What is invitly?
invitly is a networking app that enables professionals to meet through invites for drinks or meals in order to grow their professional networks and unlock business opportunity.
Karim and I met during our INSEAD Executive MBA program in 2016. Professional networking has always been close to our hearts, especially as we were amidst business travel while still in our corporate jobs. Karim previously worked at Total in Asia and Europe, while I, a long-time Googler, frequently found myself traveling through Europe while based in Ireland, Russia most recently, France.
Traveling for business is an ideal example of a time when you're particularly looking to network with fellow professionals with the goal to expand your network, learn more about local business and at the same time, discover great local restaurant. Cause who really enjoys having a boring dinner in front of their phone at the hotel restaurant? I always wondered, why are there so many dating apps and nothing out there for professional networking?
Professional networking is very hard. It's confusing, scattered and downright challenging for many people. That's exactly why bookshelves are full of books on business networking and why there's a plethora of events and trainings on networking in all shapes and sizes. Go figure and find what works for you. You just may need to keep looking for a while.
We've built invitly with the goal of making professional networking accessible, efficient and enjoyable. Instead of swiping or scrolling through profiles and instead of awkwardly walking up to people with a 'Hi, my name is', we've developed an innovative approach that aptly accommodates the professional networking audience.
After successfully logging into invitly, you can look through invites for coffee, lunch or dinner with up to 5 professionals in your proximity and with a theme such as finance, business development and so forth. Instantly you're set up for drinks or a meal with interesting professionals, you're expanding your network and you're discovering great new restaurants in town.
Such approach is much more suitable for business networking, allowing you and other professionals to connect around a topic in small private groups rather than 1 on 1. No matter where you are in the world and where you're traveling to for business, you can always create an invite and other invitly users will be able to discover it, request to join or refer the invite to their connections who may want to join.
We're excited to tackle this gigantic challenge of professional networking and can't wait for you to try it out. Join our fast-growing invitly community, expand your professional network and once you do, unlock business opportunity.
Do let us know what you think about invitly or if you have any feedback. We are always glad to hear from you!
1. How does invitly work?
A user can easily create an invite, for example: lunch in London on Monday with the theme: business development in the UK. Invitly then notifies other users in the proximity of that invite. Professionals will review the invite and if they want to join, they can request to do so. You can also refer your friends if you think that they'd like to join. The host then reviews their profiles and accepts (up to 5 people in total). All participants can then agree on details for this lunch in a group chat or even engage in a 1 on 1 chat. Oh, and don't forget to unlock some cool badges along the way to boost your profile
2. What makes Invitly different?
Invitly doesn't 'match' people 1 on 1 - invitly connects professionals in small groups of up to six people. Instead of swiping profiles, like on dating apps, you look through actual invites for a meetup - with an occasion, theme, place and time. And with just a few clicks you're set up for drinks or a meal with interesting professionals, you're expanding your network and discovering great restaurants in town.
3. Is it FREE to join invitly?
Yes! It is and we do not intend to change that. We believe that professional networking should be accessible to everyone and not some exclusive and overpriced club.
4. Who's on invitly today?
You'll be in good company: the invitly community is very global, senior and diverse. We have members from more than 130 countries and almost 50% are in Director or C-level positions in their respective companies. The top industries are IT, Finance and Marketing.
5. Why is professional networking important?
If you're not yet convinced that professional networking is a gigantic problem to solve, please read Our story (again). So rather let's discuss why this is a very timely problem to solve.
Geo-targeted social networking is a space that has had a huge pickup in the dating sphere about 3-4 years ago (Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, etc). Now, a few years later, the first solutions for the professional audience are beginning to appear. These apps, however, simply copy-paste the model of swiping profiles from dating apps and apply it to the professional networking space. To our opinion, that approach is not right.
We're excited to offer an innovative solution that aptly accommodates the professional networking audience. We connect professionals around an invite for a meetup in a small group and around a particular topic.
6. How do you keep invitly safe ?
We have spent a lot of time thinking about this key concern. On invitly you'll find numerous solutions for keeping the service safe and secure. For example, we encourage users to login with their LinkedIn account in order to automatically complete their professional profiles on invitly. When you're reviewing an invite and considering to join, you have a lot of information at your disposal to actually make that decision. You can check other users' profiles on invitly, LinkedIn and other places or reach out for a 1 on 1 chat through invitly. It is also helpful to know that an invite generally has about 3 to 4 participants (versus an awkward 1 on 1 dinner).
7. Is invitly available in my city?
Absolutely, invitly is available globally! While we focus on major business hubs like London, New York, Singapore, New Delhi, Paris. etc., we see invitly meetups happening all around the world. And because invitly connects users around invites, the number of active users in a city does not have to be very high in order to make invitly useful in that city. So try it yourself and challenge us by creating an invite in your city (you may as well unlock the City Chief badge! ).
8. Is invitly available in my language?
We get your point, but here's the thing: even though we love languages (we speak like 13 different ones on our team!), invitly is an international community for professional networking. To make invitations for meetups accessible for everyone, including expats and business travelers, we aim to keep English as the main language at invitly. So please try to stick to English and everything will be marvelous and awesome !
9. How does invitly respect my data?
We're proud to follow all necessary GDPR regulations on how to safely and responsibly store and manage user data. We also assure you that all your information and data will be safely stored, using Google's secure and topnotch cloud storage technology.
10. I love the invitly idea, how do I get involved?
If you're already using invitly and wondering how you can get involved, please read on. First of all, we're always looking to grow our ambassador program around the world. Ambassadors are our super users who closely work with the invitly team to grow invitly in their cities. If you're interested, apply now to become an ambassador. invitly is always looking for excellent people, both engineers and business people to join our growing team. We're based out of Paris, France. So if you're keen to join, please reach out.
If you're an investor and want to hear more, we're always happy to hear from you.
11. What is an invitly Ambassador?
We have initiated the ambassador program with the goal to help active users reaching out to their local communities about invitly. Right now, we're humbled to have ambassadors all around the world that are vouching for invitly and working closely with our team to engage with business communities in their cities. Ambassadors also get access to Premium features that enable them to organize larger local invitly community events. So if you're interested to be part of the invitly adventure, please apply to become an ambassador!
12. Sounds awesome, hit me with a media kit!
Glad to hear that you're considering writing about invitly! You can download our media kit here and get in touch with us on any other press-related questions.
13. Can I get invitly for my business / company / association / club?
We know that it's hard to meet fellow colleagues / alumni or members. That's why we're working with various companies and networking associations that are keen to offer their members a private environment inside invitly, where only their employees or members can connect. If you're interested to discuss this further with our team, please get in touch.