When Life Gives You A Lemon App, Make $8 Million Lemonade
So, I had a lemonade stand when I was like 10, and I think I made about $20 (sympathy money from the neighbors–the lemonade was crap). But, if only I had the foresight to realize I could turn those lemons into a virtual wallet app for my mobile phone device, I would be $8 million richer. Granted, 1995 wasn’t packing a lot of smartphone app heat.
Now, of course, startups and apps are blowing up the tech scene, and million dollar ideas are being hatched to make our lives more simple and convenient.
The Lemon in your pocket
This is the concept behind Lemon App, a cloud-based spending and receipt organizer–a virtual wallet of sorts. It organizes all your cards including credit, shopping, loyalty, ID, what have you. Its main purpose is to act as a backup “wallet” in case of an emergency (though, if said emergency finds you victim of a mugging, your phone is likely to be accompanying your wallet. Thank goodness for the cloud).
Calling it a wallet is a bit deceiving, though. The app doesn’t offer mobile paying options just yet. According to CEO Wences Casares, it will be a long time before the industry comes up with a standard system everyone agrees on. When they do, however, Casares assures us that Lemon will support it through its wallet platform.
The Players, Partners and Competition
Casares hasn’t announced specific partners for the app just yet, but expect coupon and loyalty focused players to be in the mix. There will also be an awesome feature that will be location-enabled so the app will remind you if you have any coupons or deals within your area, or even when you walk into a store.
I don’t know about you, but I hate forgetting I had a 2 for 1 coupon in my wallet and didn’t use it. Makes me as sour as a lemon.
So, where did this little fruit get a cool $8 million in Series A? Led by Maveron, the VC firm co-founded by Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz (specifically chosen for the company’s own success with their mobile payment app) with participants:
- Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Draper Fisher Jurvetson
- Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social+Capital Partnership
And what about the competition? The interface has a FourSquare digital wallet feel, but Casares says the app is customer-focused and not merchant-focused like Square. So, he doesn’t see it as competition. Though Apple’s Passbook, which is set to launch soon and will collect your boarding passes, movie tickets etc., might challenge our little Lemon.
Be sure to keep your eyes out in July when Lemon fully launches its wallet app. For now, I’ll be clipping away at coupons in my local paper. Oh wait, I mean my grandma will.