What It Does: Drink gifting site
Founders: Patrick Ledbetter, 25 (left), and Adam Ludwig, 26 (right)
Web Site: www.givereal.com
Based: New York
The idea for GiveReal came to Ledbetter and Ludwig in 2006, not long after they graduated from Princeton. As friends landed jobs around the country, celebrated birthdays, and reached other milestones, the pair wanted a more personal way to congratulate them than, in Ledbetter's words, "by scribbling a note on their Facebook walls." Their solution? Create a way to allow friends and families to buy each other drinks through Facebook redeemable at a network of some 500,000 bars and restaurants across the country. The company, launched in 2008, earns 90¢ from every gift drink purchased and from online advertising with liquor brands such as Guinness and Bombay Sapphire.
Seven-employee GiveReal has received about $1 million in funding from investors that include Battery Ventures, Hillcrest Management, and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. The founders predict just under $1 million in revenue in 2009, intend to invest most of the operating profits back into the company, and expect to be cash-flow positive in 2011.