Experience More With The HeyLets App
With so many apps out there these days, it may be hard to choose which one is right for you. Why would you want to download another yelp like app?
However, the developers of HeyLets, believe there is still room to stand apart by delivering more personalized recommendations to people based on their interests (users can pick from 30 categories, ranging from the obvious like “fine dining” to more niche interests such as “cards and board games” or “new age and psychedelics”) and profile information.
As a HeyLets Ambassador, I have found that app to be easy to use, and very useful. I don’t find myself using Yelp anymore, because I feel that a lot of the reviews are untrustworthy. It’s nice to read recommendations that are 200 words or less. Keep it simple I say.
Recently, the startup received $1.65 million in seed funding from BlueSky Funds and five angel investors.
HeyLets is currently available on iOS, with an Android version scheduled for launch in June. Co-founder and CEO Justin Parfitt decided to tackle location discovery after having difficulty finding a hotel room in Italy using TripAdvisor.
“It was a time consuming, frustrating process trying to tease out which reviews were relevant. At one point he read a one-star review for a stunning converted mansion in a medieval town in which the reviewer complained that the building was old and the staff spoke poor English, and went on to describe the Sheraton at Milan airport as the highlight of their stay. Justin thought, ‘Why am I reading negative reviews from people I have nothing in common with?’” his co-founder Dean Kelly tells TechCrunch.
The app faces several established challengers, including Yelp, Foursquare’s Swarm, and Everplaces. A couple of location discovery apps that could have been rivals went off the market last year.
Though the market is a relatively mature one, Kelly says that HeyLets, which currently has 100,000 recommendations posted by users in 91 countries, differentiates with its personalized feed. Unlike Yelp, HeyLets focuses on positive reviews—if a venue doesn’t get enough recommendations, it just won’t show up in feeds.
“There are literally hundreds of apps that focus on places, with reviews, tips, or comments hidden on secondary screens. HeyLets emphasizes the experience first and foremost, so what you’re seeing in your feed is a sequence of ‘this is awesome!’ moments from likeminded people. It’s more personal and entertaining than seeing a list of places,” says Kelly.
The startup is using its seed funding for new hires and product development. It also plans to add the ability to make e-commerce transactions through the app, like hotel and restaurant bookings or ticket purchases, which will hopefully help HeyLets land strategic partners as it scales up globally.
“Because HeyLets connects users to businesses on the basis of relevance and popularity, any deals inserted in each post only need to be sufficient to encourage the user to transact in app, and unlike advertising on other social platforms, deals on HeyLets don’t disrupt the user experience because they relate directly to the content. Secondly, users can already get an Uber directly to each experience, and they’ll soon be able to make bookings and buy tickets too,” Kelly says.