California Startup: PrefCity Is A Facebook For Sharing Preferences INTERVIEW

Prefcity considers themselves a “Facebook for sharing preferences”, no not preferences in an app, on a smarphone or on a computer, but consumer preferences regarding retail and restaurants. Yes Prefcity is yet another new loyalty and rewards platform. Prefcity has addressed some of the downfalls to other similar platforms though and that’s what makes this startup different.

Prefcity is targeting businesses loyal customer base. They offer a product called PrefPerks to consumers and they offer a highly customizable, pay as you go format for merchants.

“As we experiment with Prefperks our intention is to create a win-win situation for consumers who want to find good deals at places they love and businesses looking to maintain healthy margins, generally diminished by some of the more mainstream daily deal sites,” said Vic Sosikian co-founder of Prefcity.

On the merchant side they are paid directly by the consumer without a mass redeem cycle like Groupon or LivingSocial. This gives the merchant the flexibility to try out different types of deals and as many deals as they want.  In the simplest of terms, a PrefPerk is given to a loyal customer of an establishment. It’s more of a “reservation” card for that specific deal.

Take the Groupon model for instance. When a Groupon deal is sent out, the entire group needs to buy into it by paying Groupon directly. Groupon takes their cut and then distributes the money to the merchant. With PrefCity the PrefPerk is sent out and then if the customer wants to use it they just pay the merchant as they normally would with a regular coupon or discount.

The Southern California based startup is testing in Los Angeles and plans to bring New York, San Francisco and Chicago online later this year.  We got a chance to interview Prefcity co-founder Vic Sosikian. Check out the interview below.

What is prefcity?, currently available in Los Angeles, gives businesses a powerful platform to target special offers to people based on the places, products and brands they prefer.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Prefcity is led by Vicken Sosikian and Levon Baronian. Sosikian (CEO) is a hungry entrepreneur. He was a pioneer in the mortgage leads revolution of the early 2000s, he launched LA’s first luxury men’s day spa, and has a track record of transforming great ideas in to even greater organizations. Baronian (President/CTO) is a visionary technologist. He earned numerous recognitions for his role developing cutting-edge e-commerce applications at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; he developed’s Calendar, and has launched many web-based platforms within the engineering, retail, health care, real estate and insurance industries.
Where are you based?
Sunny SoCal.
What problem does prefcity solve?
During the last few years we witnessed the emergence and growth of daily-deal sites, local coupon apps and various forms of online advertising. Small businesses have flocked to these outlets with hopes of attracting new clients. What they’ve gotten is rigid service from companies charging hefty pay-per-click fees or up to 50% of revenues and virtually no control over who can buy a deal, get a coupon or see an ad.
Prefcity solves this pain point. Prefcity’s revolutionary Prefperks give merchants the ability to receive payments for deals directly – without any withholdings or waiting periods, the freedom to offer an unlimited number of deals with absolutely no additional fees, the opportunity to target new customers, existing clients and even customers of competing businesses and the flexibility to cherry-pick exactly who they’d like to target their deals to; based on preferences users share on the site.
Additionally, people are always looking for unique ways to express themsevles. We are constantly buying products, going places and favoring brands; yet there is no enjoyable way to share precisely this information with friends.
Prefcity, is a facebook for sharing preferences.
How did you come up with the idea?
I credit fellow small business owners for the idea of Prefcity, because they are the reason I set out to create a better alternative to daily deal sites, pay-per click advertising and local coupons. Their complaints about the hefty fees charged by daily deal sites and the skyrocketing expense of pay-per-click advertising; coupled with their inability to maintain tight control over the recipient of special offers, deals and ads led to the birth of Prefcity.
What’s your secret sauce?
We call it our Intelligent Targeting System. With ITS, merchants are able to target their special offers and promotions to a cherry picked set of people; based on the preferences they share on the site.
This, coupled with our pricing model ($199/year with no additional costs or fees), makes Prefcity a truly powerful tool small businesses can use to generate sales with tremendously better ROI than what they’ve seen with PPC ads and daily deal sites.
What’s one challenge you overcame in the startup process?
Trying to decipher whether Prefcity is a new social media site for consumers to share their preferences with friends or a powerful resource for businesses to generate new sales – or a unique combination of both.
What’s next for prefcity?
We are currently pursuing first round capital to expand Prefcity to additional cities.
Check out Prefcity here
Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more interviews from “everywhere else”
Have you checked out our crowdfunding page, help out this startup helping startups

You Might Also Like