May 18, 2010

I see you! Five Minutes with Peekaboo Mobile

Recently, I sat down with Michael Fruzzetti and Ben Dolgoff, co-founders of newly minted Peekaboo Mobile, an application for  Apple mobile devices that uses your GPS location to send you deals and offers at retail stores nearby. By combining two ideas that have become hugely popular in 2010 – local coupons a la Groupon, and GPS-aware mobile applications, it’s no surprise that since their launch on the Apple App Store in early March, 2010, Peekaboo has quickly amassed 400 users of the service in the Boston area. More importantly – they’ve secured relationships with around 65 businesses such as Beacon Hill Athletic Club, The Good Life, and Boston Common Coffee, who use Peekaboo’s online coupon management system to post deals and offers directly to the Peekaboo community. As COO Dolgoff explains, “things like Groupon are a ‘thought-out buy.’ You need to be in front of your computer and make the purchase online. Peekaboo Mobile is all about ‘real time deals.’”

With backgrounds in Finance, the initial career path put Fruzzetti on Wall Street as a trader, before returning to Boston, reconnecting with fellow Suffolk grad Dolgoff and forming an umbrella company ByteVentures that they’ve used to create several internet business. Peekaboo Mobile is their 4th venture together.

They realize they’re under stiff competition from the many “Groupon-clones,” as well as New York-based Postabon, which recently secured a $1.05 million round from Spark Capital and has presence in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. But, the Peekaboo duo feel they have a strategic advantage when it comes to the competition – the thriving, vibrant, and helpful community that surrounds entrepreneurs here in Boston.

Currently housed in the entrepreneurial frat house HangOut Labs, and planning to secure angel or seed funding from one of the many startup competitions such as Mass Challenge, both Fruzzetti and Dolgoff are supremely optimistic on their future outlook, with plans to bring their currently offshore development team in-house, and expansion to other cities in the near future. As Dolgoff explains, “there really is a community here. People who actually want to help. We’ll expand to other cities, but our homebase will always be here in Boston.”

What do you think of a “real time deal” service on your mobile phone? Is this a service you’d use, and do you think it will affect buyer behavior when out shopping? Leave your opinion in the comments, below.

Matthew Mamet is Head of Customer Development at EditMe.  This blog post was originally published on May 14, 2010.  You can find this post, as well as additional content on his blog called Internet Tech Boston