Volodymyr Harkusha and Mickael Shahinyan, Co Founders of One.Fun, speak to Gambling Insider on their creative thought process when envisioning their new app.
With a new curation aiming to provide the ultimate entertainment booking package, Gambling Insider caught up with the two Co-founders of the feature that adheres to sourcing gaming events, hotel accommodations, flights, transfers, registration and even exclusive offers.
How long did it take you to come up with the idea and cultivate the app?
VH: Our product was very much affected by ours and our friends' needs in the travel and gaming industries. We were always spending time looking for events, then hotels, then flights, it was too much of a routine for us. We would sometimes end up missing events because we never even knew about them. This then brought the ideals of One.Fun; we wanted an automatic schedule of events with information about the gaming industry, alongside leisure and business trips in all countries. This data had to be welded together to supply the means to book an event, hotel and flights as an overall package. The journey from idea to beta took only six months.
When will this project launch and how are you looking to promote it?
MS: We plan to launch in September; meanwhile the service is available to download through our website. If you’re using an Android, it’s fairly simple to download, while you’ll need to have a TestFlight app if you're downloading for iOS. If you’re looking to download the latest beta version, the details are thoroughly explained on our website. In terms of marketing, we already feel great support from word-of-mouth around the industry. Casinos and expo organisers, such as SiGMA, are trying hard to promote our brand visibility. Receiving consumer and industry feedback is very important to us. Industry peers, casino managers and venue owners require us to revise certain functionalities to make it even more useful for both users and venues. So, it’s a big honor for us to have the opportunity to talk about our project at this early stage.
What are your aims in making it one of the top gaming apps that you see in the search option?
We don't think publishing information about poker tournaments inside casinos is enough... We should provide a means to get there as well! Volodymyr Harkusha
VH: We believe in becoming a commodity application for gaming lovers. That's what we are aiming at. Our vision for the upcoming years is based on overcoming the challenges of frequent travellers and gaming enthusiasts alike. We want to provide ultimate access to all entertainment and business events in the gaming industry, making each personalised trip more enjoyable, within a few clicks.
Do you think your app aids to responsible gambling; in the notions of offering hotels – do you think this subconsciously invites gamers to play for longer hours with the views of being so close by?
MS: Principles of responsible gaming were and always are the cornerstone for operations or products we were creating. One.Fun is no stranger here. Our mission is to make entertainment as convenient as possible. We are picking our partners very thoroughly to make sure they comply with principles of responsible gaming and ones that have the highest ethical standards. The services we provide to users always meet local regulation and ethical standards.
How do you feel about the idea that this app could be seen in two different lights: an app that's unhelpful to the vulnerable or a convenience to avid gamers?
MS: The aim of our platform is to help streamline flow for gamers to find and book their visit to the venue of choice. Currently, we don't have integration with databases containing self-excluded players or people from other risk groups. We are relying on our partner casinos to comply with the highest standards of ethical behaviour.
Considering the ‘one app for all’ concept – was it something you found you initially looked for personally or was it a strategic idea - something you found was missing in the market by chance?
VH: We tend to think that innovation happens at the crossroads of industries solving challenges. One.Fun is no exception. From one side we are trying to automate the search and book process that we know our users potentially may like. On the other hand, we are connecting users to gaming venues looking to promote entertainment; we also cater to non-gambling travellers, like esports enthusiasts or visitors to attending conferences with work. Overall, the app will save time by providing ready to use travel packages based on individual preferences (something we personally loved the idea of, and would be grateful to use ourselves!)
So, in terms of idea type – it was both personal and strategic. We believe in order to build a successful product we must provide a full cycle service. In our case, we don't think publishing information about poker tournaments inside casinos is enough... We should provide a means to get there as well!