Let me guess, you can’t identify where north is right now. Don’t worry, neither can anyone else. So why is it then that we still read directions that uses north to tell us where to go? Well now we wont have to. With Walc, you get full directions that guide you based on landmarks alone. With Walc, you’ll feel more comfortable walking, driving or scooting knowing that you wont get lost.
CEO Allison McGuire walks AlleyWatch through its business to give you the most enjoyable time getting from place to place.
Tell us about the product or service.
Walc gives you directions based on what you see. Instead of telling you to head north or south, the app guides you based on local businesses and landmarks.
How is it different?
Walc was created by walkers for walkers. We take it back to the basics, how people have navigated for hundreds of years — turn right by the barn, if you see the twisted tree you’ve gone too far — directions based on what you see.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Walc will touch a billion lives. No matter if you’re taking a boat, plane, train, or car, you have to walk to get there. All walking smartphone owners, currently over a 1B market, can use Walc in their hometown and in their travels. Walc rolls out nationwide in 2015. We’ve already been approached by cities around the world wanting Walc in their city. We’ll begin rolling out to those cities in 2016. Our user metrics and revenue targets are simple yet ambitious: topping the charts and becoming a self-sustaining business. We used our previous app and navigation tech experience to set those goals.
What is the business model?
Walc provides local businesses the opportunity to advertise at the optimal point of conversion: when users are standing right in front of their store. In short, Walc converts foot traffic into sales. In addition, Walc easily plugs into other applications that have a walking component. We’re non-competitive by nature; our technology bolsters other app experiences (good for them) and gets more people walking (good for Walc). For example, a recommendations app will tell you where things are but doesn’t provide great walking directions to get there. Walc changes that.
What inspired you to start this business?
My terrible sense of direction and walking addiction. If I’m in an unfamiliar place, I walk confidently, but always in the wrong direction. I was tired of being told to head north — does anyone know which way is north? Most people don’t. When I saw incredible technology being built for driving navigation, I wondered, why not for walking? In my initial research, I discovered people would walk more if they had an app made from a walking perspective, empowering on-foot exploration. Then, a-ha! Walc: directions like you’d give a friend.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Walc’s mission is to make the world a more walkable place. We want more people walking…in the right direction. Not only are we looking to double our previous navigation app’s downloads of 100,000 in 6 months, but we have specific metrics on getting people where they need to go on foot. Fortunately, Walc has already gained pre-launch revenue — we’re looking to expand our advertiser base and get our technology on a slew of other apps.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He’s conquered city navigation, business, and technology — three areas Walc touches. I’d like to hear his perspective on how we can make Walc better and how we can help to make more U.S. communities as walkable as New York. Like me, Mr. Bloomberg is a serial entrepreneur. I’m curious to know his productivity hacks, relaxation rituals, and types of people in his inner circle.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is the walking capital of the US. It also has some of the most visible landmarks, giving Walc the perfect testing grounds. Walc is based here because walking is a part of New Yorkers DNA.
What is your favorite fall activity in NYC?
I love spending the day walking the city. Sometimes I’ll start in Central Park and then make my way to a new part of town.