SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vurb has been making waves since winning TechCrunch Disrupt in 2014 and being declared a “Best New App” by Apple and TIME. Now, backed by Redpoint Ventures, they’re poised to change mobile search and communications on a broad scale with integrated group chat on the iPhone and launching for the first time on Android. The premise of Vurb sounds quite simple but it is actually solving for an incredibly complex problem: your apps simply don’t communicate with each other and the way we search, toggle, and share on mobile is inefficient. Think about it – ever try to research, book, and share plans on your phone? On average it takes five or more apps and accounts for why we end up spending approximately 11 hours a month on social and search1. Vurb connects apps (like Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritc, Foursquare, Tastemade, and more) to bring all your favorite people, places and things together. Finally, your phone works the way it was supposed to.
Bobby Lo, CEO and Founder of Vurb, is tackling something that even the big tech giants haven’t solved yet: fixing the way we search, plan, and do things on our phones. While most of us feel resigned to mobile search as it is, Bobby knows that it can be better, more efficient. Going to a movie? You’ll need to choose between Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic for cast information and reviews, then buy tickets on another app. Want to have dinner after and take a car there? Add Yelp, Tastemade, Foursquare, book a table, check Google Maps, and call an Uber or Lyft to get there. That’s potentially 8 different apps to hop between, not to mention the back and forth texts with your friends. Vurb wants to harness the power of all these apps into one, easy-to-navigate screen so you can simply “Vurb it”.
“There are so many incredibly useful apps out there – but with over 1.5 million to choose from on Android or iPhone2, it’s hard to know which ones to use or even that they exist,” explains Bobby Lo. “Vurb finds and connects all of the most helpful apps and acts as a conductor so they all work together. And now, we are taking things one step further by adding messaging and group chat that completes the chain. Search, share, book, chat, do everything with Vurb, in one place.”
Just how does it work? Vurb links snippets of information and functionality from many of the most useful apps, and presents it in one place. You get all the information you need without needing to toggle between app screens, and then you can share it with your friends to make plans. If you want more, Vurb provides a short-cut to guide you directly into the app. Simply search for Places, Movies, TV, Music, Videos, or Events in the Vurb home screen. Information is then presented to you in the form of an easy-to-read, easy-to-share, and easy-to-use Vurb Card. Cards even have actionable elements: make reservations, buy movie tickets, or book a ride.
These “Vurb Cards” can be combined to create “Vurb Decks” that you can also share. For example, create a Vurb Deck of all your favorite “Happy Hour Spots” or combine categories for the “Ultimate Night Out” Deck complete with a playlist, movie trailers, restaurant recommendations, and more. You can also choose to follow Decks created by influencers – in fact, San Francisco Chef Michael Mina, New York Fashion Designer Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia and Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” host Jeffrey Zurofsky have already created Decks of their faves.
Vurb is also announcing investments from Chinese Internet Powerhouse Tencent, media mogul Vivi Nevo, and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, bringing their total funding to over $10M. In August 2014, Vurb raised $8 million in Series A funding from Redpoint Ventures. Other investors include tech luminaries such as Paypal Co-Fouder Max Levchin, Dropbox Founder Drew Houston, and many other venture capital firms.
Vurb is free and makes its debut on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore for Android and launches with messaging and group chat in the Apple App Store for iOS today. For more information, please visit vurb.com.