Hot on the heels of Loopt’s announcement that it is moving into the daily deals space with U-Deals, a young startup called Ringleadr is chiming in with its own user-generated deals service. Rather than fall back on deals that are already being offered through the hundreds of deals sites across the Web, Ringleadr wants to let its users make the deals.
Ringleadr was born out of the frustration over irrelevant deals. As the startup’s Founder and CEO Mike Davis said, our inboxes are often littered with eye-rolling, non-targeted deals like “60 percent off laser hair removal” or “50 percent of family portraits”. And while these deals are no doubt useful to some, for many others they couldn’t be less useful.
So, why not let users create deals they want from local vendors they love? Thus, Ringleadr is launching a service to let users easily create and share local deals. Once a deal is created, shared, and pre-ordered, Davis said, the local business has the opportunity to approve, deny, or modify the deal according to their standards. Like Loopt’s U-Deals, once users create a deal, they are encouraged to share the deal over social media channels; then, if and when the deal inspires enough adopters and reaches the tipping point, Ringleadr sends the deal to the business of choice for approval. The local vendor then has 15-days to approve or modify the deal.
To add to the service’s functionality, Ringleadr will soon be adding features like leader boards as well as mobile apps and business tools that will “allow local businesses to continue to market to users after deals are approved and redeemed”, according to Ringleadr’s release.
Ringleadr is currently available nationwide, in big cities and small towns alike, and credit card information is only required once a deal is approved.
This idea has been tried before, and as I mentioned in a post about Loopt, Ringleadr has an uphill slog ahead. Loopt’s U-Deals have gained some early traction through a deal on Virgin America tickets, but it remains to be seen whether the lack of instant gratification that is inherent to this process will be too much for deal fans. 15 days can be a long time to wait for a deal’s approval, and while there might be that element of forgetting about the deal and then being surprised and gratified when it’s approved, I’m not sure I’m buying.
For the local vendors in question, it’s all about Ringleadr and Loopt being able to prove that their users can become advocates for their favorite businesses and attract users that may not have been customers in the first place — and keep them coming back. If these users can essentially become salespeople for these businesses, it may be an end-around having to build a big salesforce, but that, too, is a big “if”.
To help it gain traction, Ringleadr raised $500K in seed funding from several local angels. It will use the funding to forge partnerships and to build its forthcoming mobile apps.
For more on Ringleadr, check out the video below: