Dave McClure’s early-stage startup accelerator, 500 Startups, today held a Summer Demo Day where its second batch of companies pitch to a room of investors in hopes of gaining funding. Dozens of startups presented today, but we’re taking a closer look at those with the strongest Facebook integrations and potential to succeed.
Appetizer makes it simple for small businesses to offer a branded mobile app from which they can distribute deals and drive sales. Rather than forcing the business to build the app themselves or take the time to submit content, Appetizer pulls as much information and media from a business’s Facebook Page as possible.
Appetizer has vertical-specific templates for retail, restaurants, bars, and other businesses. Owners can add Facebook sharing, location service checkin links, or functionality the facilitates their business, such as appointment booking for a hair salon. By scraping addresses, profile photos and more, Appetizer can pitch its service to businesses with a ready-to-show app. This lowers customer acquisition costs for its $20-a-month service.
The innovative use of public Facebook data to seed custom app design could be applied to other types of businesses as well. Appetizer is looking for $300,000 in seed funding to build out a sales team and app functionality.
Most dating services require users to browse profiles of potential matches, message them, and hope they can sustain a conversation long enough to meet in person, which often means going on a boring coffee date. A successful dating service has high churn rate, leading to constant customer acquisition costs.
ChirpMe flips the user flow by presenting users with fun local date experiences. They can then post these to their profile and view them on the profiles of potential matches. Users can find people with similar ideas of what’s fun, start a conversation about the potential date experience, prepay for the date, and have fun with someone new. Additionally, because ChirpMe is centered around experiences rather than meeting people, users already in relationships can use the service as well. With lower customer acquisition cost and a strong monetization model, ChirpMe has the potential to disrupt the dating industry.
The specifics of the company’s Facebook integration is still under wraps, but it will be using the viral channels to gain users in ways its founders say are different than other personal networking and dating apps. Still, we expect that similar to question and answer apps such as Badoo and Friendly, ChirpMe will post a user’s preferences to their profile such as the date ideas they think sound fun. The company is trying to raise $500,000 to build out its team.
LaunchRock helps startups and businesses gain users and customers. Through the LaunchRock platform, websites can set up a compelling landing page that drive signups, and another page that incentivizes sharing to Facebook and Twitter by rewarding users with gifts and early access to beta tests, new product lines, and more.
Clients can track which referrers are driving more signups through social media shares, and what are the personality types, or cohorts, of those who’ve signed up. There’s a button to instantly thank evangelists for sharing, and the company provides best practices for reengaging less active users and offering rewards.
With some many new web services, e-commerce stores, and brand presences launching all the time, services that assist businesses with securing fans are in high demand. The company is looking to raise $1 million in seed funding for new hires and product development.