This company is part of Executive’s Top 20 for 2015. Read more stories from our entrepreneurship in Lebanon section, for the latest analysis on the country’s ecosystem.
Industry: Event management and ICT
Product: Website and web app
Product launch: 2012
Employees: 3 part-time; 2 interns
Founders: Randa Farah, George Zeenny, Teddy Zeenny, Rana Abou Rjeily, Charbel Jamous
Lebtivity was started in May 2012, after one of the five co-founders realized there was no central page in Lebanon that contained information about future hiking events. After brainstorming, they decided to expand beyond a page dedicated to hiking to include all types of events in Lebanon. Since their inception, the website has grown and people are allowed to add their event to the page for free. Randa Farah, one of the co-founders, has spoken of the positive feedback that Lebtivity has received, with many users remarking how surprised they were at the sheer quantity of events taking place in the country. Sharing events on such a platform is a “win-win” situation for everyone; the event planners, the attendees and ultimately the entertainment industry in Lebanon.
Lebtivity encourages participation in their online social calendar by not charging to upload events to their website. Their business model, however, is based on advertising packages, where individuals can pay for social media exposure with different Lebtivity partners, and adverts publicized on the website. Events are sorted by popularity, granting those with more ‘likes’ or views greater visibility. Lebtivity boosts the events on various platforms. Aside from advertising, Lebtivity also generates revenue by acting as intermediaries for providers selling different services to event organizers at preferential rates. Examples include catering, hostessing, live streaming and photo booth machines.
Thus far, Lebtivity is self-funded, and the five founders have invested their time and money into the platform. While their motivation was borne out of a desire to promote the country and encourage social support to local events, they are now looking for angel investors in order to secure greater funding to the platform. The value Lebtivity adds to the Lebanese economy is on all levels; from small restaurants to large events, adding their details to Lebtivity will boost their visibility through a central page and increase the likelihood of having customers. This is supported by their website traffic, which at time of publishing counted over 1 million unique visitors to the website since its creation. The variety of events also encourages users to attend different events to the ones they originally search for on the platform. While for now Lebtivity is in Lebanon, they wish to expand to other countries regionally and globally, and have conducted small test trials in Canada. Current projects in the pipeline also include improvements to the online platform, and ultimately expanding upon Lebtivity’s own software development team by recruiting local talent. Their philosophy is to promote the positive side of the country – “you have your Lebanon and I have mine” says Farah, quoting Gibran Khalil Gibran and explaining that to her, Lebtivity shows that it is a country of culture and art.