Virgin StartUp of the week: Frugl

After a successful 20-year career in media and PR, Suzanne Noble decided to put her extensive contacts and London knowledge to use by creating an events discovery app. After taking part in the 12 week Accelerator Academy programme last year, she launched Frugal to help people on a budget to find affordable things to do.

We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on Virginstartup.org each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson?

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Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does

Frugl is the only events discovery app that helps users on a budget find affordable things to do in London.  All the events we list are £10 and under. Frugl lists live music, comedy, nightclubs, sample sales, guided walks and talks. Users can browse by price, date or location to find events going on near to them or by London's most popular going out areas. In short we're your go-to App for a great night out!

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Floor 1 to 2 – Where are you based?

We are based in NW London.

Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?

At the moment we're pre-revenue but with the help of the Virgin Start-Up loan we're going to be bootstrapping technology that will benefit both low cost event promoters and businesses. It's all a bit hush-hush at the moment but we believe it's going to make a big difference to the way event promoters and other types of businesses gain customers.

Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?

There are a loads of listings sites and App for events including YPlan, Explovia, KweekWeek and, of course, Time Out. There seem to be new ones springing up every week. We've been very lucky to grow our user base very quickly thanks to great PR and word-of-mouth. I think it's important to always keep an eye on what the competition is doing without letting it distract a business from their own goals and objectives.

Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?

Frugl is all about affordability and value. Our strapline is 'The Best of your City... on a Budget' and I think that really says it all. Over time we intend to extend that proposition beyond events to a number of key areas that will benefit consumers.

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Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?

I moved to London in the mid 70's and spent much of my youth going to fringe theatre, small clubs, warehouse sample sales. Finding a bargain and feeling like I've discovered a hidden gem has always been one of my passions. As the internet has grown and London has become more expensive finding fun and affordable events in the Capital has become a real challenge. At the same time, geolocation and technology that would have cost a fortune to build years ago has become relatively inexpensive. The idea for Frugl has been sitting around in my head for a number of years but it wasn't until my co-founder came on board and we found a great team of developers that I was able to make it happen.

Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?

£20,000

Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?

The money we have received will be integral to our growth and being able to create a revenue stream for the business. We're looking to take our development team in-house and the money we've received from Virgin will allow us to do so. We have a number of investors currently interested in the business and are waiting for us to get to the next stage before committing. The loan will enable us to make that leap and demonstrate we can be a scaleable business.

Floor 8 to 9 – What’s your workspace like? (send us a pic from your phone)

We work from various locations. Mainly we work from home but I'm lucky in being a member of Shoreditch House so, once a week, we like to treat ourselves and work from there!

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Floor 9 to 10 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?

We would hope to have scaled beyond London to other cities and have become a profitable, thriving business!