Stelios Kounou, Founder & CEO of, software-as-a-service platform, Raffall tells us why Elon Musk inspires him with his ‘nothing is impossible’ mind-set.
What do you currently do at Raffall?
My role is the Founder & CEO of Raffall. This requires me to continually grow and develop the
business, however it’s also extremely important that as a company, we don’t lose sight of our objective. It’s my job to ensure that the decisions we make never allow us to deviate from our original vision, even
when our path is fraught with obstacles that sometimes seem near impossible to overcome.
We’re a software-as-a-service platform that enables anyone to host their own prize competitions
online. However it’s important that we distance ourselves from being labelled as a ‘competition
company’ and prefer to think of ourselves as a tool that enables others to create and manage their
own. We like to think of ourselves as the ‘PayPal’ of the competition space!
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I believe a number of experiences all seemed to shape my decisions that eventually allowed Raffall to evolve into what it is today.
I remember thinking about the competitions on TV where you text ‘win’ to a number for a chance to
win the car, the holiday and the cash and thinking to myself, “I wonder how many people actually
enter these?’ It then made me think about how the world had changed and that how brands,
celebrities and influencers each have their own, often highly engaged audiences on social media.
I thought that developing a tool that enables them to host their own competitions online not only
provides a new, fun and exciting way to engage with their audiences, but also provides a great
opportunity for them to raise money for charities and the good causes that they believe in.
I also remember reading comments relating to trust (or the lack thereof) written on posts made by
the growing number of competition websites popping up on Facebook.
It made me wonder how many of them were genuine. Were the winners real? Were people actually receiving the prizes? Did the number of tickets advertised match the number of tickets actually sold? These questions ultimately led me to develop features all centred around one key objective: Transparency.
Who do you admire?
Elon Musk. I love the way he approaches problems. He has a ‘nothing is impossible’ mind-set and is
able to find new solutions to big problems by removing those limitations often imposed by our minds.
He combines science with a creative imagination and for me he’s the perfect example of how people
should not be afraid of ambitious ideas and should remain focused and never give up, even when
odds are stacked against them!
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Certainly. We launched when technology was all focused around mobile apps. I would have
developed the web-based platform before developing the iOS and Android apps. I would also have
identified which markets worked best for us sooner.
What defines your way of doing business?
It’s all about 100% security and complete user transparency. In a space that has historically been
vulnerable to scams and mistrust, we provide credibility to competition hosts and security for
Our platform functions as a trusted third party similar to an escrow account and hosts are
unable to access ticket revenue until the competition winner confirms receipt of their prize. Add the
fact that hosts have no control or influence over winner selection and we have a system that
dramatically reduces the risk of fraud by removing any opportunity for hosts to cheat or scam their
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to try things. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help and advice.
However, be careful of who you ask because we’re naturally inclined to ask for advice from those
closest to us even though they might not necessarily have the knowledge or experience to give us the