For Chad Gallagher, New York nightlife was an embarrassment of riches. “A lot of the time I was kind of paralyzed by all my choices for what to do on a Friday night, so I would just end up doing whatever my friends had chosen,” he told Betabeat.
One of Mr. Gallagher’s friends was a frequent business traveler who complained about spending 24 hours in a city, taking meetings during the day and not knowing what to do with his evenings. So Mr. Gallagher founded Brom.ly, a search engine that collects data from sources like Meetup, Eventbrite and partners like Thrillist, then uses social data from Facebook to recommend events to users.
The company collects a small commission when the users it sends to paid events convert to customers, similar to the way SeatGeek collects a small fee for sending qualified leads. “It’s nice to have a revenue stream from the get-go!” he said. So far it’s kept its user base small and tried to avoid press, while raising a little south of $1 million from AOL Ventures. “We’re trying to be the opposite of Color,” he said.
The Brom.ly iPhone app launched this morning and the company has paired up with the largest theater agency in NYC to give away free tickets for the opening night of Traces at the Union Square Theater to the first 50 users who share an event from Bromly out to Facebook or Twitter.
Last but not least Mr. Gallagher, who believes checking in will be mainstream by this time next year, says Foursquare integration is on the way, allowing people to track what events recommended by Brom.ly are trending.