Mobile apps are no longer the delightfully addictive time suckers for you to twiddle your thumbs when you’re sitting alone in a crowded tube. As a matter of fact, there’s a slew of apps out there to make your life much easier! Some of these newfangled business models are so bizarre that you might even you sanity for using it. Take a look at five bizarre startups you’ll find on the app store that is rapidly expanding and giving a whole new meaning to the words ‘crazy yet innovative.’
Luxe for On-Demand Valet Parking
Luxe started four years ago with the aim to wrestle with the good old problem of parking. The on-demand valet parking app summons blue-jacketed, scooter-carrying valets to your location to valet your car away. Press another button in the app and your car would return, all for a modest price!
The startup has raised more than $75 million to date and is now pivoting from the door-to-door valet service to offer something more valuable.
Zirx is a Luxe alternative, which provides the same, door-to-door valet service. Although, the service has been hailed as too expensive because of its uber-convenience. Both of these startups are expanding from San Francisco and Los Angeles to the nation’s capital and many more cities.
The business of on-demand valet parking is big, in terms of margin potential. Yet, several startups are struggling to gain a foothold or woo enough customers to utilize their service. For instance, Zirx shut down its services in February 2016 after shifting the focus to its enterprise service. Similar startups like Caarbon and Vatler also completely shut down in the last few months.
SpotHero is a Chicago-based self-parking startup that makes parking reservations. The SpotHero app shows locations of all the available spots along with prices, and lets drivers reserve a spot without having to shell out the money in advance.
It’s not clear if on-demand valet parking is just a fad or an enduring new service!
Swifto for On-Demand Dog Walking
You know they say in Silicon Valley, there’s an app for everything. Swifto is one of the handful of ‘making your life easy’ apps that provides on-demand dog walking, sitters and boarding services in your area. It is currently limited to New York City area, and only works on web browsers and Android devices.
Similar to Swifto is Wag! which is an iOS based on-demand dog walking app. Unlike Swifto this particular app is A 220-minutewalk on the app starts at $20, with options such as extending the walk up to 2 hours as well as four hour visits.
High among the list of on-demand dog walking apps with the widest reach is Rover. This app, which is available on both iOS and Android has over 60,000 dog walkers and pet sitters on board.
These services allow you to keep tabs on every visit.
Next is Care, where users can search for dog groomers, sitters, trainers, as well as options for boarding through the website, and on the iOS and Android apps. While it is free to search for caregivers on Care, one has to shell out $37 per month to view the contact details and reach out to an unlimited number of caregivers. For an additional sum, one can also purchase background checks and access references.
LOOIE for On-Demand Serviced Bathrooms
You’re walking down Central Park when you receive nature’s call. You walk into Starbucks and see there’s a long queue outside the restroom door. There’s ‘customer’s only’ sign outside the restroom door of every diner, pizza shop and juice bar you walk into. You need to buy something so they would let you use the washroom. Finally you manage to get the bathroom code from the cashier at a sketchy diner, only to be greeted by a stinky, filthy restroom.
In a city with 10 million in habitats and 50 million annual tourists, a clean bathroom is hard to find. Every day, thousands of real estate agents, taxi drivers, tourists (basically, people who spend their days out) experience this.
A subscription service called LOOIE provides access to bathrooms throughout the lower Manhattan. You pay $25 a month to gain access to a network of reliable, clean bathrooms. Once you’ve reserved a vacant bathroom, you can show your virtual key when you arrive at the destination to use a clean bathroom. The only caveat is the $25 monthly subscription fee that may be difficult to stomach. This concept works for only those who have a disposable income.
Quite similar to LOOIE is Airpnp, a crowd-sourced on-demand bathroom app. The service connects users to individual hosts’ private commodes. By and large, sharing economy startups are on the verge of world domination.
TodayTix for Theatre Tickets On-Demand
Theatre-ticketing app TodayTix makes it easy to buy Broadway tickets. Instead of waiting in line or calling the box office to book a ticket, you can open the app and browse through available shows. It’s much more like Uber, but instead of taxi-hailing, you’re purchasing a Broadway ticket. Tickets can be purchased a week in advance or even an hour before the show.
The on-demand Broadway ticket app charges a flat $5 fee per ticket. TodayTix has more than 15 off-Broadway shows. It partners with theatres that directly allocate tickets through an API. The on-demand theatre ticketing startups plans to add four more cities on its interface.
ManServant for Man On Demand
Now, this is the most bizarre startup on the list. Dubbed “The Uber of Hot Dudes,” this San Francisco’s is an undeniable proof that we’re at the advent of the instant gratification economy.
The company’s founders, both women, wanted hot male assistant and not male strippers to show up at a friend’s bachelorette party. They wanted someone to pamper them, pour drinks, and play party games. All, with his pants on.
When you might need a ManServant? Here are a few casting options: bachelorette parties, a pool party needing a cabana boy, girls’ night out, gay weddings, etc.
The service lets you hire a ManServant at $125 an hour. Each guy on the website is extremely handsome and at least six feet tall. The website also lets you name your ManServant before you meet him. The most popular name amongst customers is Ryan Gosling. Any guesses why?
The men are also trained to deal with aggressive customers. For instance, if a woman says ‘I wanna bang you,’ the men are told to pull out a toy gun and say ‘bang.’ Customers are prohibited from hiring men to perform sexual acts.
If you’re not onboard with this bizarre startups, you need to get to know them. Any such crazy startup ideas we may have missed in out list? Write to us in the comments section below.