Currently, there’s a large gap between the desire to do something with a group of friends and actually doing it. First you have to figure out what to do and where to go, then coordinate plans over a massive amount of texts and emails, and finally, book the event (either buying tickets or making a reservation). The burden through this whole process is on you (the default group planner) to track responses, keep conversations focused, and follow up with people. This process is a pain in the neck. Things are forgotten, friendships weaken, and ultimately businesses lose the potential revenue of an event that never happens.
Fête closes this gap between desire and doing by facilitating the aforementioned steps through a single unified interface. Using this app you can propose an experience, chat and collaborate with your friends to get their input, compare calendars, confirm, and reserve your plan. Easy as that.
Number of Employees:
Sanket Shah and Raj Parikh
Funding or bootstrapped:
We connect groups of friends to the businesses they visit. As we scale our consumer base, we can leverage this data to turn the $140 billion local ad market on its head by marrying our content strategy with our ad strategy. In other words, we want our monetization to be inherent in the product, where the content we provide our users (where to go, what to do) is valuable to them and monetizable.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
From our primary research, we know that people currently plan events using email (33%), texting (30%), Facebook (15%), and miscellaneous tools.
These options are either fully democratic (email, text, etc) or autocratic (Facebook, Evite, etc). Democratic tools don’t work because anyone can say anything to distract the conversation and derail the proposition. Autocratic tools don’t work either because it means one individual makes all event decision i.e., What, Who, When, Where, How.
We marry the two approaches so that communication is twoway, yet focused. A creator must initially create the event and define the scope (“what”), but then the group provides the input to confirm the other details (“who, when, where, how”).
No longer burdensome, an idea can now evolve organically within the group, establishing itself one question at a time in a streamlined fashion, rather than all at once (evite), or never at all (text).
How does ATL weave into your story?
I (Raj) actually moved from San Francisco to Atlanta to join Sanket and start Fête. We both grew up here. Our families are here. Quite simply, it is home. I’ve written more about the move and our reasons for choosing Atlanta in my blog post, rajhparikh.com/atlanta.
In short: this city is loaded with talent, it (may) be easier to stand out, it’s easier to avoid distractions and focus on execution, it’s cheaper than other cities, and there’s a great startup community.
If you could have one mulligan (do-over) in the process of launching and running this startup what would it be?
Early on we focused a lot on collecting user interviews and feedback. Although I still think that’s a critical part of the process, we would have probably started developing earlier on and gone with our gut on some of the product decisions.
What kind of mentor could you use the most right now?
The key for us in the coming months will be to understand our user behavior through qualitative (interviews, etc.) and quantitative (data analytics, etc.) methods, and use that understanding to deliver more value for our users.
We need a mentor that has experience iterating a consumer product based on market feedback, and can advise us as we go through a similar process.
Is there anything else you need (that money can’t buy)?
There are probably two things.
First are mentors and introductions to investors. We’re not raising money right now, but we’re always excited to show our product and share our vision with people that are willing to listen.
And second, we’re always looking for talented engineers and designers to help us build our increasingly complex iterations.