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Swish Goswami is the CEO and Co-founder of Surf, a platform that aims to ethically capture consumer data and monetize audiences. Under his leadership, Surf has pivoted from social media analytics to focusing on zero-party data through a unique rewards system. He has raised over $9 million, executed two acquisitions, and created partnerships with giants like Amazon Prime Gaming and Netflix. Swish also hosts Track Limits, a leading Formula One podcast, and chairs a charity accelerating youth entrepreneurship in Canada.

tune in

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [3:13] The founding story of Surf and how it adapted to market changes
  • [6:59] Surf’s unique giveaway platform and how it generates compliant consumer data
  • [9:50] How businesses can benefit from using Surf’s platform for data collection
  • [13:43] Do’s and don’ts of running a successful giveaway
  • [23:24] The growth of Surf’s team from a tech-heavy startup to a more balanced team with marketing and sales
  • [26:16] Factors influencing the decision to raise or delay venture capital
  • [29:43] How strategic acquisitions can accelerate product development
  • [36:15] The key attributes Swish Goswami considers when selecting an acquisition partner
  • [40:15] Personal growth through mentorship and choosing mentors for different aspects of life
  • [43:00] Insights from Swish’s experience with Dunk

In this episode…

Have you ever considered how businesses gather their consumer data, or what methods are out there that ensure this process is both ethical and rewarding? Imagine clicking a few buttons and entering to win prizes while simultaneously providing companies with valuable insights. Does this sound too good to be true?

Swish Goswami dives into his innovative approach to solving the precarious balance between consumer privacy and data collection. He shares the inception of Surf and its transformation from a social media analytics tool to a data collection powerhouse through giveaways and consumer rewards. Swish reveals the mechanics behind Surf’s platform, discussing how integrations and strategic engagement lead to successful campaigns and satisfied customers.

In this episode of Inspired Insider Podcast, host Dr. Jeremy Weisz interviews Swish Goswami about building a platform that rewards consumer engagement. Listeners can gain insights into the critical shift from reliance on social media APIs to the strategic acquisition of zero-party data. They explore the power of giveaways to gather data and reward consumers, as well as the importance of running promotions in a way that resonates with and respects the audience.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “You can’t rely on borrowed data; owning your data sources is key to business longevity.”
  • “Rewards engage consumers, but it’s the data behind the rewards that power enterprise growth.”
  • “In entrepreneurship, your first idea might not be your best; adapt and evolve.”
  • “Loyalty isn’t just about transactions, it’s about ethical data exchange and sustainable rewards.”
  • “More dollar amount doesn’t necessarily mean more data.”
  • “Failures are just hidden lessons that prepare us for bigger, successful ventures.”

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:15 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs leaders, today is no different. I have Swish Goswami have and Swish before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out some other episodes people should check out of the podcast since we’re going to talk about Surf and the journey and also even to the thoughts of selling. John Warrillow I had on the podcast who wrote the book Built to Sell. He’s got a popular podcast Built to Sell, check that episode out. It’s really good as couple episodes actually on his podcast, where I interview him on the previous four episodes of he kind of dissects after they sell and how it goes up till the negotiation everything like that. So really interesting.

Also based on what Surf does, really cool company, which I want to talk about. It made me think of Josh Linkner, who I had on the podcast who started to ePrice. And Josh ended up selling the company and he started Detroit Venture Partners, partner with people like Magic Johnson Other notable people in Detroit to build up Detroit. And so Josh Linkner of ePrize was an interesting story as well. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships? And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast or an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. For me and Swish as a podcast, which we’ll talk a little bit about a little bit different one Formula One. But for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships.

I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire on this planet and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should have questions go to to learn more, and I’m excited to introduce Swish Goswami he’s co-founder of Surf, they raised over $9 million. They also acquired two companies along the way. Surf is a white-label loyalty and rewards platform that helps enterprises capture consumer data ethically, reward consumers sustainably and monetize their audience and surface work with brands like Amazon Prime gaming, Hewlett Packard, Netflix, Sony Music, L’Oreal, Electronic Arts, SimilarWeb, and many, many more.

And they basically help these companies understand their audience. And of course, Swish boosts revenue, right, which people want. He’s also I mentioned the host of Track Limits podcast is one of the leading Formula One podcasts, and chairman of the League of Innovators, which is a charity dedicated to accelerating youth entrepreneurship in Canada. Swish, thanks for joining me.

Swish Goswami 3:13 

Thank you so much. Appreciate it. Jeremy. Thanks, again, for that incredible bio as well. And definitely gonna check out some of the other entrepreneurs you mentioned, they feel like there might be some cool synergy there.

Jeremy Weisz 3:24 

Talk about Surf first, and just what you do there.

Swish Goswami 3:29 

Yeah, I’m CEO here at Surf, started the company with my co-founder Aanikh, about five years ago now. So I was 21 when I started on that 26, I feel like I’ve aged double as quickly in the last five years just based on having to lead the company to the pandemic. And then obviously, now this market downturn. I think it’s been really cool for me to be able to see my role evolve, I went initially from wearing multiple hats to then having to really focus on fundraising, marketing, and obviously, providing my input on product development, to now where we’re a team of over 20 people.

And we’re a team that, you know, had really, really built a solid ground when it comes to zero party data, specifically on the product development side with a number of different solutions from a browser extension, an analytics dashboard, a giveaways platform, etc. My main job right now, though, is to help out the company on the fundraising and M&A side. I know we’ll talk a little bit about M&A soon, as well as continuing to keep our investors happy, continuing to meet with our board frequently, and obviously aligned the executive team towards the main goals that we have each year.

Jeremy Weisz 4:40 

I want to talk for a second about Swish and then if people are watching and listening the audio there’s a video component you can see we’re on, you can see you’re on one data and rewards platform. I want you to talk about the evolution of the product itself, what it was at when it first started and then we can kind of talk about where it is now.

Swish Goswami 4:58 

Yeah, I love this question, especially because it shows a very clear lesson of how your first idea, or your first conception of an idea might not be the best fit. And we’ve definitely learned that quickly. So five years ago, when we started, we were actually called Trufan, we weren’t even called Surf. When we started the company, Trufan, we wanted to build a platform that helps brands and influencers, find who their top fans on social media work, that we’ve built this algorithm that could take an Instagram and Twitter data and show anybody they’re influential and engaged followers, and allow you to segment that by gender, by location, by age, etc.

We ran into issues, though, that did miss and I think you can kind of see why because as privacy concerns became bigger and bigger in the world, as social media companies were feeling the heat, they decided to change their public API. So Instagram, for example, took out their Graph API altogether, which meant we weren’t able to get data anymore from Instagram, Twitter made their premium API 10-15 times more expensive than what it was two, three years ago. And so that became really hard for us to be able to justify paying so much for Twitter data, and looking at our gross margins at the end of the month, and thinking “what the hell.” So we started to move away from that business model.

I think that was really around 2020, where we looked at the market landscape overall and felt okay, well, we built something really cool when it comes to data filtering, segmentation and analysis. But the source of this data needs to change, we need to go after data sources that we can control that we’re not reliant on a third-party platform for. And that’s where we thought of this idea of what if we look at zero party data, the idea of people voluntarily sharing their data for something back, and we built out a giveaways platform, we built out a browser extension that gives people the chance to win rewards, that also give guaranteed prizes as well. And that’s how we were able to start building out our own data set that we can then provide companies access to.

Jeremy Weisz 6:59 

So, I know you have a bunch of case studies here, which I’m going to show but talk about how it works. Because before obviously, if you don’t own the data, you can get shut down overnight. Right, which, even people now who are marketing agencies or advertisers, they’re having to shift and pivot based on the same exact thing, right? So it still happens over and over in different countries in different realms. But now, it’s the company’s data. So you have access smart, you have control, or they have control. So talk about how it works. I don’t know which would be the best example. You can see here the Amazon Prime Gaming, it was G Fuel MLS, which one will be the best one to talk about first?

Swish Goswami 7:46 

Yeah, I think Amazon Prime Gaming for sure. And it speaks really to kind of our bread and butter, which is our giveaway platform. It’s definitely the most popular platform that we built. It’s the most popular solution that customers come to us for the giveaways platform that we build, again, pretty simple, it allows companies to come in, they can create a bunch of rules in terms of what people need to do to enter the giveaway, they can then publish that giveaway give people a chance to win a prize, while also then allowing them to collect data for getting them to do specific actions. There’s a few nuances though about our platform. That is important to note. Number one, the giveaway platform we built can auto-generate sweepstakes rules in over 85 regions around the world.

So if you’re a big company, you don’t need to engage your legal team to do all the indemnity and to create the sweepstakes rules all from scratch. That’s something that can be auto-generated through our system, again, in over 80 Private regions around the world, including the most popular regions that people typically choose to run a giveaway in. The second thing is there’s over 40 integrations in our giveaways platform. So if you’re a brand like Amazon Prime gaming, you can get people to provide their email and provide their phone number, but you can also go ahead and say, well, check out the video for additional entry, or buy something from our merchandise shop for additional entries. Follow us on Instagram, follow us on Twitter, follow us on TikTok. There’s so many ways to be able to not only collect data, but get audiences that you’re bringing over to the giveaways platform to go and engage with your company in other ways as well.

So Amazon Prime gaming is a great example because we worked with them. We did a campaign for their League of Legends sponsorship in October of last year, we were able to generate over 3 million data points for them at a cost per click and cost per action of less than two cents. So this was like the most successful campaign they had all of Europe. That’s why they immediately signed up to be an annual customer now thankfully, they’re not paying month to month anymore. They prepay for a number of giveaways every year. And we’re really excited to be their exclusive data partner when it comes to generating compliant data for them through giveaways.

Jeremy Weisz 9:50 

So a lot of times Swish for like this or instance they promote it to their current user base but they also promote it and advertise it on external sources too, or is it mostly they’re just using us for their current user base?

Swish Goswami 10:03 

Great question. There’s kind of two aspects to it. Number one, yeah, for sure, companies typically go and they market it to their own consumer base. And that’s not typically only done through social media like Twitter and Instagram or through email, it can also be done at physical advantage. So one of the ways that Amazon Prime gaming promoted the giveaway was at the League of Legends, world tournaments that happened in Tokyo, in Japan, they actually promoted it pretty heavily across the event, not only through billboards, but also through digital programming that was being done before games after a game during the game. It’ll be in the bottom right, so people can go and check out the giveaway.

The second thing is, there are some companies that come to us and not only do they want to promote the giveaway themselves, but they’ll pay an additional fee to have us promote the giveaway to our own audience. Because when people come and sign up for the giveaway, we actually have an option that allows them to create a Surf account in case they want to be notified of future giveaways that we’re doing. And a ton of people now over 250,000 people have signed up and wanted to be notified about future giveaways that we’re running. So this is an audience that’s very engaged, and we can let them know every month or a newsletter that we have about giveaways that are really hot and popular that they should check out.

Jeremy Weisz 11:19 

So where can people find that? Because I’m looking, I don’t know if they go to join Surf a separate website.

Swish Goswami 11:25 

Yeah, if you go to now, you should be able to go through our entire enterprise platform. If you click giveaways in the navbar, you’ll be directed to our giveaways platform. Are you ready to Yep.

Jeremy Weisz 11:37 

Custom giveaways here. Okay. So if you’re interested in getting giveaways, they can go and subscribe on this or do they go somewhere else?

Swish Goswami 11:45 

Yeah, if they’re interested, they can actually reach out directly to the contact request form and our team will directly get back to them and schedule a call, we don’t typically have an automated process right away, we do typically like to do a first call, once we get to know kind of what you’re looking to give away what you’re looking to drive traffic to, we can then give you the setup in order to be able to get you set up on the giveaway platform and then go from there.

Jeremy Weisz 12:07 

I mean, from someone who wants to be informed about the giveaways themselves.

Swish Goswami 12:14 

Yeah, on the consumer side, if you go to, you should be able to see all the giveaways that have active. So yeah, you can definitely brown all our giveaways on

Jeremy Weisz 12:27 

Yeah, because I imagine that’s popular for companies who say listen, you already have here, this here, you can go here and enter. And there’s a bunch of the giveaways that you are promoting on your site. Yep. Talk about some of the giveaways. What do they give away? That’s been popular. I know. I’ve seen a video of you, you I think you give away we’re giving away Tesla at some point.

Swish Goswami 12:53 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we gave away a Tesla actually, when we launched our extension. So the extension is kind of a second way that people can go about sharing data, if they didn’t want to do it through a giveaways platform, but they wanted to do it through the extension and share their browsing data passively, they can do that, to kind of promote the extension, we decided to give away a Tesla Model three.

But yeah, I mean, in terms of the main prizes that people typically give away, they range from digital prizes. So we do allow people to give away digital tokens giveaway and a team that they want to give away gift cards, they can do that as well. We also have a ton of brands that come on typically that are very focused on a gaming audience. And we definitely have a lot of gamers within our community. So monitors, headsets, controllers tend to be pretty popular there as well.

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