“I vividly remember the headline The Rotten Apple”, remarks Jenny Drezin, Founder and CMO of Sidekix, reflecting on the front cover of New York Magazine, circa 1980s.
“New York was a different place then. No one wanted to be in the city. People were flocking to the suburbs to escape the upsurge of crime. . . But I never viewed New York in this light. I was so happy my family stayed. It made me who I am today. I suppose it’s in my DNA to seek out the marvels among the mess”.
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As a young teen, Jenny dedicated her weekends to a treasure hunt of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods – her adventurous streak drawing her to covert art galleries, street Graffiti, and hidden enclaves – becoming immersed in the unique street culture that defined this era.
A natural explorer from birth, it was instinct that set the wheels in motion for Sidekix – translating her worldly knowledge into a product suitable for the digital era – and one that also mirrored her passion for exploring new areas.
Sidekix – a dedicated navigation platform for pedestrians – was introduced to the market a few months ago. With the underlying concept of ‘interest based routing’, the app enhances the urban experience and allows users to explore cities based on their passions and interests.
“Navigation apps today are purely utilitarian – the goal is to get users from A to B, more often than not missing out on the urban experience”, explains Jenny. “In contrast, Sidekix offers a unique personalized, perspective, a new way of navigating.”
Users can select from fashion, food, culture, art and nightlife routes. Information and reviews on hundreds of thousands of venues are available along the way, including addresses, opening hours and curated content from local bloggers. Users have the option to schedule pit-stops on their routes, such as stopping at an ATM or grocery store on the way to a friend’s.
The app also provides answers to a missing piece of a puzzle. “Cities are rich, dynamic and vibrant and every day, people miss out on experiences both when they travel and in their own home cities. Our technology allows users to tap into endless options, to benefit and learn more from their immediate surroundings”.
In 2015, Jenny, alongside co-founders Miron Perel and Eli Baram, came together to unify their passion for travel and local discovery. Miron, Sidekix CEO, is Israeli-born with an extensive background in technology and financial services companies; Eli, also Israeli-born, is an expert in developing scalable systems serving millions of people globally. Together, the unique team have built a powerful platform to serve a global user base.
“The powerful engine behind Sidekix amalgamates information from multiple online and offline sources to create a rich database of local attractions and businesses. The platform then researches social media to determine the best places favored by locals. A proprietary routing engine uses this information to recommend walking routes based on interests.”
In less than a year, the team has doubled its size to eight full time employees, a testament to its growth and success, with head offices in Tel Aviv. After a successful million-dollar seed round, Sidekix is available in over 60 cities and its user base doubles month over month. It has been named a top app by Time Out, Mashable, and the New York Times.
The company is about to start the next round of fundraising, in preparation for global expansion.
“In the same way people associate Waze with driving, we intend to be the go to app for walking in cities. Our goal is to become the world’s leading navigation platform for urban pedestrians, as well as a leading provider of urban foot traffic analytics.”
Perhaps a fancy way of saying that Sidekix will become the instinctive choice for navigating the route less travelled.