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Travelling abroad normally entails making a series of plans and taking some previous measures, like inquiring as to whether it will be necessary to change currency, whether a visa is needed to enter the country one is visiting, or if an adapter is required to use electrical appliances there. In addition, for some time now it has been vital to verify the roaming rates in effect. Although the European Commission has been reducing roaming rates in Europe for years, many users find it most convenient to locate the best Wi-Fi connection points where they travel, so as not to have to worry about these prices. Even so, not all cities feature good wireless networks, and there are still many establishments that make their networks available to visitors only for a fee, albeit a reduced one.
Given this scenario, it is no wonder that a tool like Wiffinity has been so successful. This is a mobile application addressed at the tourism sector that helps travellers to automatically connect to all the Wi-Fi networks in the cities they visit, as well as discover relevant on-the-spot content that improves their experiences as travellers. Founded in Madrid by Sidney Levy, Ilán Leiferman and Josu Garcia in 2013, Wiffinity seeks to use Wi-Fi as a connection tool providing users with information of interest, discounts and promotional offers.
Through a very visual interactive map, Wiffinity users can connect to Wi-Fi from all those establishments collaborating with the application, and find museums, restaurants, stores and other leisure establishments of interest. In addition, they can benefit from personalised advantages, and even add enterprises to the network, all without having to reveal any personal data. Ilán Leiferman stated: “we believe that Wi-Fi is a commodity that must be endowed with greater value, in order to win loyal customers and to promote ourselves amongst users who are going to interact with the businesses.”
The project has steadily grown since the Wiffinity team launched the first version of the application for Android in January of 2014, also using NFC and QR technologies. After working with an initial version of the product, and having a communication platform for retailers marketable by the end of 2014, the next year they participated in the Startupbootcamp Smart City and Living acceleration programme (Amsterdam), which helped them to better define their value proposition, focusing mainly on tourists.
Image | Wiffinity
In September 2015 Wiffinity formed part of the delegation that 4 Years From Now. “At DLD Tel Aviv we achieved very good international exposure, as well as contacts with potential partners and foreign investors.” Leiferman also stressed that it was an opportunity for them to experience first-hand Israel’s innovation ecosystem and to meet the different players in the market with which they share experiences.
Over the course of 2015 Wiffinity has published several updates, with new Wi-Fi points in various European cities. The forecast for 2015-2016 involves acquiring funds to expand its user base and bolster its position in the European market while the product continues to evolve.