Twist uses the tagline “the easiest way to say you’re on your way” to describe its app, which helps people communicate when they will be arriving for an appointment.
“We’re an arrival app, an ETA app,” explained Annie Gherini, the company’s director of marketing. “You send a Twist and the person you are meeting gets an e-mail or a text with your arrival info.”
Only the person sending the Twist needs to have the app, but, if both parties have it, the notification gets pushed to their screen and it’s highly visible. The Twist only goes between the person sending it and the person receiving it and the “relationship” between those parties only lasts as long as the individual trip.
The app is tied into GPS and it uses proprietary traffic algorithms to decide how long it’s actually going to take you to arrive.
“We’re trying to alleviate the waiting time,” Gherini said. “We can’t make someone be on time, but if you know I’m going to be five minutes late or five minutes early, it alleviates the doubt.”
Twist has a Boston office with multiple engineers the company hired straight out of school from MIT. According to Gherini, the company is actively interviewing more MIT students about opportunities both in Boston and at the company’s main office. Currently, the Boston office is focused on working on Twist’s iPhone app.
A venture-funded company that has raised around $6 million, Twist employees around 20 people and is pre-revenue.
“We’re focused on user growth at the moment,” said Gherini, “but, we have plans to make money going forward.
To monetize, Twist plans to look at fields where time is a commodity – areas like pizza delivery, cable TV appointments and other time-based events or services.
“Why do we need a four hour window,” said Gherini. “We can cut that down and show you exactly when someone is going to arrive. Why should we have to stand around and wait for people?”
Twist is also a passive app as once you initiate the relationship with whoever you are meeting with, updates are sent automatically. That means if you get stuck in traffic, you won’t have to risk a text while driving to let the person on the other end know when you will arrive.
“There’s no texting, there’s no typing, it just notifies you where the person is and when they will get there,” Gherini said.