Freeway is launching its mobile game and product-discovery platform today in a bid to win the loyalty of gamers.
The new app is launching on mobile devices, and the more that people use it, the more they have a chance to win free products as rewards. Freeway, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup, aims to connect users with new products that are relevant to their lifestyle. The players can play branded web-based games that they find via the Freeway app on Android or iOS.
Co-founder Ben Umber said, “Although there are other reward-based platforms on the market, Freeway is different. We see ourselves as matchmakers, creating an environment that helps foster the initial connection between consumers and brands.”
Freeway collects user preferences with the aim of helping players discover products that they want. They have 12 corporate partners who have provided an initial batch of $30,000 for the first month of products.
Freeway wants to help its partners, who provide the prizes, break through the clutter and get better exposure. Co-founder Bryan Hawkins, a former digital brand marketer at Red Bull, said, “Time and time again, I have been unimpressed with the lack of flexibility and creative offerings available to market in the digital space, so I saw an opportunity to create a unique solution.”
Users on Freeway are not viewing ads; they are proactively choosing to engage with brands that spark their interest, Hawkins said. For the past six months, the co-founders have been acquiring $30,000 in goods to offer as rewards to consumers. They have teamed up with game developers creating HTML5 (the lingua franca of the web) games that will appear on Freeway’s third-party platform.
They’re not the first to come up with the idea of rewarding loyal gamers. Rivals include Pinterest, Kiip, and Lootsie. But we’ll see how it goes.
The self-funded company was founded earlier this year, and it has three employees. Umber and Hawkins went through the Lavin Entrepreneurship program at San Diego State University. They worked in the corporate world for a couple of years and then came up with the idea for their business in a weekend brainstorming session.