Lukas Decker, CEO Coindrum, briefs Marta Dimitrova on the company’s worldwide expansion.
In 2012, Lukas Decker set up Coindrum after developing an innovative system for airports that allows passengers to convert their unwanted coins into airport shopping vouchers. Five years later, Coindrum has already taken over the European market. As well as attracting investors including Declan Ryan, founder of Ryanair; Bobby Healy, co-founder of CarTrawler; and Tom Kennedy, co-founder of Hostelworld, Coindrum has built strong relationships with some of the major airports around Europe.
The Irish start-up is now operating in nine international airports, recently expanding its services at Dublin Airport, as well as with market leader Dufry at Milan Malpensa Airport.
“Most of our scaling comes from our existing partners,” explains Decker. “For example, Dufry was one of our first partners and our initial installation with the retailer at Milan has performed so well for the past three years, that we are now delighted to build on this success and offer the Coindrum service to all departing passengers across the different Dufry stores.”
Coindrum, however, is eyeing world expansion and what better place to start than with the world’s biggest international airport. Indeed, in a conversation with Airport Business, Decker, revealed the exclusive news that the company has secured a partnership with Dubai Airport.
“We like where things are going and we have broken into that kind of airport now, which is a great step for us and a milestone for our business,” he enthuses. “We’ve launched in nine European countries so far and with Dubai Airport we are leaving the continent. This trend is definitely continuing, as we are increasingly targeting major international non-European hubs.”
In terms of customer service and commercial optimisation, Coindrum’s model has improved over time. Decker explains: “We think we have found our sweet spot now and we know how it works for all of the different parties – for the airport, the retailer, the customer and ourselves. What we try to do now is to copy/paste this model in airports across the world.”
Initially, the product was launched as a free service for customers, allowing them to exchange coins for a voucher of the same amount, providing a very attractive commercial strategy for the retailer. However, later on, in collaboration with Aer Rianta International (ARI), Coindrum came up with the idea to add a further 10% credit to the amount of coins the customer puts in the machines.
“It was actually Jack McGowan, CEO of ARI, who came up with the idea to give people 10% extra on their coins. After the trial, it was so successful that it then became our core part of our proposition to give the customer more to generate more transactions.”
He continues: “So, in terms of the model that we have established now and in terms of the technology, which has improved over time, the machines are now flawless. The design is much sleeker, much more attractive in a high-end retail environment.”
Deals are already in place to continue Coindrum’s expansion in 2018 and ahead. In addition, the company recently moved into a new logistic centre in Dublin. “From our perspective, every airport can be more profitable and better run with our support and that is what we are trying to do. So, we are just going to continue growing as fast as we can. As a business, we have moved forward as well, so we can cater for bigger demand. This year, alone we will definitely double our footprint in terms of unit count.”
Coindrum will showcase its innovation during the ACI EUROPE Airport Commercial & Retail Exhibition, where the company is hoping to continue strengthening its existent relationships and creating new partnerships with airports worldwide.