Forget Yik Yak, Twitter, or Instagram. Here's an app you can really use, as long as you are 21 or older...
Chris Vaughn, Daniel Leeb and Andrew Zeck were working together as grunts in an unrelated startup when, in 2013, Vaughn wanted a bottle of wine after a long day crunching code. The only problem was that he was too tired from a long day of crunching code to go to the liquor store. Hence, Saucey was born. “Saucey couriers today can run up to six deliveries per hour,” Vaughn said.
Saucey isn’t one of a kind- there are several other apps on the market, notably Thirstie, that deliver alcohol in Los Angeles. There are even multi-faceted services that deliver things like medical marijuana in addition to beer and wine. Where Vaughn and co. differs is convenience. There is no minimum amount to purchase like with the other apps, and delivery is guaranteed in an average of 26 minutes. In addition, Saucey employs its own delivery drivers, as opposed to contracting with liquor stores like similar businesses. “We plan on maximizing our infrastructure so couriers can earn more money per hour, delivery times will get even faster for customers, and the selection will go well beyond where we are today,” Vaughn said.
Aside from other alcohol-delivery services, Saucey joins a wave of startups attempting to capitalize on the emerging “concierge economy.” This term refers to an on-demand culture arguably popularized by ride-sharing app Uber, which has already fundamentally altered the way people in major cities and beyond commute on a budget. As a result, Silicon Valley is experiencing a veritable gold rush of venture capitalists and imaginative developers looking to create the next standard of convenience. In fact, investment in convenience apps has increased six times compared to last year, and this industry segment is projected to attract $8.24 billion by 2016- double its figure last year.
Saucey has experienced 20 percent month-over-month revenue growth, and recently seeded $4.5 million in a round that included such illustrious investors as Blumberg Capital, Altpoint Ventures, and, yes, two Jonas Brothers. These funds won’t go toward expansion into new markets, though Saucey has already carved out a significant portion of the market in LA, San Diego, and San Francisco, sometimes accounting for 40 percent of their retail-store partners’ total business. Instead, Vaughn insists that the new capital will be used for “personalization, and tailoring the experience to individual user’s shopping needs in a meaningful way,” in addition to deciding how best to expand the app’s selection.
That’s not to say that Saucey isn’t expanding at all- far from it. The business began operations in Chicago at the beginning of September, marking its first venture outside of California. Saucey has partnered with four retailers in the city, with the ultimate goal being slowly expand to a position of complete control over that market. Lindsey Andrews, founder of local Minibar, said, “I think another service entering Chicago validates that the people of Chicago want an easy and fast way to order wine, spirits, and beer delivered to their home or office and that Chicago is a great market for it.”