Interview with Dan Swygart
Founder & CEO @ Alpacr.

Whether you're Backpacking in Europe, Kayaking in the US or Skiing in Canada, Alpacr is the voice of your adventure. Create your profile, and share all of your adventurous experiences. Show off your travels by posting trips to map out where you’ve been, and write about and add as many photos as you like. Follow your friends and influencers as they travel around the world. Discover new bucket list places to visit, meet travel mates, or plan your next city break vacation.
Hi Dan! Could you please introduce Alpacr. and what led to your founding the company back in 2017? From idea to launch how long did it take to develop the platform?
Hello, my name is Dan, I'm the founder and CEO of Alpacr. So, Alpacr. is a brand new social networking platform for travel and adventure. I came up with the idea about two years ago when I was traveling all over the world. I wanted to use one simple platform instead of using about 10. So, Alpacr., basically, takes things from Instagram, TripAdvisor, Tinder and brings it all in one, just for travel and adventure. It took us about a year, from the idea to the MVP and, we launched about six months ago, and the app has really kicked off all around the world. And, you can see I'm in paradise at the moment. So, currently out here in South East Asia, where we launched the platform, so I'm on Gili T in Indonesia, which is one of the biggest backpacking places in the world. So, here, we are getting thousands of users every week on the platform, loving it, enjoying it. They're traveling around the world. That's how they move people. It has a snowball effect as you travel around.
How have you built the user base of Alpacr.? Which feature of the platform is a favorite among users?
So, Alpacr has two main features. The first is Trip Posts, on my profile I can share all my travels and adventures. So, that could be skiing, surfing, climbing, backpacking. I can have all my photos, write about what I've done and, map out where I've been. So, basically, I can easily remember, I can show my family, friends who have followed me as I travel around. So, that's our main feature at the moment. The next is local adventure. So, wherever I am in the world, I can use the app to meet up with others nearby. So, if I go in a local adventure, I can see everybody nearby me. So, everyone on this island, for example. I can ask where the best bars are, see, who wants to go diving. For travelling around Asia for a few months, I can find people to travel with. So, it creates a community around with everyone in one area. So, how we built the Alpacr user base? Basically, out here, doing this. So, we go to hotspot locations like this, where there's thousands and thousands of people in one area. And, we have our uniform on, we have our Hawaiian exes on, we have loads of merchandise, we have a packer mass and, we just go around. We talk to tens of thousands of people get on the app. They love it. They use it. They travel somewhere else, they tell someone else, they tell a friend, and they tell a friend. So, it really is a massive snowball effect as it ripples around the world. It's great to see. We also have other things like digital advertising and, collaborate influencers and, things like that as well.
You're also a professional speaker and have traveled throughout Wales to deliver talks. What is your process behind preparing for a long speech or lecture?
So, with public speaking, it really comes down to practice until is perfect. Now, the start. I was just doing it for small groups of 10, 15 and then a few months later, I was in front of 300 people, giving lectures to people who were older than me. Now, I was 21 at the time 21, 22 and, I was giving lectures to people who were 25, 26, in masses. So, yes, it is a phenomenal experience. I think, it really allows you to fill it with confidence and the basics, you are there in the moment, people are just sitting there listening to you and, you're just talking normally. So, it's just like you're in a mirror or, it's just like you are, you know, anywhere else towards yourself. Yeah, it might be perfect the first few minutes might be bitter, but, as you get into the flow of things, get more confident, it gets better. It just gets better. The hardest is giving that to younger age groups, soft zone, like 15, 16-year-olds. And, you know, they didn't usually listen very much so hopefully, you know until they feel a little quiet. Other than that, as long as they're listening, you're enjoying it, they're enjoying it. Keep it short and sweet, make sure they're enjoying it. It's a big thing. Don't make it boring. Relate to the audience, make sure it's fun and relevant and happy days.
How has winning the Virgin Voom pitch competition influenced the success of Alpacr. today? What was the most surprising aspect of the competition itself?
So, about a year and a half ago when the Virgin Voom competition were after pitching for judges. I, as a CEO, I got to go to London and, I had breakfast with Sir Richard Branson. It went absolutely phenomenal. We also won about 5000 pounds as well. Yet, the entire experience was probably the best thing and, the best time you could ever have. Before that, I was just a recent graduate. I had no background, I had not that many contacts at the time and, we were really struggling to get momentum and, to move things forward. So, when the competition validated the entire idea, allowed us to raise more investments and move forward. As well as, meeting when the greatest business minds in the world. So, for us, it was phenomenal, for our success absolutely vital. I enjoyed it every second, it was fantastic! The most surprising thing was winning itself. I remember standing on stage, now to this day and, a few seconds before they announced the winner, my heart was pounding. And, they just said Dan with Alpacr. I was Wow, no way! And it is still a shock until this day. Probably one of the best days of my life was there. I've learnt from Sir Richard Branson talking about Alpacr. I move things forward. Absolute phenomenal!
What's next for your work with Alpacr.? What are the main projects, partnerships, and platform developments you'll be focusing on in 2019?
So, Alpacr. is currently pre-revenue, sort of we really launched about six months ago. We've been reliant on investment. So, we've raised about half a million dollars of investment so far, and towards September that's when we'll be raising our Series A. So, the next few months for us, its just to get as many users as possible, from all around the world, grow rapidly and then, raise our Series A. And then, lay it on the line and, we'll be looking at introducing our revenue model which, should be using our data for advertising and things like that.