“Where am I going for lunch today and with whom?” Syed Shuttari asked himself this question everyday while working at Wellsfargo. Syed also realized that every day during “lunch-hour”, a lot of people were in the same area doing the same thing – grabbing lunch. In the year 2010, when he met Benny Robertson at an Entrepreneurship school, that one question he asked himself everyday led to an idea and gave birth to LetsLunch. LetsLunch, in a way, does the job of your personal assistant. It is an app that “lines up your lunch and coffee breaks with interesting people”. It is the fastest way to invite someone to lunch – Just swipe their photo to an available spot on your calendar. Thousands of people being there generally in the same area and at the same place is an “excellent opportunity to network”.
While working at Wellsfargo as an engineer, Syed realized that the people who moved up the career ladder were the ones who were actively connected with different people. LetsLunch helps people to stay connected to important people so that they can move up the ladder easily. Also, Syed was not very “design savvy” and hired candidates fast without interviewing properly. He felt that there was nothing existing that made it easy for people to meet outside during something as regular as lunch and coffee breaks, so that they can understand each other well. He had to “create a new category of social discovery and educate people on it”.
“Professional networking is not easily doable.” says Syed. “You have to go to conference, meetups and events to meet people.” LetsLunch enables easy professional networking. It uses the time you have for lunch and coffee breaks to connect you with interesting people. Today, LetsLunch has got wide media coverage validating the idea. Over 40000 lunch plans have happened so far with tens of thousands of testimonials that have given positive feedback. As of now, LetsLunch has its presence in 6 countries and there are plans to expand to a few more this year especially in Asia and South America.
While LinkedIn, Weave, Highlight and networkr are some of its competitors, what sets LetsLunch apart is that its primary focus is on getting people to meet in person offline during lunch breaks. When asked about the users they target, Syed says, “40 million out of 300 million users on linkedin are looking to meet people, start a business or move up the corporate ladder.” LetsLunch aims to target such users. As far as monetization is concerned, it is through promoting restaurants and service providers.
Do check out their site for more information – http://letslunch.com/
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