‘Waverun’ set to expand to the global market

“Waverun”, the promotional text message service set up by York students, is said to be planning to expand into the global market.

Many students will have used Waverun during their time at York, by sending a text message containing the words “Waverun York” to 60777 on nights out in the city. Waverun then replies throughout the course of the evening with promotional offers for clubs, pubs and bars in York, such as queue jumps, reduced priced entry and drinks deals.

York student Joe Pearce started the business venture in 2008, and continues to run it on a daily basis. Speaking to Nouse he described Waverun as “a truly exciting project to get behind”. He continued to say that over the last two years “Waverun has grown from a pipe dream to a fully functioning enterprise”, estimating that the service is used by around 50 per cent of University of York students.

Waverun has taken the York entrepreneurs as far afield as Hong Kong, where they have recently represented the University in an international business competition. The service has already been used over 25,000 times in York since 2008, and was launched in Leeds last year.

Pearce also revealed that expansion is “already well underway in Sheffield, Nottingham and Huddersfield”, and stated that “Waverun’s potential for rapid expansion is phenomenal”, due to the fact that its website has been “built with expansion and evolution in mind”, in the York Press earlier this month.

He also stressed that those behind the venture are “incredibly grateful for all the support we have received in York”, claiming “without them none of this would have been possible”.

The business is in the running for Science And Technology Business Of The Year and Small Business Of The Year at The Press Business Awards, the results of which will be announced in mid-November.


  1. Never heard of this. Better marketing needed. Please though, no more facebook groups.


  2. 28 Jul ’10 at 1:29 pm

    Waverun cynic

    waverun provides a saving of sometimes less than 50p on clubnights with the text going out often costing 10p (depending on network) regardless of text allowance.

    Students are far better off buying q jumps in the courtyard, waverun is nothing more than a clever scam.


  3. 28 Jul ’10 at 1:49 pm

    It's about the monies

    I wonder how much monies Nouse have been given to write this article by the Waverun company


  4. “estimating that the service is used by around 50 per cent of University of York students.”

    I’d be very surprised if even 10% of University of York students knew about the existence of this service prior to this adver- I mean article.

    “The service has already been used over 25,000 times in York since 2008”

    OK, if a premium text message costs about 10p, then this service has generated a sum total of £2500 in revenues since 2008. Even if we do not factor in the costs of using an SMS gateway for the purpose of reverse billing, that’s an annual budget of £1250.

    That’s not too bad if the designer is looking for some pocket money, but as a business venture this is about as serious as a Nigerian email scam.


  5. George that’s assuming that Waverun only make revenue from the cost of the text…. As it is I think the 10p goes to phone networks anyway. Surely the real revenue is from bars who pay to be featured on the Waverun system? Small stuff now but very scalable…


  6. 28 Jul ’10 at 4:24 pm

    Charlotte Hogarth-Jones

    Nouse was not offered any form of compensation, financial or otherwise for the article. It was reported in the York press earlier this month so it came to our attention as an interesting story. The founders of Waverun were contacted for a quote only.


  7. Kennedy’s on Lawrence Street has unveiled a new, bigger, better, cooked breakfast sandwich, which for the first time ever includes crinkle-cut chips. A third year philosophy student who wished to remain anonymous suggested that at only £4, the sandwich could simply not be equalled by anything the Courtyard had to offer.

    A first year English student who was busy trying to salvage their recent essay on the Sonnets declined to comment.


  8. While I can see why this article might be construed as free advertising, I think some of the comments posted so far have been unfair, unjustified, and even – in the case of analogizing with a “Nigerian email scam” – somewhat slanderous.

    In my experience the service has dealt me a fair hand, offering last minute deals for quick club entry when getting a ‘Q-jump’ was simply not an option.

    To my knowledge, they seem to be above board and I wish them luck in future.


  9. Hi all, I’m Joe and I set up Waverun. I was just looking at some of the comments and thought I’d respond to a few:

    – None of the money you pay for the text comes back to Waverun – we tried to make it free for students but the phone networks don’t always follow the same school of thought (although some contracts do seem to allow you to text in for free). All our revenue comes from advertising money from bars and taxi companies etc, so none of the estimates above are accurate.

    – Although we don’t keep people’s numbers (or charge them, so this really isn’t a scam!), we have had 6,492 individual numbers using Waverun in York. There are 13,270 students according to Wikipedia, which is around 50%…

    One of the key problems we have in Waverun is that as we don’t keep people’s numbers or spam anyone, it makes it really hard to get feedback. If anyone does have any questions/suggestions or general points to raise, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: [email protected].


  10. If you don’t keep people’s numbers, how can you check whether or not a text comes from a new number? Presumably you’d need a list of numbers to compare to to check it’s a new one or not…


  11. Ralph, this wasn’t meant as an analogy, it was meant as a joke..

    Just to be clear, I did not say this is a bad idea, I said that it didn’t seem to be a serious business venture. (Spotify and Ocado are good ideas too but they’ve never made a profit.) However, I was thinking of a different business model than what Joe says he’s implemented, so my estimate is just completely bollocks. My apologies for that.

    Anyway, it’s up to Joe to prove all the naysayers wrong and rub his first million on their collective face – it would hardly be the first time this has happened in the history of IT.


  12. I like Waverun, the amount of times it has let us jump in the Q-Jump queue for Gallery at 11.25pm when the normal queue is around the corner…

    And…. Please…

    George, take your particular brand of cynicism and pretentious know-it-all attitude away. You pop up on so many articles where you *just* have your say.

    God, it’s boring.


  13. My anonymous friend, I am indeed an overly opinionated cynic who procrastinates a bit too much around here. However, being argumentative doesn’t mean I think I know everything. At the very least I admit my mistakes – and I do it under my name. If you think this is all boring, nobody expects you to pay attention.