It currently has a database of some 30,000 activities across 32 U.S. metropolitan areas; it has already connected â€œmillionsâ€� of people with things to do; and, in the words of Scott Newman, Zerveâ€™s founder and exec chairman, it claims to have â€œfar more consumer reviews of the SMBâ€™s we cover than Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google combined.â€�
says that itâ€™s now raising â€œanother significant round.â€�
â€œSince founding in 2003, Zerve
has been quietly going about executing our B2B business, leading to 12 straight years of growth,â€� he
And in that time there has been a lot of growth internally: the merchant platform includes cloud-based business management software, consumer-facing online and mobile tools like ticketing, calendar, reviews, photos, for merchants to grow their business, and so on.
Zerve taps into the same swathe of local and independent merchants that companies like Groupon are also targeting (in particular with its own events business, which beefed up in 2013 with the addition of SideTour).
says that this spans from people who run â€œhigh-end sushi tastingsâ€� through to fishermen who run tuna catching trips, and those who organise walking tours of Harlem and the Bronx with hip-hop pioneers and nightlife events. â€œThese are some seriously inspiring people and our job is to help them be more successful at whatever theyâ€™ve dreamed up,â€� he
That merchant platform he
says has a 90-98% retention rate â€" meaning the vast majority of customers become repeat users.
That, plus the volume of consumer reviews, are two metrics that should make companies like Yelp, Groupon, LivingSocial and more specific events companies like Vayable and Eventbrite site up and take notice.
(And, because he
didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d believe his
claim on the reviews, he
suggested Googling â€œclassic harbor line nycâ€œ.
â€œHonestly the biggest competitor to Zerve
on the consumer side of things is â€˜dinner and a movieâ€™, â€¦ or on the tourism side of things, it would be the Statue of Liberty in NYC or Empire State Building in NYC.
The problem of â€˜What do you want to do today/tonight/next week?â€™ has just not been solved at all yet by technology,â€� he
is live only in the U.S. but Newman
says we should â€œcertainly expect to see us take our products international in the near future.â€� That said, the company has already seen people from 183 countries use Zerve
to book events while visiting the U.S