Groupon. Living Social. Amazon Local. What if you could find all of the deals of the day – or of the moment – all in one place, all right around where you happen to be at the very moment that you need them? That’s wifive. And let’s face it: a discount on a canoe near the Central Park Zoo isn’t going to help you if you happen to be visiting Nyack and need a kayak. Hey, location, location, location. Co-founder Luis Sanchez and Ralf Voellmer are here to tell us more.
Tell us about the service.
wifive.us is a search engine for daily deals. The service finds deals by category, like food, drinks, shows, health, beauty, etc., based on the user’s location. The deals come from the Groupons, LivingSocials, Amazon Locals, and Hautelooks of the world, covering over 95% of available live deals.
How is it different?
Our deal search starts with your current location, and shows what deals are around you right at the moment. It’s also selectable by category. So if you’re looking for a deal on dinner, or a comedy show, or a pedicure, wifive.us will let you know if it’s a short drive away, or right around the corner.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Just in the US, the online daily deals market is over $5 billion, and more than 50 million people have had some positive experience with online deals. Internationally, those numbers grow considerably.
What is the business model?
Right now, we want to build a large user base. Then we can look at generating money through ads, and maybe some B2B services. We’re also working on a new variation of the current online coupons commission model.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?
We’re launching native apps for iPhone, Android, and Smart TV, on top of the web version that’s already live. That should be around May or June. The version that’s live now also works on smartphones and tablets, but we want to upgrade the user experience on those devices.
We have a specific user number target, but don’t want to go into the details just yet.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. We look for people who share all facets of our vision. An investor’s track record doesn’t always say enough to know if that’s the case. You really need to go over a lot of ground with them in person before getting that sense. Sometimes it comes from people you wouldn’t have expected.
Why are you launching in New York?
We like New York because it’s at the intersection of the finance, tech, and media sectors. This works out great for us. There’s also a cool startup vibe and energy here, and we like the fact that it’s 180 degrees from the environment we were used to as investment bankers.