Quikly: Part Daily Deal, Part Flash Sale, All Growth

5/8/13Follow @XconomyDET

Back in February 2012, Xconomy profiled Shawn Geller, the founder and CEO of the startup Quikly (though back then it was called Quikkly).

Geller had come to Detroit from Philadelphia to build his company at the Madison Building alongside a growing number of tech startups. Geller said at the time that Detroit wasn’t a place he ever imagined himself, though the resources being offered to him made it a “no brainer” to relocate here.

Since then, Geller has continued to expand Quikly—he now has a team of five and expects to hire up to 10 more people by the end of the year—and he says that as he continues to see promising data that his company is generating, it offers reassurance for why he’s in Detroit.

The premise behind Quikly is to induce a viral frenzy by offering deals and discounts through Facebook that increase in price the longer you wait to claim them. Geller calls the discount offers themselves Quiklys, and he’s worked with a number of national brands as he’s refined his business model. For instance, in October, Quikly worked with the clothing brand Moosejaw to offer a discount offer of $10 off in stores or online. Geller says he sold 650 Quiklys in 15 minutes for anywhere between $1 and $6.

“We compare Quikly to Black Friday,” he explains. “Why are people acting so crazy during Black Friday? It’s the only day where consumers are fighting for brands’ attention. It comes down to scarcity, anticipation leading up to the day, and a fear of missing out that causes competition. It’s less about the discount than the experience.” Quikly’s model has already proven popular across a number of demographics, particularly young people and women.

Geller has also done some work with the Detroit Pistons basketball team. Quikly was tasked with creating a sense of ticket urgency during a thoroughly unimpressive season in which buyers were a bit scarce. Geller launched a Quikly where tickets to the game were going for $5. Geller says he sold all 300 tickets during the first 15 minutes they were available. “The tickets we sold had been selling on StubHub for less than the fee required to process them,” he adds. “We created demand where there wasn’t any.”

Quikly had similarly positive results from its Moosejaw offering. According to company data, 25 percent of the Quikly shoppers had never purchased anything from Moosejaw before. On average, those using the $10 discount spent $70 in the store.

In the past year, Quikly has also closed on almost $1 million in fundraising from Detroit Venture Partners, Ann Arbor SPARK, Ludlow Ventures, and Pennstro Ventures in Pennsylvania. Geller says the money has allowed Quikly to hire and focus on sales opportunities.

As for what the future holds, Geller says Quikly will continue to analyze data and perfect its model. “Quikly is sort of a mix of a bunch of different things; it’s kind of a daily deals, flash sale model, and agency hybrid. There’s no one company out there doing the exact same thing we do.”

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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