Last year, Kazakh entrepreneur Madat Karimov introduced the Qtap startup, a multifunctional platform that integrates social networking, website building, and online payment capabilities. Currently, the platform boasts over 42,000 registered users, including individuals from the United States, where the team aims to expand soon.
In an interview with the Astana Times, Aidyn Aidyngali, the startup’s Chief Product Officer (CPO) and co-founder, described the Qtap as a next-level website builder designed to assist small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, influencers, and individuals in creating websites within minutes. The platform allows users to sell physical or digital goods, accept donations, sell event tickets, and other things.
Aidyngali emphasized the team’s commitment to simplifying the website-building process and providing users with full control over their web presence.
“You need not write a single line of code, nor hire a dedicated team of developers or designers. Go through our onboarding process, choose any template from our community database, and now have a unique page, ensuring your web presence. Welcome to the world of digital marketing,” he said.
The team also aims to develop the entire ecosystem surrounding the platform, encouraging third-party developers to contribute widgets, iframes, or other elements to enhance user engagement for their clients and users.
“We aspire to create a centralized hub where individuals can promote their ideas and services all in one place, and express their creativity to the fullest. We are integrating Artificial Intelligence solutions to streamline the website-building process,” said Aidyngali.
The team focuses on users’ feedback, demonstrating flexibility in incorporating requested features and testing new additions.
Aidyngali explained their approach to web development, advocating for a user-centered design methodology called CustDev, which involves collecting user feedback to ensure alignment with user needs and preferences before implementing new functions or features. He contrasted this approach with function-centered development, where ideas are developed without prior user input, often leading to mismatches with user expectations.
“It is important to be in a close connection with users, knowing what they want and knowing how to solve their problems and how to bring them that value that they are asking for. The platform has an intuitive design and user-friendly interface, aiming to facilitate seamless interaction for both guests and registered users,” he said.
Latifa Toike, the Qtap’s Operational Director, noted the organic marketing the startup has experienced, attributing it to collaborations with influencers like blogger and actor Artur Askaruly.
Toike highlighted the successful outreach in the U.S., where cold messaging and emailing gathered positive responses, leading to users from Australia, the U.S., and Europe.
“In the U.S. market, one of the primary differences lies in our collaboration with agencies. One of them, during our first interaction, asked about our uniqueness compared to Linktree. They inquired about any additional benefits or events we offer for their in-house influencers. Their focus is solely on what would be best for their influencers,” she said.
Aidyngali also emphasized a recent partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest fighting championship globally.
“We began by reaching out to prominent Kazakh fighters like Shavkat Rakhmonov, whose manager, upon understanding our startup’s features, identified it as precisely what they needed. They required an online platform to sell merchandise and tickets for events and fights. They were pleasantly surprised by the user-friendly interface, which distinguished us from competitors. We have even had discussions with Dana Frederick White Jr., CEO of the UFC, who expressed interest in choosing us over other platforms,” he said.
Regarding user engagement, Aidyngali stressed the importance of understanding users’ needs and pain points.
“Speaking broadly, we are addressing a well-known issue: the complexity of the website development process, irrespective of location. Whether in the United Kingdom, the U.S., or Kazakhstan, prior knowledge is required. Hence, it’s crucial to offer solutions that cater to both local and international users, although their needs may vary with age. We are engaging with our U.S. users, gathering data, and conducting competitive research to differentiate ourselves in the market,” he said.
Describing the Qtap in one word, Toike emphasized its multifunctionality, reflecting the platform’s versatility and wide range of features.