DownToDash is an app to meet people based on activities. Our latest feature curates personalized activities for users every week, based on availability and location preferences.
The lockdown and social distancing made us pivot and adapt to the current situation by moving these activities and events online. We see this as an opportunity to connect people during this isolating time.
We also do personalized events for corporates on a monthly retainer to boost employee morale and productivity.
We have acquired 6,453 users and enabled more than 80,000 plans through the app.
We started monetizing the app 3 months ago and already have a $4k MRR, 3 B2B clients and some more in the pipeline.
Emanuel Martinez (General Managing Director at GreenHills Ventures) is so impressed by our services that he is recommending them to numerous CEOs in the Global Hills Group program. He recently mentioned that he wants to introduce us to Deepak Chopra and potentially get him involved with our brand. I would be happy to get a testimonial from Emanuel, other clients, event sponsors or users, if you like.
In the near future, we will add 'closed networks' for companies within the app. For example, Deloitte employees can verify their account using a delloitte.com email and connect with other Deloitte employees only, especially when they travel. Further, we want to automate the process of opting for monthly events through the app.
Problem or Opportunity
We have lived in different countries and identified one common problem: the difficulty in finding people for specific activities. We wanted to play Basketball and could not find enough players and I did not go for my Zumba class every time my friends were busy. Later on, I moved to New York alone and experienced how difficult it can be to make friends when you move into a new city.
We spoke to other people about it, realized the problem was widespread and identified a business opportunity. After doing market research, we identified that 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on an experience over buying something [Business2Community, 2018]. They want to spend on being with others. Furthermore, technology and social media has been criticized for increasing loneliness and depression. We are using it to foster real-life interactions and want to revolutionize the way people meet all over the world!
Solution (product or service)
Instead of spending money on our marketing, we are making money from our marketing.
Virtual Events: We have currently implemented our short-term strategy; we are selling tickets, monthly packages and sponsorship packages to companies and people to attend our virtual events (http://bit.ly/DTDevents).
Booking fee: We partner with experience-based service providers and are selling their experiences and events to our users. For example, we partnered with Scuba Network and are selling their scuba trips to our audience. We are charging them a 20% fee for every experience booked on DTD.
Premium accounts: We will add paid accounts for users with premium features for $5 per month. Features include passport (connecting with users in other locations), discounted access to events and additional curated plans.
Data: We will gather patterns in our data to provide guidance and predictive analysis to companies that deal with specific cohorts.
The most similar existing platform is Meetup but Meetup operates only for larger groups and is run by MeetUp organizers. We position ourselves as a complement to MeetUp and partner with MeetUp organizers. People use DownToDash to buddy up and attend a MeetUp. Bumble BFF and Vina focus on female friendships, however Bumble does not connect users based on activities.
Advantages or differentiators
We have empowered users to create their own plans and do what they are passionate about, along with their availability and location preferences. Our technology is automatically setting up plans for users, helping the plans to actually materialize. Our app acts as the mutual friend who would typically introduce people. We focus on learning from the successful plans through user feedback and create better quality plans and connections.
People resort to MeetUp, Bumble, Facebook and even dating apps to meet new people. However, one cannot spontaneously find someone to go for ice-skating, skydiving or any specific activity on any of these platforms.
Our focus on our AI-activity curator, the security of our users, creating quality connections, an automatic planning process and providing personalized experiences makes us different from others.
Money will be spent on
41% towards technology and product development (including maintenance costs and adding new features to the app), 45% towards marketing (digital marketing spend, expanding our campus ambassador base and hosting events, influencer marketing, hosting events, possibly hiring) and 14% towards legal expenses.