UK startup that lets internet users earn money gets £2.1M backing from Tinie Tempah, Harry Redknapp and Tej Lalvani
In today’s world, internet players have the power to track the users’ online activities and make millions by selling this data to third parties while the users get almost nothing in return. Changing this game plan of the internet players and giving the power back to the users is Gener8.
The London-based startup, which is a free-to-use browser add-on lets users earn from their data or work in privacy, and has now secured £2.1 million in angel investment. Gener8 lets people choose to keep their data private or earn from it themselves whilst browsing online. By selecting ‘Privacy Mode’ the user can stop companies from tracking them, or the ‘Rewards Mode’ means that a person can share their data with Gener8 to monetise it for them.
The company has got high-profile backing after its founder, former Red Bull marketing manager Sam Jones, appeared on Dragon’s Den in April asking for a £60,000 investment for 10% equity in Gener8 which went viral as the “best pitch ever”. The consortium of investors that participated in the funding, include musician Tinie Tempah, legendary football manager, Harry Redknapp, and Dragons’ Den star, Tej Lalvani, among others.
Talking about data exploitation, Tinie Tempah said: “As soon as I saw Sam pitch the Dragons I was trying to figure out how I could get involved! It’s an issue that blows my mind – we accept these cookies tracking us online, and then everything that happens afterwards is invisible. Gener8 is an incredible tool that will be the answer for many of us who don’t want to just give our information away for free anymore.”
Harry Redknapp commented: “In my line of work, it’s always been the lads with passion, drive and a top workrate that’ve gone on to perform at the highest level, and that’s what I see in Sam. His determination to make a real change is contagious and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”
Tej Lalvani added: “When Sam was in the Den, I knew I wanted to get behind the vision for Gener8 and give people the power to control their own data. I’ve never done this before, but after the show I tracked Sam down to see if there was something that could be done – and now I’m delighted to be a part of the exciting movement.”
Protecting our online data
Gener8 aims to create a movement and highlight the importance of protecting our online data and the diverse nature of backers shows that this issue affects many from all walks of life. The investment further accelerates its rapid growth, valuing it at more than £10 million. This is 15x more than the company’s valuation on Dragons’ Den. The company has since captured the imagination of the nation, with a new person downloading it every 10 seconds for the last four weeks. The video of Sam’s pitch has also been viewed more than 20,000,000 times online.
Sam said: “Things have really taken off since I was in the Den! We’ve seen such an incredible response, with over 1.5 million people visiting our website and hundreds of thousands downloading Gener8. It feels like a movement is starting. It’s an issue that resonates with many of us: our online data is being exploited, but what can we do about it? At Gener8, we’re passionate about helping people to either be rewarded for their data, or to keep it private altogether whilst they’re browsing online.”
Earn from your data
When a person chooses to earn from their data, they’re given their own profile to select what they’re interested in. This information is used to tailor the adverts they see online, so that all ads are based on their interests.
People then receive points whenever they see an advert or any time their data is used. These points can be redeemed for products, vouchers or donations to charity in Gener8’s marketplace. The average person earns between £5 – £25 in rewards per month, with thousands of pounds being donated to charities that are changed on a monthly basis.
Since the start of the pandemic, Gener8 has also supported the NHS by showing more than 15,000,000 Stay at Home and other informational ads to its users, free-of charge.