Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 10:30 pm PT (01:30 am ET)
'Pirq' deal app entering Silicon Valley with Apple employee exclusivesThe "Pirq" daily deal app is partnering exclusively with Apple to provide mobile restaurant deals to the iPhone maker's employees as it makes its first pass at entering the Silicon Valley market.
Kirkland, Wash.-based Pirq announced the partnership on Tuesday, touting discounts of between 20 to 50 percent for local restaurants. Passport Unlimited, a discount provider that has worked with Apple for years, played a part in connecting Pirq with Apple.
The app, which offers daily deals that are targeted to provide steeper discounts on off-peak hours, launched last September in the Seattle area and is expected to be publicly available in the Bay Area within the next 12 months.
Pirq CEO James Sun told AppleInsider in an interview late Tuesday that his company had gone after Apple as a "marquee name" that would help convince restaurants to sign up to offer deals.
"When you're a new company and you launch in a certain geography, the first question restaurants ask is, 'Who is going to come?' And we figured if we got the best name, we could get the best restaurants," Sun said, adding that it was a win-win situation since Apple employees would benefit from having more discounts at local establishments.
When asked what specific restaurants were approached to participate in the pilot program with Apple, Sun mentioned popular local brewery Faultline Brewing Company and Cold Stone Creamery ice cream parlors. The Bay Area launch includes deals at more than 45 restaurants around Silicon Valley.
"We did target, obviously, very close to Apple headquarters in Cupertino," he said.
Partnering with Apple also worked out well for Pirq because the iOS version of its app has been seeing more downloads than the Android version.
"What's interesting about Android and iOS is that our downloads are double on a daily basis on iOS versus Android," Sun said. "I can't tell you why, we've tried to figure it out. Once it's downloaded the usage is very similar, so I don't think there's a difference in somebody using Android or an iPhone but for whatever reason, in terms of the initial downloads on a daily basis, we have double the Apple downloads than we do on Android."
Pirq is also readying a Windows Phone version of its software. Considering that the company is based near Microsoft's headquarters in Washington, the app could see quick traction among local Microsoft employees.
In addition to its partnership with Pirq, Apple is also looking to expand its own cafeteria facilities for its employees. The Cupertino Planning Commission approved a 21,468-square-foot project by the company last month. Apple's director of real estate facilities said the new building was intended to be only for employees so that they can "feel comfortable talking about their business" and research without fear of being eavesdropped on by competitors.
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