"Getting your drinks should be as awesome as drinking your drinks." – slogan from the Klink app
As college students, Jeffrey Nadel and Craig Bolz repeatedly faced a considerable problem: Running out of alcohol. This usually resulted in some unlucky soul having to leave the party and buy more. What a buzz kill.
Nadel, who went to UPenn, and Bolz, at the University of Central Florida, refused to take this distressing ordeal sitting down and later decided to come up with a solution: Klink Technologies.
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Klink is a free app and website that allows its customers to order beer, wine, and spirits on-demand for delivery in under an hour.
The orders are dispatched to, and fulfilled, by licensed retailers. "Our retail partners pay us a fee for the orders we send to them. There are no markups on Klink, so customers pay exactly what they would in the retail store," said Nadel.
Nadel was recently given 30 seconds to pitch his company to Shark Tank's millionaire investor, Kevin O'Leary. "Mr. Wonderful" was impressed, but speculated about the incentive for retailers to use a middle man that cuts into its margins.
"We give our retail partners business that they would never get before," said Nadel. He claimed liquor stores are used to getting walk-in traffic from loyal customers, but Klink could open up those businesses to a larger out-of-area customer base that would never actually make it to the store's location.
The concept of bringing alcohol to your doorstep, however, is not entirely new, and there's plenty of competition. So Klink aims to serve things up with a twist.
"We want to deliver direct to consumers an experience that could never be provided by a traditional liquor store," Nadel told CNBC. "Klink is the sound of people coming together, and that's what we exist to encourage." The start-up's website offers cocktail recipes, food pairings, drinking games, product stories, and even on-demand mixologists.
Since its launch in August 2013, Klink has had consistent 40 percent month-over-month growth with enthusiastic customer adoption, Nadel revealed. In addition to the transaction fees paid to the start-up by retailers, Klink profits from major brand sponsorships.
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Klink has six full-time employees. The start-up plans to expand to 20-plus cities within the year.