Zeryab Cheema was 15 years old when he asked his parents to help fund his idea for an app. As a non-tech founder and teenager, he faced numerous challenges before finding the right market for his product. He now has offices in Australia, the US and the UK. Zeryab is 19 years old.
I started iView International in 2012. Back then, apps were growing in popularity across Australia. Many people had smartphones, so me and my Dad thought a one-tap, book-a-cab app that you could see in real time on a map would work for the Sydney market.
I thought the app would only cost a few grand to make, but the quotes were anywhere from $30,000 to $150,000. I told my parents and I think getting any parent to trust a teenager with $30,000 is asking a lot, but they used their savings to help me.
It took 10 weeks to get the first version of the app. We called it Taxi 24/7. I never knew when we were about to launch it though, because Apple kept rejecting it. Every time they did this we had a huge cost of re-developing it. In the end, they rejected it eight times, but then on February 29, 2012, we registered and launched the app. It was quite exciting.
The pilot mode of Taxi 24/7 got a lot of media traction and downloads. We had a lot of competition in Australia though, and up until about June or July of 2012, we had no external funding – it was all bootstrapping.
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