Women Love Tech asked entrepreneur and cofounder of Dot & Pin, Sourabh Sharma to share the story of how the concierge business got off the ground. Here’s Sourabh’s story.
For the past 7 years, we have been running successful blogs separately, recounting our adventures and gastronomic experiences in far-flung places, covering hidden gems, local happenings and stylish pop-ups.
After several subsequent trips for bleisure (business + leisure), we both found that we were constantly juggling agendas, filling in spreadsheets, reading up travel blogs, discovering new places on Instagram, pinning Things to Do on Pinterest, and talking to local experts and influencers on what the best-hidden gems of each city are.
We were essentially organizing itineraries with hour by hour budget details that no other website or app could do for us.
Next came the wave of friends and colleagues requesting for our immaculately jotted travel notes, and we figured that our curated and real-time recommendations are much needed and could become a service that could scale as a business.
Simultaneously while we were busy with our professional careers, building our blogs as a hobby surprisingly garnered us a loyal following and collaboration opportunities with leading travel, hospitality and consumer packaged companies, such as Starwood Hotels, IHG, the Food Network, Opentable and Coca-Cola. Combining our blogging and influencer worlds together with our tech and marketing prowess, Dot & Pin was born.
Dot & Pin is a messaging-powered recommendation engine curated by influencers with a smart personalization that shows millennial business and frequent pleasure travellers the coolest hot spots, matching them to the user’s preferences. By doing so, these digital-savvy travellers are not stuck in tourist traps or at the mercy of under-informed hotel concierges, popularity-based travel apps and the like. An easy-to-use interface allows users to filter by city, neighbourhood and type of activity to zoom into the perfect, hand-picked venue of choice, without overwhelming users with a plethora of options.
The ‘Pro’ version allows for a seamless chat with a real human concierge who takes care of last mile needs, such as recommending and booking restaurants, transportation, entertainment and recreation, with the apt support of a chatbot. We utilize the power of artificial intelligence, and the more you use the search engine and converse with the concierge, the more personalized the recommendations become. This enables on-the-go users to save time, as the chatbot can collect upfront details that can be further customized with live interaction with the human concierge.
By piloting the startup in 4 cities, specifically Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York, we aspire to bring the joy of discovery back into a saturated world of travel with the most technologically advanced algorithms and messenger-based tools so that our users can fully benefit from the joy of personalized travel.
Christine Emilie Lim has 12+ years of experience in technology and growth marketing, is an angel investor, author and award-winning travel and food blogger. Follow her food and travel blog and her social on Instagram and Twitter.
Sourabh Sharma has 12+ years of experience in brand and digital strategy, management consulting and is a serial entrepreneur, travel influencer, food critic and menswear editor. Follow his lifestyle blog and social on Instagram and Twitter.