Around the Corner

Bookmark and share places around you

Location bookmarking app Grafetee

The problem: where is that super-nice sushi place again? Don’t we have an art exhibit tomorrow night? That kind of questions comes back a lot. But finding the answer can be long and painful.

The solution: bookmarking real places – not websites – in a mobile app: Grafetee. Once you found back that restaurant, or the adress of this party, you can easily share it with your circle of friends.
Business managers can also offer discounts, or a full map of their stores.

What’s the catch?: why not use Foursquare, Yelp or TripAdvisor instead? Grafetee is a much more private-oriented app, closer to a personal adress book and you can share your good spots in a spread-the-word kind of way.

Visit Grafetee

The aggregation of multiple services (Foursquare and Yelp by default, but you can add more) makes the app more complete.
No need to switch back and forth between apps, you can find it all in one.

The user interface is still very geeky.
Not very attractive nor easy to understand, it makes first steps with the app quite difficult ones.

U.S.E.’s take on it

The local apps market competition is fierce. There is an interesting choice here, even if execution is not up to the stakes yet.

While it can be pretty useful to keep the address of rarely attended spots, it will not work for your favorite bars or restaurants. Which will dramatically reduce tips or popularity measures of those spots.

Still, sharing the good spots with friends can be nice: it’s a good way to promote local shops or dinners, as the business model seems to be mainly based on B2B. And it might be the best way for Grafetee to grow their user base on a market very hard to enter in.

Out final take :

  • No way this will work
  • Not betting on it, but the start is interesting
  • Need a bit fixing, but the path is clearly good
  • Where do we sign to invest ?

Our grade : 6/12

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Collect local shops points on your phone

The problem: how often do you get a stamp on a piece of card a day? One for the morning coffee, one for the lunch snack, maybe one for the dry cleaning or the sushi shop in the evening… But how often do you miss the card? And pay your coffee without any reward, as small as it can be?

10Stamps app screenshotThe solution: a phone app collecting all your local shops cards.
You pick the right one, you flash the QR Code your barista is presenting you, and you’ve got one more stamp.
What you get when you reach 10 stamps remains up to the shop though…

Why talking about it?: ultra local apps are a growing trend, and the check-in/local deals apps are probably not the only relevant approach.
Local shops want to be up-to-date (at least some of them), and consumers are crying for it.
Getting shops to sign up is of course the big challenge, as they have to be won one by one. But the need for such a simple and neat app is clearly there.

Visit 10 Stamps

Using QR Codes to get a stamp, renew your card, or collect your bonus, is a great way to keep the shop manager in control of what happens.
No need for a complicated (and/or expensive) device, it’s almost as simple as real stamps cards, and can provide much more data on its consumer habits.

The possibility for shop owners to implement the system seems a bit tricky.We know that a local sales force is obviously required to grow the users base, but a clean process to try it on your own is probably missing.
Geeky and curious managers should feel free to create an account and start testing it, it would grow the users base more quickly.

U.S.E.’s take on it

A great mix, a click-and-mortar based app. It’s a great factor of success if the users base grows quickly.

The cost and time required to expand the number of partner shop is of course a limitant factor, but look how Groupon did it! Still, the business model for 10Stamps is still unclear, and in a low-margin, low-investment industry, it could blurry their potential future.

Out final take :

  • No way this will work
  • Not betting on it, but the start is interesting
  • Need a bit fixing, but the path is clearly good
  • Where do we sign to invest ?

Our grade : 9/12