It’s Thursday afternoon in downtown San Francisco. What’s there to do around here?
This is not a new idea. Plenty of companies (Sosh, UrbanDaddy’s The Next Move, Yplan, Yeti, and others) are attacking the problem from their own angle. And Nudge does have many of the same elements such as activity profiles, saving items you’d like to do, popular activities, social discovery, and so on.
But Nudge is a bit different. Unlike others, which largely feature content curated by staffers, it crawls the Web to find as many activities as possible, then uses algorithms to serve up suggestions based on your preferences (location, time, etc.). When you open the app, you can see in real time what activities are going on nearby. You can filter by what’s trending around you, what your friends are doing (it connects with Facebook), what local influencers are up to, and more. You can then look at activities in a map or list layout — personally, I’m a fan of the map.
Nudge’s truly special touch, perhaps, is that it’s integrated APIs from Eventbrite and OpenTable into the app, which means that users can purchase tickets and book restaurant reservations right in the app. While this might sound minor, let’s remember how much this sort of friction (having to leave an app, go to another, etc.) discourages people from finishing a task. Companies in slightly different categories, such as the recently launched dining concierge Reserve, are also leveraging this approach to offer a smoother experience for their users.
As for revenue, cofounder and chief executive Al-Hassan Hleileh told me via email that he doesn’t want Nudge to become an advertising platform, so it’s taking the affiliate agreement route instead, with some direct vendor agreements too.
Nudge is currently available in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston, and Dubai, with more cities coming soon. The original Web app for desktop and mobile launched in August 2013. The company, founded in 2012, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from members of the Merchant e-Solution’s management team.