(Photo via Facebook)
Turning 1 usually means a face full of frosting and a stuffed animal or two, but Loople is treating its first birthday like its 21st.
The app that helps users find the best drink specials in Baltimore is celebrating making its birthday at, where else, a bar.
“We rented out two floors at Mezze in Fells Point and they’ll have half-priced drinks and apps during the party and we’ll be there throughout the night,” said cofounder Phil DiMuro. “Our friends from some of the liquor suppliers will be there, too.”
It was June 9, 2015 when the Loople app went live in the App Store and also when DiMuro and his cofounder, Ryan Gutleber, took the plunge and quit their jobs to focus on their startup. (Our first story on Loople ran June 11.)
“You can do a lot of early stage things on the side like legally solidifying the company and working on wireframes for the app,” DiMuro said. “But as we were getting closer to the second half of 2015 we knew it was getting serious.”
So he left his job as a sales rep with Boston Beer (the makers of Sam Adams). It was that position that gave him the idea for Loople. As a sales rep, DiMuro said he saw restaurants running specials to get customers in the door and customers were always looking for great deals — but the information didn’t always get across.
“Loople runs on the Waze model to keep specials updated,” he said, referring to the popular traffic app. “Everything is crowdsourced.”
The crowdsourcing model has worked so far. There have been 19 updates to app and 12,000 users so far, DiMuro said.
— Loople Mobile (@LoopleMobile) June 3, 2016
“It was grueling but very good, the impact on the company was exponential,” he said. “They helped us focus on our revenue model and stay as lean as possible. The cheaper and better you can get it out, the more likely you are to survive.”
Jacqueline Albright, the assistant director of the ETC, says Loople is doing more than surviving.
“The Loople team has an infectious positivity and the determination that dream teams are made of,” Albright said. “They really took advantage of all the accelerator has to offer, attending every session during the program and connecting with each one of our mentors. The ETC is proud of what they have been able to accomplish in the past four months and will continue to support Loople’s progress.”
And in the coming year for Loople, the company has a deal with Uber that should be debuting soon. The founders are also eyeing expansion. DiMuro was tight-lipped about where Loople could go next but he credits the success the app has already seen to the users in Baltimore.
“They are without a doubt why we keep growing,” he said. “They are telling their friends, they want to spread it. It means we created something good.”