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I just had a brilliant interview with Aaron Solomon, the very charismatic co-founder of Ambl.
It’s quite rare to see a startup just nail their homepage strapline.
“We’re the app helping spontaneous people find last-minute reservations.”
It’s so perfect. So easy to understand and we’ve all been there:
It’s Friday night, you’ve had a hard week, and you just fancy a meal with your friends.
You try online: fully booked.
You try a few random walkins closeby: fully booked.
You quickly get extremely frustrated and your week has just gotten worse.
This is where Ambl comes to the rescue.
When you open the app, you get immediate access to a list of available restaurants nearby.
It’s completely free for the user, and venues only have to pay £1 per head if they secure the booking. That’s it.
As you can tell I love the idea.
Actually, it’s more than that.
Finding a restaurant last minute has really become super annoying. It’s a real pain that Ambl is solving and I will definitely be a user!
The chat with Aaron was fun.
We surprisingly both come from a similar foreign currency background and we’ve both completely moved into a completely different space. And although FX is a thing of the past for us, it’s definitely a great school to nurture your sales skills.
After a quick explanation about Amble, Aaron dived into the story: the idea and raising the funds to get started.
I asked Aaron this exact question on video. You can read the transcript of the video here:
“ Hi Startupmag. I'm Aaron. I'm the co-founder of Ambl, and this is a video about our business.
Ambl was created last year trying to solve the issue of finding last minute tables and last minute availability at the click of a button.
All the other apps in the market like Uber, Justeat, Deliveroo… You click a button on what you want, arrives. And what we wanted to do was bring that to hospitality.
Those moments when you've made a booking or you're in a group and you're walking around a city and you're trying to find somewhere to go, and you just need that immediate place to go. Ambl allows you to broadcast your request out to nearby venues, allowing them to tell you that they have capacity and inviting you into the venue in the same way that Uber works.
Four of you need a table. You click a button and the venues will ping you back saying that you can arrive.”
Quite simple really. Aaron’s boss asked him to book a table of six for tonight, and he just couldn’t find anything available. A situation that’s happened to all of us. Except Aaron decided to do something about it!
He then pitched the idea to the angel investor: Mark Gordon. Mark was the very first of a series of investments received by Ambl.
Since then, Ambl has raised £2.3M over 4 rounds of investment from a series of pre-seed investors including:
This is another example showing that startup funding looks completely different from business to business.
It’s quite unusual to see 4 rounds of funding like this at such an early stage.
Aaron explained this so well. “We prefer to raise funds when we need it”. Makes complete sense!!
Currently with 13 employees, Ambl has just launched the app with over 150 venues across London and is getting ready to launch nationwide.
Taxis have Uber, Delivery has Deliveroo… Ambl could well become another “must-have” app that you go back to again and again to make your life easier.