The 'OpenTable for nightlife' is bringing technology to the nightlife industry

September 9, 2015

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There’s no technology in the nightlife industry.

At least, that’s how Udit Agarwal sees it. That’s part of the reason Agarwal founded InstaBottles, a fledgling startup that wants to usher bars and nightclubs into a tech-enabled, 21st century.

“Currently, if you want bottle service or need to pay a cover charge to get into a club, it’ll happen at the door once you’re inside, and there’s no guarantee something will be available,” Agarwal said.

With InstaBottles, users can reserve tables, pay cover, or request bottle service ahead of time — a move that helps streamline a party-goer’s night on the town. Agarwal said he was inspired to start InstaBottles after a disappointing night out in the city, where he spent the majority of his time haggling with bar promoters over alcohol prices and table sizes.

Agarwal, who sees competition in the form of companies like Tablelist, Discotech, BottlesTonight, and SURV, called InstaBottles the “OpenTable for nightlife” and hopes to take the nightlife industry by storm.

And according to Agarwal, the potential in that vertical is massive and growing at an explosive pace. He added that the $30 billion dollar industry has over 70,000 merchants in the U.S. alone, with international prospects looking even more promising.

InstaBottles’ platform will be available on both web and and mobile, with free iOS and Android apps already developed. According to Agarwal, the app doesn’t charge users an additional convenience fee for booking bottle service or paying cover ahead of time.

Customers can expect to pay the same price for traditional bottle service, Agarwal said. Meanwhile, merchants — who also pay no upfront cost to use the service — gain a free CRM tool, as the platform provides merchants a backend tool for data analytics and inventory integration. InstaBottles itself receives a percentage of each transaction.

“It works seamlessly from both ends — from the customer end, but also for the merchant,” he said.

The platform is available in a number of clubs in Chicago, including Detention, Graffiti, and Minibar, but Agarwal said they’re in the process of expanding.

InstaBottles currently has seven employees on board and plans to graduate from beta later this month.

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