You’re traveling on business. You have to take a key/important client to dinner and don’t we know only too well that the right meal and ambiance can make or break a deal. The good news is: there’s no longer any need to go through the guess work/wasted time of reading restaurant reviews written by strangers in order to sort out where to go.
Paradine is changing all of that with an app that allows you to quickly and easily save and share restaurant recommendations among your trusted network of friends, clients, associates and coworkers, so you know where they like to eat, rather than having to rely on recommendations from people whom you don’t know. And vice versa.
Think of it as LinkedIn for dining out, complete with reviews and recommendations from your inner circle.
Besides, didn’t your mom ever tell you never to accept food recommendations from strangers? (Or something like that.)
Also a very good way to tap into your inner foodie.
Co-founder and CEO Jake Farmakis is here to dish the details.
Tell us about the product or service.
Paradine is a dining app built for the business crowd.
How is it different?
Just as LinkedIn changed the way we network with colleagues, Paradine is designed for the business community. We provide a fast and easy way to save and share restaurant recommendations among your trusted network. The benefits of making the “Paradine shift:” (1) All of your favorite restaurants in one place; (2) All of your network’s favorite restaurants in one place, and (3) Instant recommendation from people you trust. While other applications provide generic recommendations to restaurants (Yelp, Zagats, etc), there is no other application that allows you to save your recommendations and share them with your business colleagues. Further, we’ve recognized that the market demographic who spends the most money at restaurants has been overlooked: business users. Therefore, Paradine is unique as a product and will attract a unique user base.
We’re primarily targeting the “LinkedIn” user base (+80 million in US), specifically the 25M US corporate travelers who spent +$30B in dining expenses in ‘13. While dining, business relationships are created, deals are closed, and teams/milestones are celebrated. Choosing the right restaurant can be key to a successful evening. Plus, many sales people and consultants spend over 200 days/year traveling and eating out, but today, still rely on excel sheets, notepads, online reviews, and old Zagats books for recommendations.
What is the business model?
Paradine’s revenue model is built on: (1) User “Freemium” Model (Free for 1st year, then $1.99/yr afterwards); (2) Referral Fees for reservation and gift card transactions; (3); and Corporate Partnerships to help reduce the dining expense (+10% of T&E). Longer term the user “data” will be the main driver of revenue.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?
Our primary goals/milestones within the next six months are to (1) expand our mobile user base both domestically and internationally to well over 100k MAUs; (2) build out our in-house development team here in NYC; and (3) find the right strategic investment partners who understand the market opportunity and can help open doors for us as we scale.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
Gary Vaynerchuk from Vayner RSE because he’s passionate, knows mobile trends extremely well, has a successful track record of early stage investments, and because he’s a NY Jets fan (no joke). Our second choice is Bijan Sabet from Spark Capital. Our founder is also a BC alum and saw Bijan speak at TC Disrupt NYC this year. He seemed like a very sound investor with a fantastic network.
Why are you launching in New York?
Not only have we lived in NYC for five years and plan to build out our team here, but our primary target audience is located here. We target corporate travelers, business professionals, entertainers, sales professionals, executives, and even foodies. With those demographics in focus, what better city to launch an app and build an initial loyal user base than NYC?!
Where’s your favorite restaurant to take out a client on a business dinner in NYC?
Depends on the client and the occasion, but I’d have to say Hillstone on Park Avenue. The service is amazing and the menu has every type of cuisine you could want for a traditional business occasion (steak, sushi, American food, etc, etc). Not to mention, it’s located near a number of Fortune 500 firms and corporate offices, so it’s convenient for most clients to get to.