In 2014, Zia Yusuf quit his job at Goldman Sachs and started an online, ultra-luxury concierge service with his school friend Alex Macdonald. The business is run 100% digitally through the website and app, and membership is by invitation only. We put the co-founder in the hot seat for our 6 Questions interview slot.
1. What makes Velocity Black different to other lifestyle services?
Velocity Black is a members’ club reimagined for the digital age and engineered for those looking to lead a limitless life. Velocity Black is built on a breakthrough technology: the world’s first conversational mobile commerce engine for the affluent consumer. Our unique technology is disrupting several multi-trillion dollar industries at once, by re-imagining and simplifying the member experience for discovering and booking travel, dining, events and experiences. Built on the principal that the only thing we truly own is our story and everything else we are simply custodians of, Velocity Black liberates members to make their story as extraordinary as it can be. From planning round-the-world trips, to obtaining the most-sought after luxury goods, a dinner that’ll never be forgotten and original experiences like no other, Velocity Black turns what-ifs, into what’s next.
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We guarantee a response time of one minute 24/7, 365 days a year. We have enabled conversational commerce for the affluent consumer delivering personalised recommendations, automatic payment and fulfilment in real-time, around the clock.
2. How do millennials compare as customers to older generations?
Millennials are the ‘experience generation’. They are bringing a shift in consumption growth away from goods to experiences, valuing a meaningful life and memories shared over material goods. There is also an increase in awareness of the wellbeing of the planet and the effect of humanity on the environment and communities. Many millennials are increasingly looking to ‘give back’. We see that our members are particularly invested in global change.
In addition, instant messaging on smartphones is the preferred form of communication for millennials and they are much more likely to use messaging while travelling. Thanks to an ‘always on’ lifestyle, millennials live in an age of immediate gratification and our guaranteed response time appeals to this.
3. Will Velocity Black ever run out of experiences to offer?
We have delivered more than 45,000 experiences in 60 countries. We strive to assist members to live a limitless life of unforgettable moments and experiences. The world is our oyster. There is always a new experience or discovery to be had and we connect members to these.
Preview the Velocity Black world:
4. Your founding members include public figures such as Gigi Hadid and Vanessa Hudgens. Why is celebrity endorsement so important for the app?
These people work on extraordinary schedules. The reason they find value on our platform is because we make experiences so easy that all they have to do is go and get on a plane, or arrive at a restaurant. Our membership acquisition is based on an outstanding reputation and incredible offering.
5. What’s the craziest experience requested or organised through the app?
Our members benefit from being part of a closed community and we take privacy very seriously. I am therefore unable to disclose the nature of any individual requests, not even the really crazy ones!
6. Where do you go from here?
Velocity Black is one of the fastest growing tech start-ups and we don’t plan on slowing down. As voice search moves from novelty to habitual routine with time poor individuals looking to optimise their time however possible, you can expect to hear Siri and Alexa booking Velocity Black experiences on our member’s behalf. We will also be launching services in health care, real estate and art, later in 2019.
Find out more: velocity.black