If the popularity of ride-sharing services has taught us anything, it’s that people love convenient transportation available when they want, where they want. With Validated, powerhouse trio team Ian Lyman, Tov Arneson and Alex Wilhelm have done just that. Validated is a simple way for city dwellers to essentially earn free transportation—by spending money they already planned to spend at retail locations they love. It’s the first of its kind to blend the simplicity of ride-sharing with a message that’s aimed at businesses—link up with Validated to bring more happy customers into your store.

Validated is an app, available for iOS and Android, that brings urban explorers from their high-rises and out into the retail sphere with the promise of free transportation. Here’s how it works: retail locations partner with Validated to offer the free transportation through services like BikeTown, Luxe valet, Lyft and Uber. The companies, including restaurants and traditional retailers, set spending thresholds for their customers to be able to redeem transportation cash. For instance, you can spend $75 at your favorite steakhouse, and earn $10 in validated transportation cash. Take a photo of your receipt evidence, then redeem your free ride that same day. Call an Uber, and head to your next destination. It’s as simple as that.

For Validated’s co-founding team, the concept began as an on-demand parking app. But, the team realized that the real problem for many city folks wasn’t necessarily finding parking—it was the fact that they had to drive in the first place. Getting around in the city, or driving in from the suburbs, is an expense in itself. Paying for gas, parking or valet options can add up over the course of the day, and after an evening out on the town, the last thing anyone wants to do is pay another bill and drive all the way back home.

Validated has capitalized on this need by creating an opportunity to earn free transportation. The service also offers opportunities for local businesses to grow, by bringing in customers with a hankering for a free ride. It’s a two-fold way that’s sure to boost Validated’s growth, as it benefits both businesses and retail customers. Plus, it’s easy! There’s probably never been a better way to save money on a daytime shopping trip, just by doing the shopping you already planned to do, and perhaps spending a little more to support your favorite spot in return for a free trip across town.

The team at Validated brings their diverse startup backgrounds to the brand in a new way. Co-founder Ian Lyman took put his experience in film school to use creating Sonique, a desktop music app that was acquired by Lycos, Inc. in 1999. Tov Arneson’s first venture into transportation startups, Parkt, was one of the first of its kind to help customers locate parking in a packed city. Co-Founder Alex Wilhelm brings a diverse background in business development and customer competence to the table, too. Together, they’ve built a unique service that brings businesses and customers together in a new way. The future of tech is here, and Validated is ringing it in with a fresh face.

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Shark Tank Air Date: 4/14/17 – Season 8 – Episode 21

 

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