Starbucks’ mobile ordering app has proven wildly popular for the company, with reports indicating that it had more users than the likes of Apple Pay or Google Pay last year. The convenience is just too alluring. When you’re late for work and forgot to eat, being able to order up a drink and a sandwich with a tap or two and have it ready for pick up by the time you pass the store seems sort of like magic.
But how can smaller coffee shops compete? Building and maintaining an app of your own is a massive endeavor — and that’s before you start trying to convince customers to install yet another app.
Cloosiv is aiming to take that simplified, tap-of-a-button mobile ordering approach and make it work for local coffee shops by bringing them all to one place. It highlights the nearby coffee shops that are part of the service, presents their menus and lets you tweak your drink to your liking before sending your order on its way. Tipping is handled through the app, and there’s a built-in rewards system to encourage people to keep coming back.
Cloosiv’s network of coffee shops isn’t huge yet; it’s up and running at just a couple of locations in San Francisco right now, and a quick glance at the in-app location map pins the nationwide total at a little shy of 200. The more that number grows, though, the more the concept makes sense. It becomes an everyone-versus-the-giant sort of thing.
As with Starbucks’ mobile ordering app, Cloosiv encourages users to pre-load money into a built-in wallet — the idea being that pre-loading means fewer credit card charges, which cuts back on processing fees for everyone. Unlike the big competition, however, users can make a one-off purchase without pre-loading the funds. There’s a 40 cent fee tacked onto those charges to cover processing, but the option is there.
I gave the app a spin in San Francisco last week, and it worked exactly as promised. I found a coffee shop (Coffee Mission) near BART, punched in my order as the train approached, and my drink was waiting for me by the time I made it out of the station.
As many (most?) coffee shops already have a tablet on the counter acting as the point of sales terminal, Cloosiv is focusing on integrating into what’s already in place. When an order comes in today, a sound plays as a notification banner drops down from the top of the screen; when an employee taps the banner, they’re bumped over to Cloosiv’s Merchant app where they can acknowledge orders or mark them as complete.
The next step for the company is tying all of this directly into the merchant apps that coffee shops are already using — they’re focusing on Square first, with plans to tie into things like Clover and Micros.
Cloosiv charges vendors a percentage of each sale, with that percentage going down as the number of orders goes up. The first 50 orders each month, for example, are charged a 12% fee; after 150 orders, that fee drops to 8%.
Cloosiv founder Tim Griffin tells me they’ve processed more than 35,000 orders so far, making up over $250,000 in revenue for the coffee shops they work with. He estimates that orders and gross volume are both growing by about 40% monthly. The company recently closed a small round with investors, including Lachy Groom (previously head of Issuing at Stripe) and Laura Behrens Wu (CEO of Shippo), and is part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 class.
Spotify releases a new exclusive podcast hosted by Kim Kardashian • TechCrunch
Today, Spotify released the first two episodes of the new original podcast “Kim Kardashian’s The System: The Case of Kevin Keith,” narrated by reality TV star Kim K and true-crime producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi. The series will be available worldwide and is free for all Spotify listeners.
The podcast will have eight episodes in total and explore the story of Kevin Keith, who was convicted of a triple homicide in 1994. For 28 years, Keith has been trying to prove his innocence. Kardashian and Rothschild Ansaldi will work with investigators and experts to demonstrate how the legal system is broken, Spotify wrote in its release.
New episodes of “The System” will be released on Mondays.
Kardashian has been open about her thoughts on the flawed justice system and is currently pursuing a career as a lawyer. She passed the “Baby Bar” exam in California and claims to have plans to open her own law firm in the future.
Kardashian entered a deal with Spotify in 2020 to produce and host an exclusive podcast for the music streaming platform. Her podcast deal joins other celebrities who have inked with Spotify as part of the company’s strategy to expand its exclusive audio offerings. Also, in 2020, Spotify closed a deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“The System” podcast launched on the same day that the SEC charged Kardashian for “unlawfully touting a crypt security.” Kardashian settled the case and paid $1.26 million.
Mad Realities’ Devin Lewtan talks onboarding new crypto users through content at TC Sessions: Crypto
If crypto is going to reach “mass adoption,” the industry still has a lot of people it needs to bring on board. Approximately 83% of U.S. adults haven’t ever invested in, traded or used cryptocurrency, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted this summer.
While many builders and investors agree that it’s still relatively early in the life cycle of blockchain technology, there’s less of a consensus around exactly what applications will catalyze widespread adoption. Consumer-facing crypto startups are trying to build intuitive products that have low barriers to entry, but how will they actually convince people their products are worth using?
Mad Realities, an audience-owned TV production studio, is betting on content and entertainment as the next big on-ramp for the crypto-curious. The company debuted an interactive reality dating show called “Proof of Love” this year that engaged audience members through NFTs and attracted $6 million in seed funding from investors, including celebrity Paris Hilton and crypto venture firm Paradigm.
That’s why we are delighted to have Mad Realities co-founder and CEO Devin Lewtan at TechCrunch Sessions: Crypto in Miami on November 17, where we’ll discuss competitive dynamics in web3 media, how to make web3 products accessible and easy to use, and the opportunities and challenges Lewtan sees ahead as her company tries to recruit Gen Z into crypto.
Before co-founding Mad Realities, Lewtan was a product engineer at Sequoia-backed Clay.run and a founder of the viral Clubhouse show, Shoot Your Shot: NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys, which went viral on Clubhouse during the peak days of the pandemic.
Lewtan and her co-founders are all in their twenties and remain deeply plugged into digital culture trends, so we’re especially excited to chat with Lewtan about how Mad Realities can continue to stand out in a sea of viral video content.
Take advantage of our special launch pricing — save $250 on General Admission passes while supplies last. Buy your pass today, and then join the web3, DeFi and NFT communities at TC Sessions: Crypto on November 17 in Miami.
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Draymond Green will flip the script at TechCrunch Disrupt • TechCrunch
Golden State Warrior and four-time NBA champion Draymond Green will take the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18–20 in San Francisco — and get ready for a plot twist.
He will bring his popular podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” to the Disrupt stage with a very special guest — himself. Turning the tables, Green will hand host duties over to TechCrunch’s own Brian Heater for an interview covering the star athlete’s thoughts on disrupting media, podcasting and sports commentary.
Never one to shy away from straight talk, Green told CNBC of his desire to become a billionaire by the time he hits 40. He’s made several investments along the way, including Smile Direct Club, Blink Fitness gyms, Lobos 1707 (along with LeBron James) and Uninterrupted — part of James’s SpringHill Company.
For his most recent acquisition, Green teamed up with Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers — along with James and other investors — to purchase a Major League Pickleball team.
We can’t wait to hear more about where Green might focus future investments, his perspective on becoming a disruptive media mogul and how that billionaire status is coming along.
Green’s main gig, of course, is power-forward for the Golden State Warriors. He’s a four-time NBA champion, four-time All-Star, a two-time member of the All-NBA Team, a five-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
His off-court career rose to new heights this year when he became the first active NBA player to sign a broadcasting deal with TNT. His podcast, “The Draymond Green Show,” features A-list guests and real talk from Green. He regularly appears on a variety of programs, is a voice-over artist and an executive producer of multiple entertainment endeavors. Green also stars in Prime Video’s “The Sessions: Draymond Green,” “Throwing Bones” and TNT’s “Opening Night.”
TechCrunch Disrupt takes place on October 18–20 in San Francisco. Buy your pass today and find out why Disrupt is the place where startups go to grow.
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