Baltimore-born Loople is now expanding to DC - Technical.ly DC

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Aug. 29, 2016 10:29 am

Baltimore-born Loople is now expanding to DC

Meet the app that wants to help you find the best happy hour deals.

The Loople team.

(Courtesy photo)

Just over a year after launching in Baltimore, Loople, the “search engine for bars and restaurants” is expanding to D.C.

Loople, for those as yet unfamiliar, wants to be your best friend when it comes to deciding where to go get a happy hour (or other hour) deal. The whole premise is that the app “helps you find all of the food specials, drink specials and live events in your area,” CMO Dave Phelan told Technical.ly. The app specializes in having up-to-date, accurate information on the specials at a given bar or restaurant — simply open the app to see what’s nearby and what deals they’ve got.

In a way, it’s really similar to what Justin Hinh was working on with Vice Price.

Loople populates the map (or list) via the Google API, but depends on a crowdsourcing model to make sure the information is accurate. Restaurant/bar owners and patrons can edit the specials list, but Loople reserves the final right of validation — this often involves calling the restaurant in question to check in.

A promo within the Loople app, part of the MillerCoors partnership. (Screenshot)

Part of a Loople-MillerCoors partnership. (Screenshot)

As for a business model, Loople makes money through strategic marketing partnerships. For example the startup is working to partner with alcohol companies to help them execute public service campaigns. In the app this takes the form of a push notification — spend a certain amount at a bar and then text your receipt in order to get Uber ride credit. That’s part of a MillerCoors attempt at curbing drunk driving.

The app can also provide marketing opportunities for the restaurants and bars themselves. Phelan says that, at scale, the company’s value (financially speaking) will lie in the data it has on consumer choices.

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Loople has found success in Baltimore in the past year — Phelan called it “a great starting point.” The company has around 14,500 users and 2,000 restaurants and bars in the city, Phelan told Technical.ly. But D.C. is a whole other level — which is why Loople will initially focus on happy hour information here before expanding into other types of specials.

The company chose D.C. to be among its first cities (it is concurrently launching in Annapolis) because of the sheer number of restaurants and bars here, as well as the (sometimes quite stark) price differential between a happy hour drink and a drink off the regular menu. This economic incentive, the team hopes, will make Loople all the more attractive to D.C. drinkers.

But exactly what makes D.C. an exciting market is also what makes launching here a little scary.

The Loople team knows their app is only as good as its content — if the information isn’t accurate they’ll lose users fast. And in order to get this information? Well, Loople will need some help.

You know what to do, happy hour fans.

Companies: Loople
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