This Is Why This NYC Startup Could Be the Next Winner


Claim It

Who doesn’t love to win free stuff? And if brands out there are looking to win over new fans – including Millenials, Claim It! takes the prize. It’s the only app gives users the chance to win amazing free products from awesome brands, every week. And all they have to do is watch a 15-second ad.

Founder and CEO Ali Abdullah,  explains why Claim It! is a winner for all parties and how his product has figured out a way to capture that valuable mobile market.

Tell us about the product.

Claim it! is a mobile giveaway platform that connects brands with locals driven by free stuff.

Our iOS app lists new giveaway contests each week that New Yorkers can easily enter by watching 15-second advertisements. We deliver three new offers every Monday, and users have until the following Sunday to choose the one they like. They can change their minds throughout the week, but the choice that’s registered on Sunday evening determines their final entry. Everyone has an option to claim our weekly 100% guaranteed prize valued between $1-$5. Many of our users feel lucky and take a shot at the bigger prizes that we offer that are valued up to $599 with a smaller chance of winning.

Each Sunday, a randomized algorithm notifies users of their winnings via SMS. After winning, users have one week to stop by our van, show their phone to a Claim it! team member for confirmation, and pick up their prize. The van’s location changes daily, but can be easily found with the app. If a user ever passes by the van coincidentally, he or she can decide to claim the “instant win”, and get it right then and there.

We have a five star rating on the app store. We launched in December 2014 and our app already has about 900 reviews.

How is it different?

An idea like Claim it! has never been done before. My cofounders and I believe we created a mobile platform that everyone wished existed. Tech giants who depend on advertising for revenue are having difficulties compelling users to watch video ads on mobile devices. Claim it! solves this dilemma by taking incentivized commercial viewing on mobile to a new level. Our users are coming to our platform to see brands and watch ads.

Daily deal platforms weren’t able to provide the relevant products that will keep a millennial audience interested. User engagement is down, and these companies are folding. Instead, we are incentivizing users by giving away the cool stuff for free.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

We are attacking the daily deal, e-commerce and exchange platforms. Our audience is mostly millennials, but everyone loves free stuff. Right now our market is hyper local but we see have a lot of growth potential.

What is your business model?

We offer our users prizes for watching 15-second advertisements. Our app and the stuff we give away to our users are all completely free. We monetize from the advertisements.

What inspired the idea?

I got the idea for Claim it! in 2008, when I heard about the launch of a daily deals platform. I thought giving discounts is a great, but giving away products for free is even better. It took me years and many different versions until I found the perfect way to give away free stuff.

How do you measure ROI on your giveaways?

Our giveaways are generating a lot of buzz, especially after a user wins a cool prize and stops by the truck to pick it up.They get very excited that we are a legit giveaway, and they share our app with their friends. By giving away really cool prizes, our app is seeing a huge user growth and each of these users watch the ads on our app to claim prizes. Since we monetize from the advertisements on our app, the more users we have, the bigger the ROI.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within the next six months?

Over the next six months we plan to scale our business and expand to more locations.

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

We would love to be put in touch with Jay Gould. He has a compelling story similar to ours – and he created a successful advertising platform in Yashi. We think he could be helpful with Claim it! advertising.

Why did you launch in New York?

We are all born and raised New Yorkers. If we can make a difference in New York, we can take on any market.

What’s your favorite part about being here in New York?

New York has a great energy, the people here are really driven and everything happens at a fast pace. There is so much opportunity for us to collaborate with other amazing companies in the area.

Our team gets to connect with New Yorkers every day by taking the van to different locations in the city. We have so many opportunities for growth and user engagement and it has been really special to see our giveaways excite the community.

Claim it! Executives Pic 2

Picture of executive team from left to right: Khalid Mills – Co-Founder, CTO; KazaRazat – Co-Founder, Head of Product; Ali Abdullah – Founder, CEO

About the author: AlleyWatch

AlleyWatch is the destination for startup news; opinions and reviews; investment and product information; events reported, experienced, seen, heard and overheard here in New York. But it’s who we are that makes us different: we’re the writers and the entrepreneurs; the investors and the mentors; the lawyers and the marketers; the realtors and the recruiters – the people who work in the industry.

You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in New York Tech!

Join the millions and keep up with the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today.