Interview with Luca Panseri, CEO of LOOKUP
Interview with Luca Panseri, CEO of LOOKUP, a Social Gaming app that promotes a more responsible smartphone use.
LOOKUP rewards those users that manage to limit their smartphone usage: for as long as the phone isn’t being used (except at night), the app assigns a score that can be converted into coupons, activities and promotions to be used at affiliated partners’.
How does LOOKUP work?
First, a timer gets activated. At every 20 minute mark (“break”) set by the timer, the user gets an amount of points (“UP🎈”). The timer will stop in case the user closes the app, and the last break progress will be lost. If you click on any incoming notification (except calls) or outgoing notification (calls included) during a break, the timer will stop. You can always stop the timer yourself by pressing “X”. For every UP🎈 you earn, you get a prize, such as discounted experiences, products or services designed by LOOKUP’s affiliated partners.
Hello Luca, it’s very nice meeting you, and we thank you for your time. How and when did this idea come to you?
Thanks to you! It happened starting 2019, when I noticed that at every social gathering I was, everyone was only looking at their phones. I initially thought that maybe I was the boring one 🙂 but then I realized that looking at your phone while you’re with someone is actually pretty rude (contrary to popular belief). That’s when the idea hit me!
How long did it take for you to carry out this project?
It took us 2 years to launch LOOKUP. I didn’t have any tech knowledge, so I pitched my idea to Be Bad – a startup accelerator from Bergamo – and we immediately clicked. Our socially-driven startup was ready to go at the end of 2019. We used our time during the first Covid lockdown to conduct more in-depth market research and to test our app’s beta version with around 200 early adopters. Following their feedback, we launched LOOKUP in March 2021 for iOS and Android.
What kind of prizes do you offer?
The prizes consist of products, services or offline experiences – but also via digital means – that promote sustainability, our land’s symbols of excellence and psychophysical well-being for the individual or the community. LOOKUP’s target audience is primarily university students and workers, since they’re the ones who need to focus without distractions the most. The prizes are divided by category: arts and culture, entertainment, food, sustainable mobility, sports, For Him, For Her, childcare and everyday-life products.
What are the app’s main pros, apart from putting our phones down?
LOOKUP aims at becoming the balancing factor between the online and offline world. It makes users more aware about how to use their phones, and it encourages them to spend their time more wisely. Our users got the message: it’s not meant to be less, but better, meaning that we’ve got to use technology to improve our lives, after all. As for regional economies, LOOKUP can become a socially valuable asset for local marketing.
What has the market’s response been so far?
We started from Bergamo, where we signed our first partnerships, and the public’s response has been great so far. Our startup is also growing pretty organically. The project’s goodwill has even led us to partner with a huge brand: Red Bull Italy. We have some interesting values in common, and there’s good synergy going on!
How did you launch your project?
Taking into account these uncertain times, we moved towards more socially-driven tools for our community building’s first stage. Red Bull will take LOOKUP in the offline world through its events, which is more coherent with our idea. The launch is still an ongoing process, since in these first months we’ve been optimizing LOOKUP based on our users’ valuable feedback. In September we intend to pitch LOOKUP to companies in an effort of giving employees an improved work-life balance. We believe that this is the best route to take, and in the meantime we’ll have a physical presence next to the marketing giant that is Red Bull. It’s a great start 🙂
How does one become your partner?
That’s super easy! Reach out to us at email@example.com, and – if the conditions for a synergy are there – you can join our party! 🙂