#HerImpact: The Story of Armut’s Co-founder & CEO, Basak Taspinar Degim8 Mar 2019 BASINDA BLOG
Başak is the co-founder of Armut.com which is the leading local services marketplace in Turkey. Founded with the mission of making it easy to find trusted service providers, Armut aspires to be a world leader local services marketplace. The start-up operates across 6 countries (Turkey, UK, USA, Romania, SA & Egypt) with 3 brands (Armut , HomeRun & Rahat Taşın ). The platform, helps people in 2000 different categories with over 300.000 service providers.Başak is an internationally recognized female entrepreneur with lots of recognition and awards.
I was living in the USA with my family. When we decided to move back to Turkey, I searched for different local service professionals like a painter, cleaner, home improvement experts. That was the time, I realized there is no way to find good service providers online. When I asked around, I got the same answer from my friends and family, they were struggling as well. I thought there needs to be a better and easier way to find trusted service professionals using technology.
We started with a real-life problem of ours, and the insight was really strong. From the first day, we knew that the scalability of business was really crucial therefore we started using machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver a great customer experience.
Starting a marketplace business is really challenging since it takes a lot of time to see the result of network effects. As a bootstrap startup founder, I struggled financially and motivationally in the first years of my entrepreneurship journey.
When we focused on our customers and solving their problems, things eventually started to get better. First customers became our advocates and spread the word. The business has sped up and we started to see both customer and revenue growth.
Today, we’ve changed how people find local services in Turkey. As a leader in the market, we are converting customers from offline to online. Armut receives around 2 million customer requests each year from moving to wedding organization. We are operating with 3 brands across 6 countries and over 300.000 service providers.
I believe as an entrepreneur, one of the most crucial personality traits is embracing the change and quickly adapting to it. While we were scaling up the business, we have tried many new business models and category structures. During those periods, we spent a lot of time with the team to bring clarity to our mission and goals. The team knew that they are contributing to one big purpose which is making our customers’ lives easier with technology. When you have one big mission and your team is motivated around it, success is inevitable.