“Innovation means improving life through the use of technology. I do not consider myself an innovator, but just someone who follows their dreams and passions”
Now, the time has come for Qurami, an Italian startup that offers a free app that queues up for you. It began in 2010 with an idea by Roberto Macina, CEO and co-founder. After years of hard work, and being nurtured by collaboration with Enel, Qurami has been acquired by uFirst. “It is a unique moment for our company: our hard work has finally been recognised!” exclaims a very happy Macina. This is the beginning of a new startup that we will be hearing a lot about. This is their story.
Good-bye queues, hello Qurami
How many times have we wasted time waiting for the doctor, for a ticket, or for a table in a restaurant? Who doesn’t resent having to queue when they could be doing something more useful? This was precisely how Qurami started. As Macina explains, “When I was student, I spent a lot of time in the student office, wasting many precious minutes! So I thought, why can’t I just queue from my smartphone? This was the start of Qurami.”
So, what exactly is Qurami? The CEO explains: “It is a free mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices, which enables users to join a queue remotely using their smartphone.” With a focus on technology, Qurami uses a backend software that can communicate with the queue manager system for the clients, and can reserve a spot in line, or book an appointment. “Also, the system knows how many people are queueing, so the app can notify in real time when the users’ turn is approaching,” adds Macina.
What is particularly impressive about Qurami is that it can be used everywhere: hospitals, universities, city halls, banks, stores, public offices. Everywhere. According to Macina, the product’s main target is “certainly composed of users who want to use technology to improve their everyday life.” With more than 700,000 downloads and around 400,000 users, 90% of their clients are in Italy, but they are also beginning to find users in the UK, Colombia and Brazil.
The formula for success
Qurami has grown rapidly in recent years. Perseverance, hard work and good ideas are all important ingredients in the recipe. Also, part of this improvement has been thanks to the Enel group, as we have supported Qurami and introduced the app in all of Enel's businesses in Italy: it is available in Enel shops throughout the country. “Having all the Enel stores as part of the Qurami network is certainly important for such a young company, both in Italy and abroad,” declares Macina.
The CEO and co-founder tells the story of how Qurami’s relationship with Enel began: “We met the CEO, Francesco Starace, and the Chief Innovability Officer, Ernesto Ciorra, during an event in Rome, where we had the chance to pitch our idea to them. Now we are working together to Nicola Lanzetta, Head of Italy Market of Enel, make sure that most of Enel’s customers are aware of Qurami and of the benefits it provides, and to apply our technology to the other Enel Companies around the world.” Macina also highlights the passion and the methodology of people working for Enel, saying that “it is like a giant startup that loves startups.”
All this hard work has led Qurami to the big prize: being acquired by uFirst, an application that offers Premium services in the Leisure, Business Travel and Tourism sectors. The goal of this union is “to build the only platform for accessing services that simplifies everyday life in the city: from virtual queueing in hospitals to fast tracks at airports.” Macina is not thinking about stopping here: “Now we have to work even harder in order to reach very ambitious targets!” So next time you are waiting in line and starting to get stressed, remember that Qurami can help!