We are on a mission to create the most trusted platform for culinary and hospitality experiences. We focus on best-in-category destinations and work with top restaurants, boutique hotels, and wineries. We have two sides to our business – the Somm app, which is a consumer membership program that unlocks premium, often exclusive experiences across our partner network. We also have DINR, which unlocks same-day reservations at MICHELIN and similar calibre restaurants.
Tell us about yourself?
I’ve been in the tech sector since 2016, but prior to that, I worked in capital markets and private equity. On a personal level, I’ve always loved great food, drink, and special travel experiences… finding those local gems and beautiful boutique hotels and really appreciating the art of true hospitality. In the summer of 2020 (the first COVID-19 summer), I leaned into a passion of mine – food and wine – and started to create Somm.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I’m pretty happy with where we are now, but I’d tell myself to not let perfection stand in the way of good and release product updates in smaller increments as opposed to big epic releases.
What problem does your business solve?
Think about the last time you planned a trip or a nice weekend in your home city. You probably looked at multiple reservation platforms and multiple hotel booking engines, searched for a few hours about what to do, and scoured the internet for the best finds. This is all very time-consuming and not curated or personalized to you. It’s also not a trustworthy process. We’re setting out to change all of that – with one destination you can blindly trust that increases your discovery and enjoyment while also saving you significant time.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
It started from a place of personal passion, so it was very personally driven. Everyone faces these problems, so our target market is pretty big – but our real focus is on the more discerning, high-value consumer. People that appreciate culinary and hospitality experiences.
What is your magic sauce?
No one is bringing it all together like we are. Sure, there are numerous competitors in the verticals we operate, but no one is tackling it like us.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We only operate in Canada right now, and we have much bigger aspirations. This can include global expansion, integration with numerous other major players, and landing more strategic relationships like our relationship with American Express Canada.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Capital constraints are the bain of any founder’s existence. In 2022, only 1.6 per cent of all VC financing went towards female-founded companies, and the Canadian investor landscape is not deep. It’s just a fact and leads to more uphill battles than people realize or care to admit.
How can people get involved?
Email us at [email protected]. We’re always looking for great partners, ambassadors, and investors who are just as passionate as we are!