Founded in 2011, MyPlace Connect is a global technology company which is headquartered in Ireland. Initially developed as an advertising platform, MyPlace Connect has grown to become a highly adaptable, innovative, mobile cloud based, hotspot solutions company.
MyPlace Connect now provides free WiFi network services to 10 countries across 3 continents including, Ireland, England, France, Germany, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland and the United States of America so that every second of every day someone, somewhere is using MyPlace Connect’s free WiFi service to go online.
We spoke with MyPlace Connect CEO, Peadar Gormley, to find out more about the company.
Q1 Hi Peadar, thanks for taking the time to do this. Can you tell me about the services MyPlace Connect offers?
The MyPlace Connect network allows businesses to provide free, safe, secure and hassle free internet access to their customers. Registered MyPlace Connect users can log on to our free network via a once-off registration in any of the locations with MyPlace Connect services installed. The cost of providing internet access is funded by the venues offering the service, which pay a monthly fee to access MyPlace Connect’s WiFi packages.
MyPlace Connect offers the hundreds of businesses we work with worldwide a great monthly deal on WiFi that creates marketing opportunities and helps them build loyalty. The packages vary from starter plans to more advanced offerings that provide more information on consumer behaviour and trends. By allowing the venues to pay a monthly fee, the cost of providing WiFi at such a high capacity is minimised for MyPlace Connect customers.
It is easy for businesses to start using MyPlace Connect’s services. All the customer has to do is plug in the hardware and turn it on. Our hardware is pre-programmed and so all the venue has to do is log into their online portal and start seeing the benefits of smart WiFi.
To support MyPlace Connect’s services, MyPlace Connect has a dedicated installation and support team in place which operates on a 24/7/365 basis.
Q2 When was the company founded and can you tell me about the journey to this point?
Founded in 2011, MyPlace Connect has expanded rapidly and we are delighted to be Ireland’s largest free WiFi network provider. When we started out, we initially developed as an advertising platform, but since then MyPlace Connect has grown to become a highly adaptable, mobile cloud based, hotspot solution. So from relatively humble beginnings, MyPlace Connect has undergone exponential growth over the last number of years and now has hundreds of thousands of users across ten countries on three continents and is now Ireland’s largest free-WiFi network provider.
Q3 Who is MyPlace Connect’s target market?
Traditionally, MyPlace Connect has serviced the hospitality sector including 100’s of bars, restaurants and cafes. Popular restaurants such as Wagamama, Fade Street Social, Rustic Stone and Brasserie 66 are among the latest venues to have the MyPlace Connect WiFi network installed in their restaurants.
In an effort to increase the number of locations where registered users of MyPlace Connect can access free WiFi, over the last 18 months the MyPlace Connect team has worked extremely hard at developing the range of locations where the MyPlace Connect service is available.
MyPlace Connect now serves a growing number of shopping centres, sports venues and transport hubs. Also, registered users can access free WiFi while they are enjoying a night out at the dogs as you will find MyPlace Connect WiFi in all the major Irish Greyhound Board stadia.
MyPlace Connect is also available in large entertainment venues from New York, London, Dublin and Mumbai.
Q4 What type of innovation have you introduced to MyPlace Connect’s Service?
The drive to expand the variety of locations where MyPlace Connect is available has led to major innovations in the MyPlace Connect Service.
For instance, MyPlace Connect recently launched a bespoke WiFi service for the hotel and accommodation sector. Launched in May 2014, this new service has seen MyPlace Connect partner with businesses in the hotel and accommodation sector to become their free WiFi provider of choice. Also, in a significant endorsement of the MyPlace Connect service, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has been integrated into the logging on process.
So far, the new service has been very successful, with MyPlace Connect experiencing a 15% growth rate per month in the number of new rooms which have been added to their network.
Q5 What are the benefits of using MyPlace Connect?
With its intuitive interface, MyPlace Connect makes it easy for users to connect to its WiFi network. Users connect automatically to the internet via MyPlace Connect so there is no need for members of staff to give out passwords or logins.
Supports Business Functions
One of the key features of the MyPlace Connect service is that it acts as a powerful tool in helping businesses understand their customer’s behaviour by building up a profile of their customers. In this way, MyPlace Connect supports some of the other business functions, like the marketing and sales strategy.
Free WiFi is a Key Business Driver
Free and easy to use WiFi is a key driver for businesses in the service industry like pubs, restaurants, entertainment venues or hotels. Customers now expect to be able to access WiFi for free and without any hassle. For tourists in particular, free WiFi is like oxygen.
Benefits for Business using Free WiFi
For business that have the MyPlace Connect network installed in their venue, it is more than just providing free WiFi, it is about creating marketing opportunities and building loyalty with their customers.
Businesses are able to engage with their customers in a new way. For example, businesses can take advantage of this new customer database through email marketing strategies. With loyalty data and email addresses for their customers, businesses have everything they need to start sending tailored loyalty promotions.
Q6 So tell me about the International Development and expansion that MyPlace Connect has embarked on
MyPlace Connect’s managements’ strategy over the last 12-18 months has to been to grow the business by expanding into international markets. In 2013 we secured our first German customers, after which the company entered other international markets in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the USA.
Following the expansion into the US and other European markets in 2013, the beginning of 2014 saw MyPlace Connect enter the Indian market, with MyPlace Connect providing smart WiFi to India’s largest comedy club, the Canvas Laugh factory in Mumbai.
We’ve continued our international expansion with the launch of MyPlace Connect’s services in Scotland in June, and just last month we launched a new service in Luxembourg.
In early 2014 we opened an office in London. With WiFi hotspots in the United Kingdom, the new London office operates as at launch pad for MyPlace Connect to grow our customer base in the UK.
Q7 Can you tell me about some of the features of the MyPlace Connect service?
MyPlace Connect are always upgrading and adding new features to our service such as our encrypted WiFi network, which allows users to avail of an additional layer of protection, by encrypting all wireless traffic between the user and the internet.
Peak Time Optimiser
Manage customer flow during busy times – allot shorter WiFi access during peak trading times to improve your seating efficiency.
Our modular hardware can provide for the smallest cafe or the largest retail centre. Just scale up as required.
Age Screening Gateway
Initial registration identifies underage users and they are subsequently protected from any unsuitable content or advertising that may be displayed
Country Specific Content Filtering
Our content filtering service applies restrictions based on regional and country specific settings giving you protection against malicious or illegal attempted use.
Email Data Capture
Capturing the email data of users at the login point
Ability to score customers on loyalty based on their WiFi usage patterns
Q8 Thoughts for the future?
As a company we’ve got ambitious plans for Ireland, Europe and beyond. We expect to have news shortly about new services in the Middle East and other exciting developments for MyPlace Connect.
Q9 What’s the best way for people to get in contact and find out more?
If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with me on [email protected]