the most. Going back and doing one thing differently, to me, means skipping through obstacles, and that would only hurt us by taking away the knowledge acquired during our tough times.

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