When we first moved to Paarl in March 2015, we were extremely excited to become part of a community where every weekend hosts an event and every dinner table becomes a party. We soon realised that there is no single place where one can find a list of events or restaurants and having to filter through all the polluted content on the web was a tedious task.
So I started brewing the idea of a multi-sourced platform that presents all the events in and around Paarl. The idea grew to include events, specials and an easy to use business directory.
In June 2016 I felt like I’ve thought everything through and started actively planning PaarlApp. An app geared toward keeping residents informed and motivating them to spend their money in Paarl rather than elsewhere. I realised that everything can be sourced in the area if you look hard enough – and this was not what was happening at the time.
My first step was to specify what I as resident would want from such a platform. The Events list would be priority. Then I’d like to have one place where I can go to when the electricity goes out to find out why… Why not add a News section – not only for articles featured in local newspapers, but also with a minute-to-minute feed of what is happening around me; are there any accidents on the road home, what was the score of the rugby match at the school etc.
Then I started approaching businesses and soon found that business owners in the area are very supportive of new startups and they would actually be able to benefit from my proposed platform. It was a big eye-opener and a moment of realisation for me when a local printer was prepared to offer my preliminary marketing for free.
From that moment everything simply fell into place and PaarlApp had a successful launch at Le Bac Corporate Lodge on the 1st of November with Haute Cabriere MCC and the most amazing canapès. The launch, with the help of The Boland Showcase’s sales team, who partnered with PaarlApp’s sales, hosted 96 guests and produced 11 signed contracts for business listings on the app.
A week after the launch, I started posting the weather to the PaarlApp Wall which opened up a whole array of new ideas and awesome creativities for the future.
I never in my wildest dreams thought that PaarlApp would receive the support it has and I need to thank my family and the local business owners for the financial and emotional investments they’ve all made to make this platform a success.
On day 19 of business, PaarlApp had 176 downloads and 4170 interactions. As of May 2018 (17 months of business) PaarlApp has 14,500 daily users.