Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Kostas Papageorgiou, a copywriter in Finland who creates engaging content for startups
We all know that helpless feeling when we realize something valuable has gone missing and potentially lost forever. Belon.gs, a young startup from Finland gives you a better chance of being reunited with your lost items through the use of QR codes.
According to Belon.gs CEO Tomi Alapaattikoski, “It’s terrible to lose something that’s irreplaceable such as holiday photos and not having a chance of ever getting it back. You’re on holiday and won’t be returning back to where you think you lost it anytime soon.
“And even if it gets found, there’s no way for the finder to contact me about my lost camera. I don’t care about the camera – I can buy a new one, but I can’t buy the photos I took.”
The way the service works is pretty straightforward. Users signup to the service at Belon.gs and can order the sticker tags online for home delivery. The service is free of charge for personal users, while corporations pay a fee according to the number of active tags in use.
Once the tags are received, users begin claiming tags and sticking them on items they really want a chance of getting back.
Claiming a tag is simple; you can either scan the QR code on your smartphone or visit the web address with its unique URL to register the item on your account. The user fills in the details of the item and can even issue a reward as an incentive for the finder to return it back. When the item goes missing, the user just signs into their account to report that the item is lost.
When the item is located, the finder simply scans the code or visits the unique URL to report the item has been found. From within the platform the owner and finder can then proceed to chat online to organize the return of the item.
How to get started with Belon.gs
One of the key features with Belon.gs is that the communication between both parties remains anonymous and the barrier to returning a lost item is extremely low. The finder has an easy way to contact the owner directly and get rewarded for a good deed. While at the same time, the owner increases the likelihood of getting an item they truly value back in their hands.
So how will Belon.gs make money? On the corporate side, the Finnish startup charges a fee for how many tags they’re using. Corporations can also use the online platform as an asset management tool to keep track of their possessions. From personal users, Belon.gs takes a 10% cut from the reward users issue for their items.
Belon.gs for businesses
According to Alapaattikoski, he describes the service as a revolutionary lost and found service and has his mind set on making a difference on how people and corporations own items.
In addition to being a lost and found service, Belon.gs already has a partnership agreement with Talentum Events Oy to use Belon.gs as an affordable asset management tool. They have also set their sights on retailers and partnered up with Jimm’s PC Store to deliver branded lost and found sticker tags for their products.
Alapaattikoski also mentioned their plans to implement a track and trace feature they are aiming for the pharmaceutical, clothing and food industry. Current US law requires manufactures to account for the origins of their products.
He also explained that Belon.gs is currently building a worldwide partnership network for their new track and trace feature. Where they are aiming to engrave or label consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, clothes and food products with their codes. The aim is to allow curious consumers to quickly find out more information about the products they are planning to buy – and also to allow manufacturers in those industries to comply with current US regulations on traceability.
When asked what sort of product information the consumer is able to look up, Alapaattikoski said, “The Belon.gs track and trace feature allows consumers to reveal the original products from pirated ones, find out their fair trade status and the environmental impact of the product. This is simply done by scanning the Belon.gs code from each product on the store shelf by anyone.”
The Turku startup is also set to release a free QR code reader for iOS, Android and Window Phone.
Belon.gs clearly has its eyes set on the bigger picture with its plans. There’s no doubt that losing your stuff can be an inconvenience and a financial burden. Nevertheless, Belon.gs is looking to go beyond just being a new lost and found service with its track and trace feature.
Alapaattikoski shared his vision for Belon.gs by saying “Belon.gs is a well-known brand for consumers and corporations worldwide who understand the value we deliver”. It will be interesting to see what new ideas the Finnish startup will bring to market and how it will grow, especially with its plans to target the US market.
About the author
Kostas Papageorgiou is a copywriter living in Turku, Finland. He specializes in creating engaging content for technology companies and has written content for Finnish, Dutch & US startups. Kostas also maintains a blog at Kanguro Communications where he talks about marketing and innovation. You can follow Kostas on Twitter @k_papageo