Maria Luna – CEO of BRAVO Pay

I sat down with CEO Maria Luna from BRAVO Tip or Pay soon to be BRAVO Pay.

We finally reconnected after meeting each other in 2016 when she was very kind and supported a venture I was working on here in Phoenix, AZ.

The BRAVO app falls in the payment technologies category and is available as both an iPhone and Android app.

Initially, the app was created for hard working people and creatives to get tipped for their services and it has now grown into a payment powerhouse.

The new version adds so many more features including social media, social connection, fan pages, store fronts and has literally morphed into an all-inclusive app for anyone who works for themselves or has the ability to make money on their directly with their clients and followers.

Unlike the competitors who share your information inside their apps like your name, email, phone # and have deep marketing pockets and charge large fees, BRAVO stands out as caring for all who work hard and deliver great service without giving up your identity and taking money out of your pockets with unfair fees.

Maria is so sincere and you can tell that her goal is uplifting everyone and that sole purpose is more important to her than making a single dime.

I hope you enjoy our conversation and more importantly, I hope you download the BRAVO app and start using it for all your payments, tipping and social interactions when it comes to promoting your goods and services.

Maria Luna:

BRAVO Pay: BRAVO Pay Website

Connect with Maria:

LinkedIn Personal:
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Maria Luna:

Joe: Hey, everybody, welcome. I’m excited for my guest today. I have Maria Luna from Bravo. She is going to explain the app and everything about it. Maria and I met, I think, back in twenty sixteen, and I haven’t talked to her in quite some time, but they have definitely done a ton of stuff since then. And we’re going to get into all that. I’m not going to spoil it. But Maria, welcome and thank you so much for being here.

Maria: Thank you. The pleasure is all mine.

Joe: There’s plenty of interviews with your history and all of your growing up stories about your mother, how she made money and how this is so dear to your heart. The concept of what you built and then your own education, a bachelor’s degree, masters degree. So there’s plenty of places people can see all that. I really. For me. I love the app so much. And you were so gracious to be a part of my life in 2016. We had opened up a small performance school. And I really want to use this time mostly to get the word out about Bravo and allow you to explain where you’ve come from and where it’s going. I know that there’s a new iteration of it since 2016. I didn’t even notice in 2016 or actually I didn’t even know if this had happened since then. But we’re going to talk about Shark Tank, which is cool. I don’t know how much you can talk about it, but so you can just say, I can’t talk about that. But I just I have some questions about all of that. But again, let’s let’s start with just the basic concept of what the app does and then we’ll get into I know all these other questions will come up.

Maria: Awesome, we’ll thank you for the opportunity. So with an honor and a pleasure, whenever I invited to speak about our company, it’s it’s really a team effort. Unfortunately, I’m the majority of the cases on the face of the company, but there’s so many amazing people in the team. I want to recognize their work and I’ll be happy to answer anything about Bravo and our history and where we’re going. More than anything.

Joe: Great. Well, again, I think the best place to start is I think there’s everyone’s going to have some initial confusion when they hear about the app and they then go. But what about and I’m not going to mention any of the other apps that are on that same sort of platform or potentially do somewhat of the same thing, because I know there’s a very distinct difference with Bravo. So I need you to explain what Bravo brings to the table where it’s different than the the other apps air quotes

Maria: Well.

Joe: That are happening or what other people might use.

Maria: Ok. More than happy. So starting with our journey and our purpose. When we started Bravo, the main purpose is to financially empower anybody that depends on cash payments, tips or content creators and freelancers to make a living. And you say, well, there’s many ways of doing that. Yes. But what we bring different to the table. Number one, with Bravo, you your data is not the product. So we do not monetize on our users data. And that has massive implications in your security and the security of your data. And the money. So starting with that, we are super different based on how private, how protective and secure we are for our users. But beyond that, and the purpose to financially empower that takes me to the next version of Bravo. We create first a minimum viable product. And then a beta where we wanted to prove, OK. There is this perfect way. We’re two perfect strangers can meet each other, page other and not exchange a single point of data. And that was to take Bravo to the market and prove that there was a need for a super private way for two strangers to connect each other and continue with their lives while taking bravo to the market. And we have listened unlocked to our users and we started to see a lot of verticals popping up beyond the typical tipping situation where you’re tipping your valet or anybody that gives you great service. And then we started to see a lot of increase use age in musicians. Broadcasters can benefit from brow. We’re seeing some very important podcasts and podcasters using Bravo.

Maria: Any type of freelancers, photographers, yoga instructors, trainers. And then we listen to their pain points. And what are those pain points? OK. Whenever they go and put their content out to monetize, to to make a living. All of the platforms out there start either taking a lot from certain income. So they’re costly to use their platforms and they start having tiers that make it super complicated. So, for example, if I have ten thousand users, I have access to these tools. But if I don’t, I, I do not make the money or I depend on ads. And then they start hiding your content so that you have to pay to be visible and will listen to all of those pain points. And then we did focus groups. We tested things. We went back to them and we made sure that all of the tools to monetize combining that social aspect of it. Let me bring your my content out and let me be financially empowered by my fans or my supporters are in one platform and in a fair price, not hiding anybody’s content. So you work hard for your followers or your supporters. I’m not going to hide your content. I’m going to provide those tools and democratize the tools. Why do you need to wait until your super big to have access to to the tools? And that’s what we’re bringing to the market in our next item nation, which is a perfect combination of sharing who you are monetizing directly from your fan base and providing a store item where you can sell pretty much anything.

Joe: Yeah, that’s really cool. And along with this new version, is that part of the name change that I saw or did that happen a while ago?

Maria: Well, as a company, we because we went very focus on one side of the market. One one neach inside the market, which was tipping.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Maria: We first position bravo there because we knew that there is a pawn. Right. Tipping was the tip of the iceberg. So we knew that the first thing we could solve right away was that interaction of two strangers. But the vision is way bigger. And it was to eventually become this platform that around the world, anybody can be financially empowered directly from somebody that wants to either pay them for one time. And now we’re adding recurring revenue. And we’re also opening tools so that you can have your own store inside Bravo, if you will, to to sell anything like experiences. One use case would be I’m a musician and I’m going to say on this concert, I am going to open 10 spaces for people to buy a backstage experience and they can go and buy it on Bravo presented and have their picture taken with their favorite artist. Things like that. So the sky’s the limit. Your imagination is the limit.

Joe: Right. So is it now called Bravo Pay? Is that official, the

Maria: We

Joe: Official?

Maria: Are evolving now. The

Joe: Ok.

Maria: Name to the final purpose, which is way bigger than just sending

Joe: Tipping.

Maria: One time gratuity. So we’re evolving the name to Bravo pay.

Joe: Awesome. OK, so can I give you some scenarios so that I again, I want this to be I think the marketplace in the sort of pay apps is a little clouded. Or people get used to something and it’s a habit forming type thing and they don’t they don’t want to change and they might not understand that they might be paying fees that they don’t need to pay or they’re sharing information that they don’t need. That’s probably the most important thing that Bravo brings to the table unless I’ve missed something. But that’s the thing that I keep hearing, is that it’s an anonymous exchange of money, in a sense.

Maria: On this version, on our next restoration, on top of that, which is great for your safety and security, what we’re adding is that intersection of of social finance of you happen, that direct support from your customer and and your fan base and expanding the tools, democratizing the tools that in any other platform are costly or dependent ads, or they hide your content so that you have to then pay more.

Joe: Great. So, again, for clarity, I want to. I want to say that before the new version comes out, though, the huge part of Bravo was not having to exchange any personal information in order for someone to pay you or for you to get paid. Is that correct?

Maria: Correct. The security

Joe: Ok.

Maria: Of being a total.

Joe: Right. And so now the new version is you’re stacking on the social layer that has been missing because it’s just basically was a tipping paying app. But now you’re adding in. If you have Bravo, you have all you’re capturing all the social tribe that follows you. You’re allowed to interact with them. So you’re adding other layers that could be more helpful to everybody, but definitely artistic types and creatives for sure.

Maria: Correct. And let let me paint the picture for different use cases. Let’s

Joe: Ok.

Maria: Say I’m a yoga instructor and I am on the app and now my my students can not only premium Bravo, but then I can offer it experiences to them through the app that I can sell in my store. So I create a store item for everything that I am going to offer. And like a super private class or an advanced class or anything that I want to offer, I can do it inside the app. I can also grow my my user base or my followers by sharing what I do on the app so I can then also put videos and pictures and content that can be featured on the app and can be also shared to anyone that it’s on the app. So we’re doing that intersection of social content and payments.

Joe: Wow. So it’s not just social connection and payments. It’s actually you’re allowing content. And are you allowing. Are you saying you’re allowing even like a store front situation?

Maria: Yes, you can create a store on the only thing it’s like because of the different regulations of the different platforms, the store items have to be for something physical or something that is not an app purchase. So I can buy things like I like I mentioned the experience of a backstage meeting or I can buy a special class, something that it’s not digital. I can buy it on the app, merch, a t shirt, anything that I want to create on a store item for.

Joe: That’s great. That’s really. So it’s really come like much different than what I knew.

Maria: Oh, yes. The division, it’s big and again, because the purpose is to financially empower everyone on all of these tools are offered in a very democratized way. If you use the recurring tools or the additional tools to monetize, Brummell will keep a five percent, but you keep a ninety five percent of the income. And for the gratuity payments, you keep a hundred percent of.

Joe: Right, sorry, member. The the actual formula is it’s a two percent fee going to the person that’s actually making the payment. Right. So it’s a

Maria: Which which is another differentiator, because

Joe: Right.

Maria: Let’s say if you’re going to make a payment with other platforms, you in order for that transaction to be free, and then when I say, quote unquote, free, it’s because you are the product most of the time. But let’s say if you’re going to pay with those platforms, you can only pay with a debit card or retrieving the money directly from your bank account. Bravo allows credit card payments at a two percent fee, which is

Joe: Yeah. Unheard of.

Maria: Unheard of in the market. Well, yes.

Joe: Yeah, it doesn’t happen. And it’s funny because the listeners and eventually I take this and I put it on my You Tube channel because some people just don’t. I don’t want the content to be lost for people who don’t listen to podcast. But you and I are both in Arizona. And I first saw Bravo when I would pull up to various restaurants and the valet would have a sign and I would look at it and would say, bravo, you know, tipping and whatever the sign said or used to say or still says, I’m not sure. But again, for the users, I want them to understand that what has to happen is both parties have to have the app on their phone, which is a free app. It’s downloadable on either Android or iPhone. Right. And the initial way that the payment occurs is by the Jeep finding that person via G.P.S..

Maria: There’s

Joe: Right.

Maria: Two ways if I am near you. I can you find you by proximity because of the G.P.S. capabilities. But we also have a search tab that I can find you by your username. And that’s another way we protect your privacy, because my name is Murray. I will not. But on the app, if bananas is not taken, I can be bananas. So that gives another layer of security. Obviously we’re in the payments industry in the back end. We need to know who you are because there are laws and regulations.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Maria: We need to know our customers there so KYC know your customer regulations. So in the back end, we know who you are, but the person that it’s paying you doesn’t need to know, you know, your real information if you don’t want to.

Joe: Right.

Maria: Your handle is customizable.

Joe: Sure. And I think that, again, money. I don’t want to say this in the wrong way. Money is great. But money. Physical money is really dirty. Like

Maria: It’s

Joe: The handle.

Maria: 30

Joe: It’s nasty.

Maria: Now, the call, the make makes us realize they’re doing more.

Joe: Right. So this is a very cool thing because the timing of it where I now have a fairly sizable booking agency in Arizona. And then we expanded into Colorado last summer. So now we’re in two states and we have over 500 forms of entertainment on our roster, everything from literally a instrumental guitarist to synchronize swimmers in a pool all the way up to A-list entertainment. And so for us and our entertainers were in that time right now where they are very you know, they all need to go back to work because that’s how they make their living. Most of ours are full time entertainers, but they don’t want people coming up to them to necessarily request songs because they get right on top of you there, or sometimes they’ll even come up. I’ve seen people come up and they’re right in your ear while you’re playing a song you’re trying to set. It’s just ridiculous.

Maria: Yeah.

Joe: But on top of it, having people come close to put in a tip and put that money in a tip jar, and then you have to handle all that money later on at the end of the night. So this is a huge way to get rid of that whole they don’t have to get out of their seat, that you don’t have to handle dirty money. And it’s just another great reason why, you know, not only the entertainers should all have the app, but consumers should start to look to put it on their phone and they’re going to see more more opportunities pop up where they don’t have to go, pat their pockets and go, oh, I don’t have any cash. It’s just right. It’s all done.

Maria: Correct.

Joe: Yeah.

Maria: And that is the general purpose. We want everybody to work hard for their money. That has something to bring to the world. Either service or your art, your talent to be to have a decent way of living. So we want to facilitate that interaction where I can. I see. I love what you do and I just tip you or pay you. But now, on top of a one time gratuity, we’re adding the ability for me to subscribe to you as a fan and then on a monthly basis support what you do. So do us a podcast or I can subscribe on a monthly basis, you know, support what you do. But I also we’re offering and bringing to the table partnerships like right now. We partnered with so many virtual concerts. There’s a group, Facebook, that does a blues night every single night, and they’re accepting the tips via Bravo. And a lot of people tell me, you know. What is next? So what is next is all of these tools that we are providing to put even more money on the hands of the creators, the artists and the service workers. And then we are going to be rolling out a marketing campaign state by state, to bring the word out in a disciplined way. I’m very proud to say that we we took problem from a bootstrap organic movement to now a movement that is going not only in the USA, but we’re going to expanding to Europe, we’re going to expanding to Latin America eventually. So Canada will say so. Yeah, you’re going to hear more about us.

Joe: Yeah, and I want the listeners to know that I knew you when. Because it’s true. It’s and and the fact that you and your husband, Hector, the both of you are real people like you’ve come from understanding that this is a situation where you’re you’re you’re making money at something. But more of it is that you’re helping people like it’s a very sincere movement. This is not a gouging situation.

Maria: Well, I would say it’s a team effort, like the idea was conceived in a trip that hit there I was we were we wanted to tip our tour guide. We couldn’t we didn’t have cash. And that’s where the idea was born. It took me back to the days of my mother living

Joe: Yeah.

Maria: On tips and all of that. And then we wanted to create an easy way for people to connect and pay. And then the vision was eventually this could help not only in the ticketing situations, but people that depend on other people to pay at a distance or take a bigger level. But we wanted to go very disciplined. It was the two of us at the very beginning.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Maria: I mean, Elmer joined us. Hector is a self-taught coder, although he’s a physician. So he did the initial wire frames. Then Elmer joined us as a chief technology officer. And now we have six engineers of of world class quality.

Joe: Wow.

Maria: We have a team. We have Adam that then joined us in the marketing side and sales side. Travis Kohlberg, that it’s he is super young, but probably one of the most creative social content creators in the world that he’s working with big names. I can I don’t dare to say it because, I mean, I don’t know how private these projects are, but as big as it gets and we’re so fortunate that he is part of the team as well. So super talented, passionate people. And we started with twenty five users by invitation. I think I knew you a little bit after that.

Joe: Sure.

Maria: And we have been told everything. We have been told that brand is going to crush you. They have, you know, millions and millions and billions of dollars. And unlike we’re driven by a purpose, we’re not here to take anybody out of market. We are creating our own opportunities. And the more the merrier, the more tools that people have to make money. And let’s all competing. In fairness, I’m not afraid of big money or big pockets because we are driven by that purpose. We created a grass roots with twenty five users now. Now we’re over two hundred and fifty thousand people all over USA and growing. And that is because of a true excited people talking to their customers and their fan base.

Joe: Yeah, that’s great. I’m really happy for you. I want to. Can we talk about the subscription piece of it just

Maria: Because.

Joe: So that I so that I understand? I want to make sure that the users, both the person getting the money and the person paying, understand that the app is free and they just put in whatever their information and then they can create, like you say, create their handle, which basically makes them somewhat anonymous or hidden. But then you offer a subscription based.

Maria: And that it’s coming. It’s not available to

Joe: Ok.

Maria: Everyone yet. However,

Joe: Ok.

Maria: All of our brand ambassadors are testing it and very soon we’re going to open it for a number of thousands of people. General public that that one, too, tested. We’re going to open it for testing before releasing it to the whole wide world. And then it’s a beautiful thing. Now we’re allowing people to first check us out. So you don’t even need to create an account to see. And that’s we are changing also our tag name to explore, pay, earn, because that describes better what you can do on the app.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Maria: So you can explore different profiles. So you create your profile. I’m going to be able to see your profile even before I decide, OK, I’m going to actually sign up to sign up. You provide very little information, your name, your last name, your email. You enter and you can even enter with your credentials with Facebook twitch, many Apple. We’re allowing people just boom. I entered with my own credentials and then you can explore the content, whatever you are offering on the app. Your videos, your pictures, all of that, it’s free. I don’t need to pay for all that to the content creators. What we allow them to do is create a subscription model. So let’s say your diehard fans or customers can then subscribe to support you and you can offer them physical experiences or things or merch or anything that it’s not an in app purchase. You can offer them on the app by creating sport items. So more to come. We are going to start releasing little by little. We already started a teaser campaign of what’s coming on

Joe: Mm hmm.

Maria: Social media Bravo page. But we’re going to very soon open it for people to test themselves.

Joe: Yeah, that’s great. So one of the things that I saw was Richard Sherman. Is he a spokesperson for Bravo?

Maria: I am so fortunate, again, that we started with so many passionate users, but then they brought Richard Sherman is one of the kindest, nicest human beings ever. And he he shared with me that even though he’s very conscientious of the importance of of empowering, financially empowering people, he dedicates time to educate his fellow friends on players, on the importance of finance and good education on your own finances. So he loved the idea and he joined us. He’s part of our advisory team to better understand that world of athletes, because that’s another thing. You create content. You can be a problem. Not only you have to be on service. I’m an athlete. Think about all of the athletes right now sitting at home waiting to be called to work. And now they can have this opportunity that on the app they share who they are, they share the routines, they can share everything, and then they can have that special connection with their fans. Something else we’re adding on. It’s the ability to chat with your favorite person, but it’s at will. So let’s say you can say to my customers, I’m going to chat with them Fridays at 1:00 p.m. and then you can turn it off as well.

Joe: Yeah, that’s great. And I just before we get away from Richard Sherman, I want to make sure that the listeners, because not everyone’s going to know him if they don’t watch football. But he’s a he’s an amazing NFL football player.

Maria: With the San Francisco 49ers.

Joe: That’s it. All right.

Maria: Yes, yes, he’s a cornerback for

Joe: Yeah.

Maria: The San Francisco 49ers.

Joe: To

Maria: And

Joe: Try.

Maria: But again, beyond the big figure that he is inside of the NFL. He is a way bigger human being. He has his own charity. He’s he’s an amazing person.

Joe: That’s great. It’s great to hear I was really when I saw that, I was like, wow, this is man, Murray is blowing it up and I just. It’s crazy.

Maria: Really, it’s the whole the whole team and the passion behind it.

Joe: Yeah, it’s really, really exciting. I’m glad. Oh, so when is the new version? I think you said you’re starting to kind of send it out here and there to different

Maria: Well,

Joe: People.

Maria: Right now, all of our brand ambassadors have it in their hands. So they’re they’re testing it for us. And we gathered all of their feedback to make it even stronger on the next phase. Very soon we’re going to release it to their fan base. So they’re going to be able to provide a code to their fan base to test it. And we are going to also do a campaign so people can request to test it before we release it to the general public.

Joe: And is there a release date?

Maria: We’re not going to announce it yet because

Joe: Ok.

Maria: There’s many factors, and once you are in technology, you know that there are many factors around the launch. And we wanted to make it again, like everything we have done in a lack of grassroots. So we want to bring both our ambassadors, the ambassadors, Zoom, bowling their fan base. We’re going to open it to people that are curious when tested and we want to use their voices. So if I talk to you, I can talk for many hours. But if a friend of yours or somebody you admire tells you this is a secure, perfect way for us to have this connection, then it’s a more personalized thing.

Joe: So you’ve mentioned a couple of times about a brand ambassador. Can you explain to me what that is and how someone would find out about it and how to become one?

Maria: Well, we call them Jubran Ambassadors, but they’re so gracious. They’re just people that that love our kirp really much

Joe: So

Maria: Up.

Joe: I can be a brand ambassador.

Maria: Yes. You’re hired. No. Yes. It’s people that are passionate enough to join our movement and we call them Bravo family. And they just they just tested with their with their fan base because ultimately it’s a tool to be empowered financially, directly by their supporters in the future as we grow. We will open opportunities for. To be paid to be a brand ambassador. But so far, it’s a very grassroots. We have famous people like Madonna’s guitarist. This woman want to give money

Joe: Yes.

Maria: Is one

Joe: I saw Monty

Maria: Rapper.

Joe: And on the Shark Tank episode.

Maria: Yes.

Joe: Yeah.

Maria: And he’s still he’s like a like a brother. I love him so much. I would have a richer. We have Mike Studd, which is a platinum recording artist, and he also has a podcast called Y and Kay. We have John Kilmer’s that does a podcast with him. We have Alice Cooper, Solid Rock. We

Joe: Oh,

Maria: Have

Joe: Awesome.

Maria: Lee Jansen that it’s a professional golf player. Jarrett under Meehl, which is a band that it’s amazing. If you haven’t heard your music, find you a band. I can’t keep going on and on. There’s there’s many and comedian Brad Bryant Toffler, so many that I am I will be unfair if I leave somebody out.

Joe: Right.

Maria: But.

Joe: No, I get it, I get it. Yeah. It’s so funny. I know for Ruka and I know Jared Jared in the middle. Just because, you know, they’re Arizona based, but. Yeah. That’s awesome. I have a question that I don’t want to forget to ask. How does somebody know that that person has Bravo? And I know that at one point when we know you and I met and in 2016 and we had it, there were stickers and there were signage. And so does that all of that still happen? Is that still available to someone?

Maria: We can, but court called it temporarily changed the scene. And

Joe: Ok.

Maria: I’m very proud to say that the spy, that many restaurants have been affected and we have been partnering with some like Helio Raisin. It’s a local restaurant that we partnered with two to help as much as we can. But all of that market dried up very soon. And then we started then to see a lot of growth in the virtual world, like like the blues artist that I mentioned and the musicians and whatnot. So we have been growing despite all of this tragedy. And my heart goes out to everybody that it’s suffering from from this cold it. But the main point to be said is that that changed the arena. So now the physical interaction doesn’t happen as much, though, paid by proximity. So most of the things are virtual. And the way people let them know was talking about it, like you can find no. Awful.

Joe: Ok. Yeah. So if a performer let’s so I already have people back at work at a local resort here called the Phoenician. So it would be a matter of them getting into the habit of saying,

Maria: You

Joe: Hey,

Maria: Can remember

Joe: You know,

Maria: The.

Joe: Yeah, just if you like what you hear, please hit me up on Bravo. Just something simple like that. Yeah,

Maria: Now

Joe: Well, that’s

Maria: It

Joe: Great.

Maria: Is, but I guess I can mention it is a movement. And normally the person that it’s the receiving side has the power to to to bring the message to the people. They.

Joe: Yeah, yeah, and it’s funny because you mentioned the virtual stuff. And obviously I have a lot of entertainers locally in town that I know that I see up on any of the various platforms doing their live sessions with the hope of making any amount of tips whatsoever to just keep their head above water. So it more than ever, it’s important to a have an app like Bravo to be able to receive those tips. And the fact that you’re not gouging them with these huge fees. And so everything that a fan or a customer pays, they have it all goes to them. And it’s just it’s a great thing. So I just I can’t stress it enough because I just think that you’re in a different realm and I know that you’re sincere and it’s very much comes from the heart, which is in the business world. That’s a hard mixture of having a heart and still wanting to be successful.

Maria: I

Joe: But.

Maria: Don’t know what they have to fight, like

Joe: I.

Maria: Henry Ford said once, a business that only makes money, it’s a poor business. And I totally live by that.

Joe: Yeah.

Maria: You can. I have to be responsible with my stakeholders. And obviously, we’re adding now more ways to monetize forever. The receiving side gets the one time gratuities for free and then the recurring revenue because we need to provide other tools. They keep running five percent. But beyond making money, why not be that responsible partner in society where everybody is uplifted with you? That that’s

Joe: Yeah,

Maria: What actually.

Joe: Yeah. And you are that person, so thank you for that. I appreciate it for sure. OK, so

Maria: But

Joe: Now.

Maria: Now you’re hired as an ambassador

Joe: Ok.

Maria: To

Joe: All right. I’m holding

Maria: The.

Joe: You to it. All right. So I want to talk about Shark Tank because

Maria: Of course.

Joe: I didn’t know it totally caught me by surprise. And I’m a huge shark tank fan. I follow all of them on social media. I comment all the time on a lot of stuff, on Laurie Laurie stuff and on Damon’s stuff. They seem to really be up there a lot. Those are the two that I and you know, the likes. I mean, I don’t know if it’s them in the background doing it, but it seems sincere, like they they seem like they might be the ones answering the comments or are liking them or not. But who knows. But I have the date of November 5th. Twenty seventeen. Is that correct?

Maria: That’s correct.

Joe: Ok. And I understand the way it happened was you had won a tech award at some other.

Maria: Right through San Francisco,

Joe: What was it again?

Maria: Techcrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, the audience speak. Bravo was their favorite startup.

Joe: Yeah. And so from there, my understanding was one of the producers from Shark Tank saw that, heard heard about it, whatever, and invited you on.

Maria: Yes, they invited us to to to start the process. But after that, you just like anybody else, so you don’t have any special privilege. You still have to submit your versions and everything. And then you go through a very lengthy process all the way until they select the final people presenting. And we were in that group. It was a great experience. And they’re they’re good people. They’re fun. They’re they’re they’re good human beings.

Joe: So when you say a lengthy process, what what is that?

Maria: I mean, I cannot share because I would I have a confidentiality

Joe: Yep,

Maria: Agreement, I can there’s things that I can not share.

Joe: Yep.

Maria: But let me. It is not that you just submitted one audition and you’re in. That’s as much as I can say there. It’s a process.

Joe: Sure.

Maria: It’s an

Joe: Ok.

Maria: Ongoing process where they filter different. The offers are are real. All the conversations are real. And like in any business situation after the show, then there’s the conversation continues.

Joe: Yes.

Maria: And then some companies move on with the offers and some companies are not necessarily depending on on additional discussions.

Joe: Mm hmm.

Maria: But I have to say they were very fair throughout the process. Everybody makes their own decisions based on what is best for the future.

Joe: So Laurie said, and I quote. You were

Maria: Lori.

Joe: Here. You were one of the most impressive people she has ever seen on the carpet.

Maria: She was very generous to say that. And I have to say this about her. I always say that whenever you say something good about a person or bad. Unfortunately. But I tend not to say or try not to say anything bad about anybody. But whenever somebody says something good is because they see that doubting themselves. And Laurita is a good person. So she is all about women empowerment. And I think she was super kind and generous of saying that. And I thank her for that.

Joe: How nervous were you?

Maria: I have to say the truth at the moment that you’re pitching, there’s this all adrenaline that it’s in you that you’re going to an automatic mode. And I’m the kind of person that I don’t take no for an answer easily at least. Oh, I went there to bring it before that. I was extremely nervous, like any other human being, because there’s many things. I mean, obviously, I saw other chapters where they pretty much crush the

Joe: Right.

Maria: Spinners. But my team and this is we’re having a great team behind you. It’s so important. Heck, they’re out on Karoline, everybody. My team kept me focused on one thing. The people that do poorly on the show, it’s because they don’t know their business for a reason or they don’t prepare well. But we built this from the ground up. I deal with the finances when the accounting, everything. So from day one. So I knew the numbers. I knew my stuff. And I knew my purpose and the purpose of everybody in the team. So that that took care of of the, you know, having the confidence. I mean, in life, what what can happen is not going to kill you. It’s going to make you stronger if it goes by.

Joe: It’s a.

Maria: Fortunately, when. Well, and it opened great doors for us.

Joe: I have to tell you, I could be an amazing entrepreneur. I think if I only had the financial side of things together and I think that’s probably my biggest downfall. And I’m trying. It’s just so hard for me. But the fact that, like everyone that goes on Shark Tank, you go in with. We want this amount of money for this percentage of the company or whatever type of deal. But Muzi, it’s that, right? It’s we want X for X and you after the end. So the first thing happened is Barbara sort of interrupted you as you were about to explain some stuff and just said, I’m out. Whatever she said it was. And then Kevin thought the space was complicated. So he was out. Alex very cordial. He was just like, if it’s not on the back of a napkin, I can’t understand that. But me, the back of an envelope, I forget.

Maria: Oh, my God. Do you remember it better than I

Joe: Yeah,

Maria: Do?

Joe: Well, I just I had to watch it because I wanted to make sure that I really understood what happened. And then I could see Lori and Mark whispering and ultimately they made you the offer. But the thing that impressed me the most was you were so calm. And when they gave you the offer, it wasn’t even like you turned to Hector and did one of those Pylos that everyone doesn’t share. You were like you knew the numbers so well that you knew what you could give up and what you couldn’t give up. And you counter offered, like, so quickly and so precisely. Damn, I want to know how to do that.

Maria: Well, I think it’s, um, it’s a combination of you have other people that that were with us, friends and family that believed in us and invested also in the company. So you have to have them also in mind and have a bare minimum that will bring value to the people that believed in your first. Right. So that that was part of it. And. And having a, you know, a plan for what was acceptable and what wasn’t.

Joe: Yeah, it was amazing. I was just like, wow, I would have crumbled when when Barbara first Centera, I would have been like, oh, it threw me off and I would have just been all over the place. But you were just right right there. I say, go, go, Maria. It’s like.

Maria: They’re very gracious. It’s just like, oh, well, obviously it’s a show, so they baby to make it super endearing, like there were places where I saw policies and I’m like, they make it, you know, super exciting. And that’s that’s why they’re successful. They’re they’re very good at anything.

Joe: Yeah, it was great. OK. So let me recap. So what is the Web site for the app

Maria: Look,

Joe: At?

Maria: You can go to try. Bravo dot com right now, because we started this campaign, you’re going to see a video. Is an upgraded experience coming soon? But I tried Bravo dot com. If they want to contact us, they can write to support. I try like when you try something new. I try bravo dot com support. I tried Robillard. Com and and contact us. And also we’re very responsive on Instagram. Well you can find us. That’s Bromwell underscore pay. And Facebook and Twitter.

Joe: Yeah, and I’ll.

Maria: We’re on TCW.

Joe: Perfect. So and I’ll go and put all the links in the show notes so that it’ll be easily accessible by everyone. So again, to make it super, super clear for everyone so they don’t go and go. What about. I hate to use this to use that word again. The selling point for Bravo is that it’s a very safe, secure, practically or basically anonymous way to pay and accept money from from anyone. So.

Maria: Yes. And then in all of those payment applications, which Bravo, that’s a small part of Bravo were more than just payments. But those payment applications are are designed for friends and family to pay each other because you need to trust the person. If if I don’t trust you, I better not receive the money because once I pay or I it’s it’s a done deal. And then. But with Bravo, more robust way to pay a stranger, for starters. But then the next version of Bravo, which is super robust, where you can share who you are. Share your content directly. Contact your fan base or your fan base. Contact you and then offer exclusive experiences or merch on the same.

Joe: It’s really exciting. I am,

Maria: The majority of the money, it’s a recurring

Joe: Yes.

Maria: And keep a hundred percent if it’s a one time thing.

Joe: That’s a big, big plus. So I’m really excited for you and Hector and the whole team. I feel like we’re family because we go back so far. And I felt like it was the beginning. Even though I know you start I think it was 2014 was the inception of.

Maria: Well, we’ve we formed the company in 2014, but our minimum viable product. We brought it to the market in 2015.

Joe: So a year later, I met you. So and here we are, 20, 20. And you guys are just crushing it. And I’m really happy for you.

Maria: Thank you. Thank

Joe: So

Maria: You.

Joe: I’ll put in all the links in the show notes. And this way everyone can find you and reach out and I’ll make sure this gets on all the various platforms that I push this out to. I’m almost at 5000 friends on my Facebook. Me musician page. So they will see this and hopefully we can convert them over and have them start using Bravo. And keep.

Maria: Let them join

Joe: Yeah.

Maria: The movement.

Joe: Let them join the movement. I love it. Well, I can’t thank you enough for your time. I know you’re super busy, but stay healthy. Much success to you. I’m really excited for you both. And the team.

Maria: Thank you. Let’s continue the conversation. I don’t want to lose contact with you.

Joe: I know it’s been too long. Right.

Maria: Yes. Yes.

Joe: All right.

Maria: It’s really

Joe: Well,

Maria: A pleasure

Joe: Thank

Maria: To see

Joe: You

Maria: You.

Joe: So much.

Maria: All right. Take care.

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