In a market dominated by messaging platforms, rendeevoo stands out by offering a service where two people can meet at a handpicked place without texting, but by simply purchasing their first drink in the app to confirm their rendeevoo.
We have been testing our MVP under real-market conditions for over a year, with a pilot set of five Cocktail Bars and 3,000 early adopters who helped us validate our value proposition via a constant feedback exchange.
As of February 2016, we feel that rendeevoo is a well-polished product with a validated user interface, and with more than 20 Cafes, Cocktail and Wine bars on board.
Our promise to everyone is that we will always provide a transparent and fast service with a “what you see is what you get” experience.
We take a 50% commission on each booking from our partnering venues, so the app is always free to use for the end-consumer.
Rendeevoo is the first mobile app that monetises the actual dates instead of every step before the date takes place.
Our immediate plan is to further solidify our presence throughout London within 2016, and lay the foundations for an aggressive international expansion.
We aim to serve 30 multicultural cities around the globe by 2019, have a complex ecosystem of vendors, complementors, and sponsors that enhance and augment our core offering; introduce new technologies to further enforce our position in our given markets.
Our vision is to be the standard provider of real-life connections, whether that is for personal, social, or networking activities. Without wasting time online, you will always find someone new to meet at a great place!
Substantial accomplishments to date
1. Raised £155k since inception from 4 Angels and more than 100 Seedrs investors.
2. Hired Head of Marketing in October 2015 and CTO in December 2015. Rendeevoo is now a complete team of four, with each one complementing one another's skills and attributes!
3. Released a major update with a brand new user interface, paving the road to a far more sophisticated value proposition.
4. Expanded geographically to more London areas, and diversified our portfolio of partners with Wine Bars and Cafes.
1. Runner-up on UK Dating Awards 2015 for the Best Mobile Startup category.
2. Won the Gold and Silver UK Design Awards 2015.
3. George was included in Global Dating Insights PowerBook 2015 as one of the most influential figures in the dating industry.
4. Rendeevoo is very close to being the first mobile startup to be a member of the Online Dating Association (ODA), and will collectively lobby to set better standards in the industry.
Our transactional revenue model charges a commission on each booking to the partnering bar or cafe. Our policy is to always charge the end-consumer for physical goods or services without hidden or extra costs.
Very soon we will start offering side services as well, such as taxi rides. This will be our secondary revenue stream, with the third being sponsored placements by neighboring brands or products such as alcoholic spirits and apparel designers.
In the long run, we aim to diversify our value proposition either by spawning new brands that can serve different needs (e.g. professional rendeevoo's) or by enhancing our existing product(s) to support the new additions.
In the near future, we are going to introduce more activities in the app next to cocktails, wine, and coffee or tea that exist today. Those being theatres and cinemas, fitness and dance clubs, galleries, as well as restaurants and pop-ups.
Use of proceeds
We intend to use the proceeds of this round over the coming 6 months to commercially optimise our service. This will make us investment-ready for a more substantial round where we will aim to raise between £500k and £800k from Angels and Institutions with whom we already have active relationships with.
The expenses can be categorised as follows:
1. Marketing & Promotion: Plan and roll-out online and offline campaigns to drive quality downloads in a sustainable fashion. Our aim is to grow and retain our customer base organically.
2. Product: Improve the product and commit to an ever-shortening release cycle. Our aim is to deliver a new update every two weeks, instead of once a month with our current capabilities.
3. Salaries & Operations: Team of four, based in one of London's greatest coworking places -Rainmaking Loft.
Our target audience for 2016 are the estimated 1m single professionals with the following key-persona characteristics:
- Young-at-heart: They are motivated by success and have a youthful outlook
- Socially Active: They like to ‘belong’ and love to ‘relate’
- Digitally Enabled: They are always ‘connected’ and likely to adopt early innovations.
They are using products such as TransferWise, Deliveroo, Citymapper, Uber, HotelTonight, Dojo, Laundrapp and others.
In regards to mobile dating, they have an indifferent-to-sceptic view towards it, mostly because of the unnecessary risks involved and effort required.
We have found that an increasing number of people find the ‘online’ bit of the dating about as much fun as booking a dentist’s appointment.
Even Tim Harford, author of the Undercover Economist, stated that "Online Dating Promised So Much" in a recent article on the Financial Times.
Rendeevoo offers a fresh alternative for current dating app users, but also a tempting innovation for the more traditional daters. We are part of the solution - not the problem.
Characteristics of target market
Mobile dating is a fast growing market, and in UK alone Mintel predicts growth from £165m to £225m by 2019.
The dominant business structure is platforms, where users can onboard and navigate freely. The freemium revenue model monetises the user engagement via in-app purchases or subscriptions.
Tinder is the clear leader, with Happn and OKCupid as runner-ups. There are numerous players with small market share, ranging from well-established niche providers to new entrants claiming their own niche.
Startups like AntiDate, Clocked, MyMateYourDate, and Bumble are all enjoying promising early traction however, their level of innovation is limited on the aforementioned business and revenue models.
Notably, a typical online dating user spends 12 hours a week browsing through profiles and exchanging text messages, yielding fewer than two hours of offline interaction.
We feel that Rendeevoo is a superior brand offering a tangible value proposition. Our GO-TO-MARKET strategy relies on offline efforts primarily, and utilises online assets to elevate our core messaging.
We are building a community of brand ambassadors and happy customers who are empowered to spread the word via a reward scheme (similar to Uber’s).
Building lasting relationships with influencers and the press is an integral part of our efforts, and we are already in talks with key journalists and bloggers. Our aim is to be regularly covered in London-Lifestyle publications with niche audiences, and sequentially in mainstream London papers, magazines, blogs, as well as popular Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Lastly, we believe our ecosystem of partners acts as an affiliate network when it comes to acquiring new customers. Product placements in those venues, and co-branded campaigns are both very cost-effective ways to promote our brand and value proposition.
We are aiming to reach 1 million Londoners in 2016, and with a cost per acquisition (CPA) under £1.
Rendeevoo pioneers a new segment in the dating/socialising industry and therefore, we do not consider any of the incumbents as direct competition.
Having said that, since that our service substitutes their offering, we do anticipate more competitive moves by them in the future.
Internationally, we enjoy the 'competition' of two startups that employ similar business model to ours.
1. Whim is US-based, spawned in 500-Startups accelerator (a program famous for its innovative taste), and has a tagline "dates, not texts"
2. Ohello is based in Amsterdam, and has the tag "it's not a date, just a hello".
They are both younger than us, and we believe we are ahead of them on the learning curve.
Our barriers of entry are on two layers:
Firstly, our brand safeguards our market position with its superior feeling and distinct character. Secondly, we believe our ecosystem of partners and complementors raises the barriers of entry for new entrants since that we establish exclusive relationships with all our partners.
On top of that, we are leveraging our first-mover advantage via customer satisfaction which promotes the benefits of using our service.