Forgive the horrendous puns, but when a hot new app lands in Haggerston Times’ inbox, all the way from New York City, via the White House, its worth making a fuss over, right?
Waddle, currently in beta, but launching this Autumn / Fall depending on which side of the Atlantic you live, is a cool new discovery app that allows you to share the best places you have been to with your trusted friends, from museums and art galleries, to coffee shops, bars, restaurants and concert venues.
Waddle is all about discovery, so if you’re looking to have a night out at a pub in Bethnal Green, you’ll be able to see a list of all of your friends who’ve left footprints nearby. Or, if you’re travelling for summer holiday to Thailand, you can “waddle Thailand” and be able to find the best spots to check-out from your friends’ waddle footprints there.
Another feature is the “Waddle Spotlight”, an opportunity for venues to showcase what makes them special and for friends to share what they like most about them, like Noreetuh, a casual Hawaiian restaurant situated at First Avenue in New York’s East Village. Noreetuh offers a fusion of Japanese, Korean and Filipino cuisines and was founded by 3 chefs, previously friends and co-workers at trendy New York eatery Per Se. Check out the video:
Waddle is the brainchild of cousin co-founders Suma Reddy and Vishal Reddy.
Suma has packed a phenomenal amount into her career to date, having been a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, brokered micro loans in India, and attended the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania as well as starting a renewable energy company. Most recently before founding Waddle, Suma joined New York’s The Flatiron School to study iOS Development, and she is also an NYC Co-Director of Lesbians who Tech.
Vishal writes the code for Waddle, although he “wears multiple hats, from UX designer to product manager, in addition to being a developer.” After learning five foreign languages and graduating with a degree in Neuroscience from Brown University, he decided programming languages would be his next frontier. He became a full-stack developer through training at San Francisco’s Hack Reactor, an elite coding bootcamp. After quitting his job at a biotech start-up, he joined Suma to start a brand-new venture of their own—Waddle.
Waddle’s third co-founder, Inje Yeo, is a designer and filmmaker, and Vishal’s long-time college friend. He studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, and after stints in the video game and tech industries, decided to join the cousin co-founders and utilize his skills as a designer to help bring Waddle to life.
Suma calls Waddle a “Yelp you can trust”, and came up with the idea whilst planning a bachelorette party in Montreal. Remembering an old friend she had met in Bali at a wedding, who now lived in Montreal, she reached out for advice about where to go. Thanks to her friend’s recommendations the group unanimously declared the trip the best bachelorette party they’d had!
“That got my wheels turning”, she says, “I thought, how can you tap into these friend-to-friend resources?”
In August this year Suma presented Waddle at White House Demo Day, standing on the podium behind President Obama before demo-ing the app for the first time alongside entrepreneurs from all over the country. She met Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, and was able to discuss diversity in Tech, a subject which is close to her heart, in front of the assembled press.
Lesbians in Tech events regularly attract crowds of hundreds or even thousands, and as well as being a great networking opportunity, Suma says the meet-ups are empowering as well as a lot of fun.
With coding skills under her belt and 2 developers on board the task of launching Waddle feels well within Suma’s reach: “before Flatiron School, I didn’t understand how a product was broken up into features and how building each feature sequentially is important. Now I understand the process, the bugs with each feature and the obstacles you face”, she says.
Fun and useful and as reliable as your friends, Waddle could make its mark on the in-crowd on both sides of the Atlantic.
Join the beta launch by signing up at www.gowaddle.com!