Unapologetic millennial and Texas-born developer and entrepreneur Clay Kohut is going to bring Uber style match-ups to friendships.
His pitch goes something like this:
“With Uber, you rent a stranger’s car,” mmmhmm,
“With Airbnb, you rent a stranger’s home,” okay,
“With Ameego… you rent a stranger!” wait, what?
Don’t worry, Kohut reassures, it’s the logical progression of things.
Kohut, obviously, saw a problem – friendship was hard to find and loneliness ruled the landscape of tech companies, internet connections, and online dating – but apps? Apps solve everything. So, it makes complete sense that Kohut found a way to bridge the gap between the two by introducing an app that helps you find a friend through a paid service. His hope is that after paying for a few hours of companionship, the professional friend and their client will become real-life friends.
This isn’t the first friendship app, of course. Among the plethora of dating apps like Tinder, OKCupid, and niche ones like Grindr, there are newer friendship finding apps like Rendezwho, LykeMe, and Go Find Friends. All of these apps have either failed completely or have yet to take off, but Ameego is different, Kohut maintains – it’s the first to commodify friendship. While the argument can be made that not everything should be commodified, what millennial hasn’t found themselves thumbing through their contacts after being flaked-on by a friend, only to find that everyone is either out of town or unavailable. Ameego is meant to solve these problems.
Kohut says that this app would have solved his problems years ago (six, to be exact), when he moved from a small Texas town to New York, where he said, “If someone told me they could give me the ability to instantly make new friends, I certainly would have paid for that.”
Will others, though? That’s yet to be seen. In 2015 the Pew Research Center reported that 57% of teenagers had met a friend online, though it’s probably safe to say that almost none of those paid for their friendship. Still, Ameego might have some promise.
Ameego is currently available in New York and San Francisco, and Kohut is hoping to launch to more cities in the future. We wish him the best of luck in his capitalizing-off-of-friendship endeavors. Paying for friendship might not be for us, but if it solves a problem, well, why not?