Vatorx2
Smartvark
Location: Santa Monica, California, United States United States
Founded in: 2010
Stage: Revenue generating
Number of employees: 1-5
Short URL: vator.co/smartvark
Followers (111)
Awards and mentions
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Smartvark was selected as the winner of a 5 minute pitch contest amongst 9 entrants. The judges for the event were John Morris, Scott Jarus, Andries de Villiers and Jeff Cohn.
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Smartvark

Local Deals. Personalized.
Startup/business
Santa Monica, California, United States United States
http://smartvark.com

Smartvark is a local deals site that helps people discover stores and restaurants in their area by giving them their own personalized feed of deals. The goal is to match users with the local businesses where they are most likely to become repeat customers, and to give those businesses a way to keep them coming back again and again.

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Company description

Let me describe the local deals market to you in one word: spam. You sign up for Groupon, Livingsocial, or any of the hundreds of knockoffs and they deluge you with daily emails, yielding maybe 1 or 2 of interest to you every month. This one-deal-a-day-fits-all approach makes you want to scream, "hey, I'm a person, not an email address!"

Smartvark is a local deals site that helps people discover stores and restaurants in their area by giving them their own personalized feed of deals. We show users deals nearby, they rate them thumbs up or down, and based on that we get to know their tastes and show them only relevant offers. The goal is to match users with the local businesses where they are most likely to become repeat customers, and to help those businesses keep them coming back again and again. For example, a restaurant might offer users a coupon to get them in the door the first time, and then a few weeks later, Smartvark will notify those users about their extended Thursday night happy hour to encourage a return visit.

Our site is free for consumers to use and is accessible from their computer or smartphone browser. We make money by charging merchants a subscription to find them customers who love their business rather than just the deal. Our team consists of two former hedge fund industry algorithm developers, a marketing & branding expert, and a local sales guru. We are gearing up for our launch in Los Angeles on June 3, targeting 18-35 year olds. We are bootstrapped and are looking for motivated folks to join our founding team, as well as entry-level salespeople.


Team
Business model

Just to be clear, we are NOT a daily deal aggregator. We source our own deals with our own direct sales force. Our revenue stream comes from ad fees paid by our business clients.

Smartvark charges businesses a fee for each offer posted on our site. We do not charge the consumer anything to use the site.

Our in-house sales team is constantly sourcing the best deals for our users in the LA area to keep the content on Smartvark fresh. We do not aggregate deals from other sources because we do not believe that daily deals have long-term sticking power. A daily deal is a one-shot marketing hail-mary, not a long-term strategy, and we want to provide businesses solutions for the long haul rather than shots in the arm.

Competitive advantage

For users, Smartvark is all about the personalized experience. You can think of us like a Pandora for local deals - it is a feed of deals that match your individual tastes. We don't make our users feel like just another email on a long list, but instead treat them like the individuals that they are.

For businesses, Smartvark is all about analytics and targeting. We want to find merchants the customers who love their business, not just the deal. By targeting customers whose preferences and behaviors indicate a strong interest in their type of business, we can help merchants not only generate short-term traffic, but convert it into long-term customers. We provide them the means to present different deals to potential and existing customers, and provide them detailed analytics that help them determine the success of their campaigns.