Plenty of services connect customers to restaurants and even offer huge discounts sometimes, but businesses are frequently left with empty tables during down hours anyway. Based out of Bristol, England, Wriggle aims to help businesses boost sales by offering short-term, real-time discounts to quickly draw in customers and avoid wasting money to keep the business running during slow periods.
You begin with the service by signing in through Facebook or email and are then presented a number of local discounts (with notes on how long the promotion lasts). Having clicked on a particular deal, there is instructions on how to claim the discount and then, naturally, you can go ahead and pay. The service is commission-based, so customers pay the discounted price for a table and Wriggle then takes a cut of 9.5% on each transaction completed.
Rob Hall, founder of the company, says that he began building the company back in January and then they launched their mobile app in May. They initially picked up 20K Pounds in pre-seed investment from the WebStart Bristol incubator, but then raised 156K Pounds in a significant crowdfunding round from 192 investors. Then, just last week, Wriggle was announced as one of the latest investments for London-based Seedcamp.
At the moment, Wriggle is focused on the local market, claiming 5,500 downloads and 80 registrations from businesses in Bristol. Hall says that they intend to launch in a number of unnamed locations within the next year and have plans for other features, depending on the funding that they are able to raise. The company’s site indicates that Bath and London are 2 upcoming sites for expansion.
Entrepeneurship hits people in a number of ways and, in the call of Hall, the urge to create a business emerged from boredom in his life as a corporate lawyer. He decided to create his own business out of a desire to help businesses reduce waste and fill their unsold seats that they might have, so he set about building Wriggle.
Hall tells me that they are going up against a couple of different competitors in this field. Groupon and Voucher Cloud offer deals for local businesses, but are not really focused on real-time discounts. And there is YPlan, a London-based service which offers listings of list-minute events.