The sharing economy is one of the most stunning and liberating things the world has ever known. Airbnb has let people monetise their unused rooms; Uber has let them monetise their unused cars; Ploppr has enabled people to strike a blow for organic farming by monetising their otherwise unused excrement. Now there's Pimpr, which lets people monetise their unused genitals.
It works in much the same way as matchmaking apps like Grindr and Tinder, but the key difference is that users - in addition to uploading pictures and location information - set a "money" slider which can be positive or negative in value: that is, they can offer money as an incentive to gain hookup offers, or they can insist on being paid to hook up.
"In our modelling, the effect is that really a huge number of hookups which would never take place on a normal dating app become possible," enthuses one of the conceptioneers behind Pimpr, Gilbert Van Schafto. "It's an app which lets a lot of people achieve a level of service they'd find it difficult, expensive or inconvenient to obtain otherwise, and it lets others make some money from an asset that they have already and which may not be in use at the time. It's what the sharing economy is all about."
Van Schafto put the #VultureTRENDING team in touch with some of the enthusiastic community of testers the app has garnered.
"It's really handy," comments "digislappr". "I usually wind up having joyless sex drunk in an alley among some wheely bins on Saturdays anyway. With Pimpr, I don't even have to go to the pub first. And I get twenty quid."
"I was thinking about becoming a prostitute part-time anyway," confided "reasonablypriced". "But the barriers to entry were just too high. Who's got time to sign up with an agency or set up a website? But with Pimpr you just fire up the app, snap a nude selfie, enable location tracking and you're off. I did have to adjust the money slider downward a bit to make any icons come up, but in less than half an hour I'd given a travelling salesman executive relief in a Travelodge and made enough money to cover nearly a third of the gas bill."
"It is great," we were told by "Vassily". "I have used Tinder very much but only very ugly old persons swipe me on there for some reason. I tried pointing out that I am successful and own my own van, but it had little effect. With Pimpr, all that has changed and I have hookups with nice clean persons from just round corner all the time."
Obviously we at #VultureTRENDING are aware (#fingeronpulse #zeitgeistaware) that some people are nowadays criticising the sharing economy, saying that the app makers are exploiting people by getting them to offer personal services for low prices and skimming off most of the profit for themselves. We asked Van Schafto what commission Pimpr expects to charge on the payments made between users of the app.
"We reserve the right to adjust our parameters at any time for the best possible experience," he said. "We will not compromise our principles and our covenant with our user base. We're totally committed to preserving their privacy - that's why the app doesn't tell you what other users are paying or getting paid: just that the deal's done and where you need to go to close it. We handle the payments completely securely and anonymously."
We suggested that conceivably some might see a seedy aspect to this particular sector of the sharing economy. Van Schafto responded robustly to this.
"Don't be silly, there's nothing more glamorous and exciting than pimps," he exclaims. "Especially as with our payment system, nobody can hold out on us - so the whole slapping people around or threatening to cut their faces, or hanging around bus stations to sign new talent, that side of the business just isn't an issue for us.
"And it's a style thing. People say 'Pimp my ride', don't they - and they mean, 'make it better and cooler'. Well, we've just pimped dating apps. Literally."
As is usual here at #VultureTRENDING, we learned of this app well before anyone else and it is not yet ready for full release, being still in initial pre-alpha buzzbuild. Initial capital was sourced, among other places, from the Digital Catapult. We understand that the conceptioneering-stage facilitators feel ready to pivot and allow new investors to reap the final stage of value build up to IPO; interested entrepreneurs should contact the lead thinkfluencer of the team. ®
FULL DISCLOSURE: #VultureTRENDING is an incredibly exciting new initiative from Vulture Publishing intended to harvest the #zeitgeistgasm and #crowdwisdom for dazzling new insights into the digital revolution. We are proud to admit that it was inspired by similar BBC initiatives.
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#VultureTRENDING and Vulture Publishing FCB cannot comment on any financial relationship with Bong Ventures VBA except to confirm that no such relationship exists within the jurisdictions of the UK, USA and EU and that both companies comply fully with the laws of the territories they are incorporated in. Despite this we can accept no responsibility for investment decisions that may be taken as a result of viewing or consuming #VultureTRENDING analysis.