Tariq Aris, Drinki Founder - Startup Founder Profile - Runway East
24th May 2017 Jacob Fisher

Tariq Aris, Drinki Founder – Startup Founder Profile

We caught up with our Runway East Moorgate member Tariq Aris, founder of Drinki, to learn more about his company (and work out how to get some free drinks of our own). 

What does Drinki do?

Drinki is a free app that gives users a free round of drinks for them and their friends in 100 bars in London. It show you which bars are offering a free round of drinks that night, and then you use the app at the bar to get your free drink – as simple as that.

How do bars feel about giving away free drinks?

From bars point of view it’s amazing, the whole idea is that they are mostly small bars and they don’t have a large marketing capital. So we are the most effective way to drive footfall. The only cost to them is their raw materials, it’s a complete no-brainer for bars.

What did you do before this?

I was a hedge fund manager, I was trading for 5 years then I set up my own fund. I had 30 traders working for me and we did really well.

When did you start the company?

In 2014.

How many employees do you have?

6 employees including myself and we are split between marketing and tech.

How much investment have you managed to raise?

Around half a million pounds.

How has the hiring process been?

Hard. It’s always a struggle to find exceptional people.

Is there anything you thought would be easy and has turned out to be difficult?

Every single thing is harder than you think! We made a free app that gives you a free drink, how has that not gone viral!

What are the best decisions you have made?

If you’re in a perpetual state of uncertainty like most startups are, what is a good decision? When you’re a startup you’re still losing money every month, you’re not successful you’re just still alive. The good decisions are the ones that still keep you alive.

When will you stop thinking of your company as a startup?

If the product looks the same over a 12-month period I would say we have probably stopped being a startup.

What does Runway East mean to you?

They deliver on the whole community aspect and they manage to differentiate themselves from other co-working spaces by giving you real value.

What does the future look like for Drinki?

In the next 9 months we will be national. We’ve got over 100,000 users at the moment and nearly 100 bars but we should be coming up to 200 bars in 6 months.

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