Lantern Software, Inc., a Kansas City based startup and maker of the Lantern local deals app for iPhone and Android, announced today several recent milestones for the company.
Started in 2011 by former software engineers and executives, Lantern is taking on the likes of Groupon and Living Social, providing a lower cost, easy to control service that uses hyper-local targeting to help small businesses attract more customers on their own terms. Owners control their deals through simple tools online and receive advice and training from Lantern staff.
Using location technology in Android and iPhone, the Lantern app gives users a chance to view and reserve discount vouchers from local restaurants, shops and more. Unlike it’s competitors, Lantern lets users get their discount vouchers for free with two simple clicks, without ever entering credit card info or purchasing a voucher.
Of the recent milestones, first, the company just released its app for iPhone (“Lantern – Local Deals”), adding to its already-available app for Android. It also said it is expanding its web presence, allowing consumers to see which deals are available on Lantern before downloading the app (http://bit.ly/PlDIqp). This move to the web also gives more visibility to Lantern’s merchant partners, all of which are local businesses.
Second, the company announced it now has four full-time employees, up from just one in July, and says it plans to hire several additional employees in the next few months.
Third, Lantern announced it has surpassed 25 local businesses using its service to attract customers. The businesses span several categories including restaurants, retail/shopping, salons/spas and entertainment venues.
“The idea of a deal is not new,” co-founder and CEO Aaron Sloup said. “Small business owners have been offering deals since the dawn of retail and restaurants. What’s different is the way we engage a business’s potential customers, and deliver that deal. Daily deals as an industry is fundamentally broken. Our approach to attracting customers with a deal allows us to offer a vastly better value proposition for small businesses.”