2010/07/07 Leave a comment
You can be that one person who can buy the house a drink by using Bartab, an iPhone application. Imagine being at the Buena Vista in San Francisco, California and you are alone. Signal your ten friends by a test message (SMS) to come meet you at this well known landmark, with the invite you send them a drink voucher (coupon) to redeem a $1.00 drink. You ten closest friends have come and they would like to do the same. Each of them text their friends and the party grows for tonight’s pub crawl. It can be delivered to any device and used with a number of hot spots in San Francisco.
That is what happens when you use Bartab. To date there are ten and thousands of participants who use the iPhone App for their social nightlife. In one month, the launch has been successful and the evangelistic fever is evident with the recent street fair (Union Fair). 30-40 street team members volunteered their public relations for the promotional program.
What started as a virtual social network game in 2008 is now a real and viable means to bridge the mobile and hip market to the bar and restaurant scene. The bay area distilled spirits and adult beverage market aka Skye distributors are some of the beneficiaries of this promising start up.
When I spoke to Arthur and Steve, they both chimed that when they produced the Facebook app, “Why can’t this real?” We can do more with virtual gift giving and monetize it as well for legal aged customers and nightlife establishments. In the near future, a 10 metro market roll out plan is in the works for the company. Los Anglicans and New Yorkers will enjoy the BarTab experience as well as Seattle, Washington DC, Las Vegas, and Chicago. The “Drinking Markets” will establish their core offering while the company will develop sponsorships with the hospitality industry. Expansion for the Blackberry and Android phone will be launched prior to the LA and New York market.
Plans for the company will be customer driven. A VIP program will be launched to target specific Adult 21-35 demographics and Adults 25-50 in certain markets. Envision this Facebook application in the near future as a subscription based platform with the ease of Group On combined with Open Table. By the end of the summer, the company’s benchmark will be in place.
I am an advocate of “pure product placement” for brand campaigns and the company’s offering fulfills the foot traffic that is missing from other mobile data. Bartab illustrates how companies can generate revenue by leveraging tangible gifts without mobile advertising. This is profound to the competition with Apple’s recent announcement of terms and conditions which targeted mobile ad networks such as AdMob.
Look who is behind this brilliant idea
Steve Johnson, CEO:
Steve is a high-tech industry veteran who brings with him two decades worth of startup and business experience. Starting as a consultant with Accenture, Steve is always a step ahead in technology trends. As Director of International Operations at Onyx Software, Steve led a worldwide expansion into global markets for their CRM product that culminated in an IPO. After Onyx, Steve accepted a spot on the executive team of Free Internet, playing a key role in raising $135M en route to an acquisition by Net Zero. With two major successes behind him, Steve focused on the unique proprietary technology of AirTrex and led them to a tripling of their revenues. In his final stint prior to Webtab, Steve shifted to an executive role with a cutting edge VOIP technology company, Lightscape. It was during his time at Lightscape that Steve began to mold the plan for what is now Webtab.
Steve graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Business. Steve also serves on the Board of Directors for the World Health Dental Organization which brings free dental care and services to Africa.
Arthur Gross, VP of Business Development:
Arthur brings over 10 years of business development and sales experience with early stage, high growth, venture-funded startup companies. Prior to Webtab, Arthur ran sales at BrightEdge, a leading SEO technology company and was the Strategic Business Account Executive at Marin Software focused on their largest customers. Prior to Marin, Arthur held the position of Director of Business Development at StubHub.com (now eBay), where he created and headed up the LargeSellers program.
Arthur graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in American Studies with an emphasis in Business.