December 30, 2011
Tell me if this has happened to you.
You receive your local Groupon or LivingSocial deal of the day. The offer strikes your fancy; you purchase without hesitation. The printed voucher sits in the middle console of your car for weeks on end as you aimlessly drive past the offerer’s establishment during your daily commute.
I know I’m not alone. The issue lies in the gap between rush of purchase and redemption; life exists between the two causing you to forget.
Daniel Newman, CEO and Founder at Roximity believes he has the solution.
This Denver/Boulder-area based start-up delivers personalized, time-sensitive discounts directly to your phone (smartphone or not) when you enter the proximity of a participating business. Roximity aims to improve upon location based deals by better incorporating mobile technology and specific user preference.
“‘Location’ and ‘deals’ are both hot, buzzwordy spaces right now….We aren’t a “daily” deals product. We don’t blast out the same deal to an entire city, whether they are looking for a Brazilian wax or not. Roximity only sends (incredibly relevant and custom) alerts when they make sense, based on a combination of time, location, and of course the users preferences and history.” says Newman.
In 2002, Newman, the longtime Colorado resident, left CU-Boulder for New York City to pursue his passion of developing mobile products. It was only a couple years later when he met Austin Gayer, with whom he’s been working on mobile start-ups ever since. Their first project, a mobile payment system, was eventually shelved because ‘[it] was a little ahead of its time, and kind of scared the carriers,” says Newman.
Today, however, the duo, plus additional co-founder Joe Mease, are much more confident in Roximity’s timing. “Even a year ago, the idea of a geo aware app would have been uncomfortable for people, but with the rise of companies like foursquare, user behavior and understanding has really changed.”
Although still not officially released, Roximity is already tracking over 10,000 stores, mostly transfers from Newman and Gayer’s previous mobile projects. Upon launching at this upcoming year’s CES, Roximity will be actively pursuing fundraising, in large part to grow the sales team to expand their presence into new cities. “We have been doing all of our testing in the Denver/Boulder area but our launch partners have locations all across the U.S. Roximity deals will be available nationwide based on where our current merchants have locations,” says Newman.
The Roximity software may become a relevant addition into your life whether you sign up for their service or not. Earlier this year they won the Ford SYNC App Developer Challenge at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in San Francisco. Newman admits that the victory was a bit serendipitous, “Roximity has been a long time idea but we never really had time to work on it because of all the client work we kept getting. I decided that the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon would be the perfect place to actually knock out a prototype. Not only did we get the prototype built, but we won.”
Their prize: integration into the new Ford SYNC with AppLink. It’s no wonder they won. The Roximity blog offers the following explanation of how their service will integrate with the Ford SYNC:
Roximity with Ford SYNC provides drivers with voice-controlled, hands-free access to our offers. We’re tapping into the location aware service, and providing those same awesome offers directly to you in your vehicle in a really unique, contextually aware way.
Jump in your car on a cold winter morning, SYNC will ask if you need a coffee or a bagel? Instead of just listing off the nearest coffee and bagel shops, SYNC hooks up with Roximity to find the nearest coffee and bagel shops with offers too.
Newman says to expect the public release within the first few months of 2012.
As previously mentioned, Roximity is officially launching at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 10th, 2012, however, interested users can sign up on their website now.
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