Today we’d like to introduce you to Victor Anyirah.
Victor, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always wanted to be a bridge between communities and technology. I was born to a nurse and college educator in a small city in Nigeria. I grew up not really caring too much about technology in a way. In my mind, it was something that was meant for games and outside of that I didn’t really see it as anything important.
That changed after my family immigrated to the United States when I was about nine years old. I was able to really see how much power the digital world had. I began to see how I could use that technology to help improve my community and spread the love and culture it creates. That vision led me to graduate with a degree in Computer Science which brought me to the city of angels.
Being young black and in tech, there were times where I definitely felt like a unicorn, so when I had the opportunity to attend Afrotech around 2018, I gladly took the opportunity. It was a great time filled with lots of networking and learning but after the talks and conferences I realized that people started to congregate and repeat a simple question; what’s the move?
When you break down that question it sounds simple but it’s actually pretty complex. Is it where the most people are going to be? Well not exactly since I’d much rather prefer a hip hop event with 200 people to an edm one with 20,000. There were so many little things that had huge ramifications and I spent a good hour or two thinking about that question. I basically wanted a way to help people answer that question in every city in the world and thats what led to the creation of Movement which is the curated experience platform for the culture.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
What’s really interesting about being in this space is that it’s not really a novel concept or idea. Honestly, there’s been curation since the dawn of time so it only makes sense that there were multiple players in the space. In fact in many cities, there are already these local email lists that have been curating experiences for quite a while and so part of the initial challenge was figuring out how we could partner with them and if not how we could also build the same trust and community. At the end of the day our superpower is the technology we are able to leverage for our community. It’s really a beautiful thing that we can build the things that billion-dollar corporations can but in a way that focuses on the pain point for our users.
The other obstacle is trust. Unfortunately, start-up companies have earned a bad reputation of being seen as money hungry pillagers looking to cash out as soon as possible and are fine with disrupting people’s lives in the process. We’re committed to really taking the time to learn each city we operate in and embed ourself into the community. To us, trust is the most important thing and our number one priority.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Movement – what should we know?
Movement is the curated experience platform for the culture. We curate events that center hip hop and African culture in a given city and have a ticketing platform that allows organizer to reach their target audience, earn their money quicker and grow. We launched officially in May 2019 and in our first three months of operation, we had over 60k page views, 25k in ticket sales processed and over 33k event views. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the amount of love people have been showing us. I’ve met people out in public using our app and it’s been crazy talking to people and already having them know what we do. Our combination of technology/product expertise plus a focus and love of our community is really what sets us apart from every other business in the space right now. We’re constantly innovating and finding new ways to delight our users and it shows from our website to our mobile apps.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Movement is definitely a team effort. First, my co-founder Tyler who is one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met has always been a champion for the community and constantly keeps the company engaged with our audience. He’s been pivotal in helping us learn from our users and organizers that trust us with their business. Secondly, our head of curation Kara Reeves has taken our curation to the next level and helped us build a roadmap that will allow us to scale and grow into new cities in the future. Another group that has helped us a ridiculous amount would be our organizers like Locals Only, Reparations Club, DJ Tiger and many others who believed in our mission and trusted us with supporting their business. Finally, we have to thank our users who continuously come back to our product and have shared it with so many people over the past couple of months! We’ve got nothing but love in our hearts for them!