When smartphone users need a new on-demand service app like transport or food, they usually download every available app in that category, never knowing which app will serve them the best at any given time. Inevitably, your phone becomes cluttered with all these ridesharing and food delivery apps and you waste a lot of time comparing all the options and prices. Thankfully, Accomplice is there to solve this dilemma. Its app combines many popular on-demand apps, providing price comparison and a streamlined purchasing process without having leave Accomplice. So if you are getting sick of opening up Lyft and Uber to compare prices, Accomplice is the app for you.
AlleyWatch chatted with CEO and founder Hani Samaan about the Startup and how it can improve your day-to-day productivity.
Tell us about the product or service.
Accomplice is the “Kayak” for on-demand service apps. Our mobile app marketplace on iOS integrates end-to-end experiences from commonly-used apps in a variety of verticals (rideshare services, food delivery, and soon, alcohol delivery). Accomplice gives consumers the power to explore, compare, request, purchase and track purchases in one streamlined mobile interface. For example, you can request a ride home and order food to be delivered by the time you arrive and pay for both transactions, all at the same time within one app.
We differentiate ourselves in a number of ways:
Our end-to end integrated experience provides users with exceptional convenience so you no longer need to download and toggle between multiple apps, solving for the app fatigue / app overload problem.
Multi-vertical marketplace aggregates services vertically and horizontally giving users the ultimate one-stop-shop experience.
Provides the ability to plan and build itineraries across different apps and verticals while managing the execution in real time and making necessary updates on the user’s behalf when plans change.
Consumers will be able to save their purchase combos for easy future recall and execution.
Recommendations engine powered by machine learning designed to activate powerful cross-selling opportunities to optimize convenience and increase engagement.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
U.S. consumer annual spending for on-demand services is $22B and climbing (HBR 2016)
What is the business model?
We have revenue-share arrangements with our partners and affiliates — the percentages vary by player. Users pay a nominal service fee when they execute transactions including 2+ service legs from different providers.
What inspired the business?
My wife and I are power users of on-demand services and love to stay on top of what’s new as well as deal hunt. However, it became increasingly difficult as proliferation set in across verticals. One night, we asked ourselves, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to connect all these apps together to streamline the shopping experience and create synergies that can further transform how we consume services?” The idea for Accomplice was born that night. The early concept continued to evolve based on our market research and feedback from panel and user studies to become what it is today.
What if your users would like to use services on your platform that do not offer open APIs?
A small number of providers follow an open API (publicly available) philosophy (e.g. Yelp, Lyft) but any company that has an app has an API. In our experience, many have their APIs configured for third party consumption but access is only available through commercial partnership arrangements, which filters out the low to no value opportunities. We have been exceptionally successfully in this category. We have yet to come across a provider that has no API access, but it is anticipated and we are strategically planning for barrier breaking solutions for those challenges.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We intend to onboard additional ride and food delivery providers to increase supply, stand up the alcohol delivery and grocery shopping verticals, achieve targeted MAU goals and continue to fine tune for market fit.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Prep for an endless set of challenges.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
David Rose, founder of New York Angels. He’s the godfather of NY’s angel investor community.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is the nation’s largest market for on-demand services’ consumption and many of the founding team members are from New York. It’s the ideal place for Accomplice to gain traction with our target customers.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
Like most startups, we operate from a co-working space that provides free draft beer so that’s typically our team go to.