The Investing News Network had the opportunity to speak with David Vinokurov, Peeks Social’s investor relations director, and John Kanakis, vice president of business development.
Based in Toronto, Peeks Social (TSXV:PEEK), a company with a market cap of less than $20 million, has made a name for itself over the last few months as it seeks to build its user base and take on its bigger rivals.
Case in point, the company announced on Friday (May 11) that it has begun the next phase of its Visa Card program with the launch of physical Peeks Social Visa Card.
As an E-commerce based live streaming platform, Peeks Social allows users to transact in real time with real cash, which the social media platform revealed in January that it had a record 2.2 million monthly user sessions, whereas the Google Play store alone indicated that over 10 million people have downloaded the app.
In an interview with the Investing News Network (INN), David Vinokurov, Peeks Social’s investor relations director said that the physical Visa card is a big deal for the company. With the launch of the physical card, Peeks Social despite being smaller to their rivals has an edge over its peers.
Vinokurov was joined by John Kanakis, vice president of business development at Peaks Social, where the two discussed the company’s recent announcements in addition to its future plans.
Kanakis said that the launch of physical the Visa card is the second phase of its prepaid card program. Kanakis explained that first phase allowed the user base to cash out their tips to a virtual prepaid Visa card which let them to use it online.
“We are the first social network in the world that has its own Visa card where someone can go online, stream their content content and get paid real time and then go withdraw in real time in almost any ATM around the world,” Vinokurov said. “It’s a huge accomplishment for us and we are very proud of it.”
Vinokurov said that Peeks Social is the only social platform to make money from day one. The company generated $2.98 million in gross revenue in the first nine months of its launch.
“Since we launched, in every quarter we had more and more user sessions. So more people are using the app and there’s growth in the monthly deposits,” Vinokurov said.
For the end users, Vinokurov highlighted how Peeks Social is different from their competitors with a particular focus put on OfferBox, a monetization strategy based on cost per impression (CPI) where a revenue is split between the streamer and the platform. The OfferBox allows users to create actionable incentives that can be distributed to viewers of livestreams and archive videos.
“They (users) can select from partners of ours,” he explained.
The platform also monetizes through cost per action (CPA) campaigns by charging a percentage of gross sales price of items through the OfferBox.
“The vision for a social commerce vertical that Peeks Social set out to create now exists in that anyone can now become a brand ambassador by picking up a mobile device and going live on Peeks Social,” Mark Itwaru, CEO of the company said in a press release. “The overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had from both brands and streamers is that this new medium for promotion will empower people and drive a convergence of social media and digital marketing.”
In addition to that, with the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, Peeks Social has also caught the crypto fever with the implementation of bitcoin into its wallet.
In April, the company announced that the Peeks Social Wallet would begin accepting bitcoin transactions. Users of Peeks Social were given an option of funding their wallet with bitcoin whereby one can purchase paid content or tip a broadcaster among other uses.
“Ultimately, I can take those Peeks’ coins and then put them on Visa Card and spend them anywhere,” Vinokurov said.
He further explained that one can convert bitcoin into a regular currency in 15 minutes, quicker than by any other means available today.
Indeed, while the company is still relatively small with largely a North American focus, on Monday (May 14), Peeks Social announced that it has received a request from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for the Peeks Social App to join the Amazon Appstore. The company said that it expects to submit the app for final approval in the coming days and have commenced testing the compatibility of the app to conform with Amazon’s technical specifications.
Making the app available on Amazon will mean a new distribution channel for the company which has users around the world. Vinokurov said that their top market is the United States followed by Saudi Arabia/Middle East and Western Europe.
“We are starting to see the growth in Asia now,” he said.
Making the app available on Amazon would also be helpful for the company’s expansion in Asia as many OEM’s over there do not have Play Store natively installed on their phones.
While the company has been seeing organic growth since its inception, Vinokurov said that they would be exploring some partnerships with local partners to get specific content for those markets to attract more users.
“We are planning big marketing campaigns in the next 12 months for user acquisition,” he said. “We are targeting US first as it is lucrative market for us.”
“I think we got Peeks Social to a great level with a much smaller user base as compared to our bigger competitors like Periscope and so forth,” Kanakis said. “By building the app backwards, we built the monetization features first and got the users in, we understand what the users will spend their money on and now we are focussed on getting many more users and building more features to make sure they keep coming back.”
Kanakis said that the company is well positioned as a social media platform that has multiple ways of monetizing without looking only at the current traditional methods monetization that exists in most other platforms.
“We have very big features that’s coming up that will continue to focus on monetization,” he said.
Kanakis explained that Beej, their new VP of content management would play a key role as the company is looking to heavily move into content distribution to help with user retention.
“Beej would be responsible for acquiring and managing new content, creating new licensing agreements and he will be starting to work on Peek’s original programming as well,” he said.
Vinokurov also stressed on the features that will be coming out for investors to keep an eye out for as well as new partnerships
“Lots of cool stuff to come,” he said.
Of particular note is that the company completed the acquisition of Personas.com, which Vinokurov said will contribute to significantly higher revenues for the company.
“Peeks only received 30 percent of the revenues from the Peeks Social app,” he said. “With the acquisition of Personas, 100 percent of the revenues of the Peeks Social app will come back to the company.”
Peeks Social closed the trading at $0.26 as of market close on Monday (May 14) and was down 11 percent.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.