We caught up with Brad Nobbs, CEO & co-Founder of Licklist, to talk all things from bringing tech into the nightlife industry, to helping venues re-open safely during COVID-19…
Tell us about Licklist
Licklist is a social platform that we founded in 2015 for the nightlife industry, making it easier for customers to organise and enjoy a night out. Five years later and we have over 600,000 users on the platform, 6000 venues listed on the app and £6m gross sales annually.
We offer services for before, during and after the night out, like booking, loyalty offers and photography. For the venue, getting listed with Licklist means greater exposure, increased attendance and revenue per head, plus sophisticated, data-led loyalty tools.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
I’m 29 now but one of my first jobs was running events in nightclubs. It gave me an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by the nightlife industry. Their main challenges were ticketing and filling a venue, promotion and loyalty- all of the challenges that Licklist now successfully overcomes for them. I saw an opportunity to bring the nightlife industry into the 21st century with tech that would both enhance customer experience, and make venues more efficient and profitable.
In the initial planning stages, that first-hand knowledge of what I wanted from a night out was invaluable too. How much time I’d be willing to invest in research for a night out, what the booking process would have to be like. This all fed into the concept. Although Licklist was founded in 2015, the idea came before 2015 but took time to come to fruition.
Since then, we’ve developed new tech-based on what our venues and customers have asked for through our in-house development team. Our whole platform was built through customer feedback.
How has the company fared during the pandemic?
In 2019, we developed Licklist for Business for the b2b market and introduced mobile ordering tech. The take up for our mobile ordering tech wasn’t huge but when the pandemic hit, interest went through the roof. It was something that every venue needed, alongside table booking and loyalty initiatives. We widened our focus from nightlife to the hospitality industry and worked with cafes, restaurants, hotels and pubs. In effect, we’ve widened our market from 6000 nightlife venues to 150,000 hospitality venues.
Through our tech, these venues have been able to re-open safely, in line with new regulations for test and trace, managing visitor numbers and reducing face to face contact with mobile ordering. Over 300 hospitality venues are using Licklist for Business tech now, and they’ve been really appreciative of what we’re offering. As well as meeting regulations, the tech is a great way for venues to undertake tailored marketing and initiatives, using data in ways they may never have done before. It’s really satisfying to see these small independent businesses marketing themselves effectively. Loyalty will be more important than ever post COVID.
We’ve been extremely fortunate that we had this technology ready and developed which has enabled us to focus on Licklist for Business at this time. Nightlife venues closed overnight and we anticipate they won’t open again until November. When they do, Licklist will be ready to support them.
What can we hope to see from Licklist in the future?
Licklist were successful in gaining entry onto the PWC Raise Programme, which helps scale-up businesses prepare for their Series A funding round. The pitch day was planned for earlier in the year but got put back to November due to the pandemic. We’ve got a strong brand in Licklist, and we’re seeing fast growth with our Licklist for Business brand too. The Series A funding will help to drive that growth even faster. Our aim is to replicate our UK success in Europe. To better cater for the hospitality market, we’ll also be re-branding our b2b Licklist for Business brand to Booked It over the coming months. As a leading tech firm in the UK, we’ll continue to listen to our customers, innovate, develop and grow, responding to and anticipating the next big trends in our industry.