Here's an important question for you: What year was Seattle founded? Sporcle, a quiz game company, find out that if they do a lot of their business online, they can survive and thrive?
The answer is 2020, and that's when the 13-year-old company, based in Fremont, Seattle, quickly learns that an audience cultivated in bars and restaurants across the country is just as hungry to connect virtually.
When a COVID-19 pandemic occurred, Sporcle hosted more than 800 live trivia events per week in facilities in 33 states. This year, more than 40,000 of his "Sporcle Live" trivia events are scheduled to take place.
The business went to zero overnight and almost 800 employees, most of whom were living Trivia hosts, were on leave.
"I like to see every dip in the cycle as a potential for new opportunities," said Ali Aydar, CEO of Sporcle.
With 41 employees on the company's digital website in Seattle, Sporcle worked to provide a platform for people – not just in US pubs but around the world – to be blocked and starved for entertainment and social connections.
"There is only so much Netflix that you can see," said Aydar. "So we thought we would combine our skills on the digital side with our skills on the live trivia side." It wasn't really a linchpin, it was an answer to the opportunity we have. "
The opportunity Virtual sporcle trivia, Live games hosted on zoom by hundreds of employees who have been brought back by the company. In just 8 weeks, Sporcle hosted nearly 2,000 virtual trivia events and generated more than $ 2.5 million in revenue – a significant number considering that live events last year accounted for around 40 percent of Sporcle's revenue at 10 Accounted for millions of dollars in sales.
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Like many companies that use new remote realities via video chat, Zoom was the game changer for Sporcle. Aydar recognizes Zoom's breakout room feature as particularly good for this experience, as it mimics live trivia events and allows people to band together.
"When we saw that we knew this had the potential to work," said Aydar. "We have the technical and technical prerequisites to get a product to market quickly, but it also took hosting experience to really do that on a large scale."
Sporcle, number 39 in the GeekWire 200 index of startups in the Pacific Northwest, has quietly managed to become one of the largest trivia companies in the world. Aydar has been CEO of the Bootstrap company for 10 years, but he is a bit of tech legend Thanks to his early position at Napster, where he was the first non-founding employee and "one of the pioneers of digital music".
In addition to the live events, Sporcle offers countless user-generated quizzes online that have attracted more than 3.5 billion games since 2007.
Before the pandemic, an average of 1.2 million people a day played games on the website in categories such as sports, geography, music, movies, and more. Demand has increased monthly since February and Sporcle now has 2 million quiz games on many days.
Virtual trivia events where up to 12 teams are invited to a game cost around $ 5 for each device used to play. Sporcle has turned to players who have previously personally attended events, but its popularity is currently largely determined by word of mouth.
Sporcle is also trying to help the bars and restaurants where the pre-pandemic events took place. Winning teams can earn gift cards for these venues to give back to Sporcle partners who are closed.
And the virtual business may be bigger than traditional live events because it attracts an audience that goes far beyond a local bar. It is aimed at different population groups, including those who prefer an alternative to going out.
"We didn't think of a pre-pandemic at all," said Aydar. “It's to have fun and socialize with your friends and family. It's really about this connecting fiber. "