The main problem with using beacons to communicate with customers is that they rely on Bluetooth, something that smartphone users generally keep switched off. This way, most clients never receive the notifications they should, and even if they do, they don’t leave their personal data. Social WiFi is a Polish startup that bypasses this problem by changing any WiFi network into a tool for two-way communication with customers.

“We wondered how to register the exact moment when a customer appears in a given location,” said Artur Racicki, the CEO of Social WiFi. “The first and most natural idea was to use the “check in” function of Facebook immediately when the user connects to a wireless network. This idea of combining social media and WiFi was the cornerstone of our project.”

Racicki quickly discovered that the idea was most appealing to locations with heavy WiFi traffic such as shopping malls, hotels, airports or restaurants. First, the network asks the user to log in with his e-mail address or a social media account, thus allowing for immediate identification of the user. Then, Social WiFi can be used for a variety of marketing options. For example, a conference network will automatically send all users the agenda via e-mail, while a hotel network will display important information about a client’s stay. The platform also allows for e-mail campaigns automation and for targeting specific groups of users.

Additionally, Social WiFi works great with portals such as Facebook or TripAdvisor, for example making it possible to “like” or “check in” at a location with just one click. It is also connected to remarketing tools. To top it all off, Social WiFi can be used to gather feedback about the service. A rating system based on simple stars or more elaborate surveys prompts the users to share their insight on your services.

Artur Racicki, the CEO of Social WiFi, is a specialist with over 12 years of experience in e-commerce. In 2015, he placed fifth in the Brief magazine “Most Creative in Business” ranking. He has definitely proven his creativity when obtaining investment for Social WiFi – except for the initial capital received from SATUS and AiNOT venture funds, he has secured most of the funding from Rafał Brzoska, founder of a stock market company Integer. Racicki convinced Brzoska to invest in his startup while… travelling on a plane. As Brzoska commented, “Artur was so stubborn that he actually bought a place on a plane next to me to tell me about his plans. It has really captivated me!”

Currently, Social WiFi is used in over a thousand locations, such as Energa Gdańsk Stadium, or chains such as Sphinx restaurants or Dunkin’ Donuts. The company’s plans for the future include transferring the whole platform to a cloud to eliminate the use of dedicated routers.