March 16, 2012
With a rush of new mobile apps focusing on connecting us to nearby people, RAVN’s new mobile app, RAVN Events, is taking a different approach to location based-discovery by connecting us to nearby events.
After registering with your Facebook account and selecting the categories that interest you, RAVN feeds you a personalized stream of events based on proximity and popularity. Naturally my first suggestion was a blind food and wine tasting event.
Odds are, however, you already have your finger on the local events pulse. You’re plugged in. You know people. It’s when you leave your city that RAVN will come in handy. In fact, for Jonathan Wu, Dennis Liu and Steve Ou – RAVN’s founders – the inspiration for their service was fueled by their travels. “After missing out on an exclusive truffle hunt in Florence and wine festival in New Zealand, the trio seized the opportunity to develop an app that helps people never miss another unique experience,” says RAVN marketing guru, Joe Frabotta.
RAVN’s self proclaimed greatest strength, however, will also prove to be its biggest hurdle. Because the events are entirely curated by its users, RAVN risks user abandonment upon reaching a critical mass. How does RAVN plan on differentiating itself from the competition – most notably Zozi, Yelp and Timeout? “We avoid the touristy and typical events, focusing on curating and recommending events by locals, for locals,” says Frabotta. Again, chicken and egg.
The San Francisco-based startup is currently supported by i/o Ventures and HillsVen Capital and is looking to raise a Series A in the coming months.
RAVN was one of the featured startups at the Tech Cocktail #Startuplife celebration at SXSW this past weekend. Also be sure to check out the RAVN web platform to get a feel for how the service operates.
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