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May 9, 2022 Startups, Innovation & Technology

CT serial entrepreneur hopes to disrupt meeting scheduling technology with new startup

HBJ PHOTO | SKYLER FRAZER Adam Scott Perl is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of his latest startup Arrangr, a meeting scheduling technology company.

Scheduling apps became more popular during the pandemic, as virtual meetings dominated workdays and people began looking for easier ways to manage their calendars.

Now a Connecticut startup is looking to gain a foothold in the market and go toe-to-toe against industry giants like Calendly, a company with a multibillion-dollar valuation.

“We really look at it like we’re the David to their Goliath,” said Adam Scott Perl, a serial entrepreneur who is the co-founder and CEO of Chester-based Arrangr.

Arrangr makes it easier to virtually schedule in-person or remote meetings by allowing people to share their digital calendars. The software can reserve tentative meeting times, release them when rejected and schedule a complete meeting from beginning to end. It can also conduct live polling, suggest restaurants and meeting spots and integrate with videoconferencing programs such as Zoom.

While Arrangr is an early-stage company, Perl said it has tens of thousands of users across the globe and plans to continue growing in 2022. The company is cash-flow positive, has no debt and has raised some outside investment. It hopes this year to raise additional funding or strike up a partnership with another technology company, Perl said.

“We’re ready for the next step as we keep growing,” Perl said.

Serial entrepreneur

Perl’s background is in investment banking and venture capital. He went to business school at Babson College in Massachusetts and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. After graduating, he went on to work for FleetBoston Financial and then The Kessler Group, where he did acquisitions in the corporate development sector. After that, he ventured into the startup world.

“I always had this strive for entrepreneurship,” Perl said.

In 2001, Perl and his father co-founded PetLink USA, a smartcard applications company formed with exclusive licensing rights to the small global domestic animal market. The smartcards could store veterinary data about dogs and cats, essentially a “passport” with their medical information, Perl said.

That company reached the minimal viable product stage before stalling out after struggling to find investors following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he said.

Years later in 2005, he purchased the Alex & Me Company, a clothing manufacturer, importer and retailer specializing in ultraviolet and sun protection clothing and swimwear. He became the company’s CEO, relocated its headquarters to Connecticut and turned it into an e-commerce-only company, which helped grow its profitability almost 3,000% in five years, Perl said.

“We were the largest importer and retailer of sun-protective clothing,” he said.

Facing higher upfront production costs, minimum order sizes, lengthier manufacturing lead times, and costlier shipping from distributors in China, Perl said he eventually shut down the company.

What is Arrangr?

When Perl and his co-founder Ryan Moody started Arrangr in 2019, their intention was to create a software that could help people narrow down a date and time for meetings.

As they began to develop the technology, the focus broadened. Options to add questions, polls, location choices and integrate Arrangr into other software technologies were implemented.

The startup’s goal is to “close the loop” when it comes to scheduling meetings, Perl said, and account for all needs and possibilities.

“When you start thinking about what a meeting is, it’s different for everyone, and how they set it up is different for everyone,” Perl said.

Perl said Arrangr differentiates itself from other companies like Calendly and Doodle because it provides more than just an inbound meeting invitation link in an email, or message on LinkedIn. He said competitors’ products lack the personalization and suite of options Arrangr offers.

Users of customer relationship management software such as HubSpot and videoconferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack, can use Arrangr to directly schedule meetings with others, including individuals who may not have accounts on those platforms.

“It works like a plug-in application,” Perl said.

Perl said Arrangr’s growth trajectory “increased dramatically” after COVID-19 hit, and one of the first software companies to integrate with Arrangr was Zoom. Over the past few years the co-founders have been adding more features and integrations while fine-tuning the software.

Perl didn’t get into specific numbers but said Arrangr has tens of thousands of users across companies of all sizes.

Currently Perl said Arrangr is trying to grow its user base with its free product model, but there are also “Pro” and “Pro+” options for $3.99 or $6.99 a month, respectively, if someone needs to integrate more calendars, recipients or other features.

He said business-sized subscription options are currently in development, and larger enterprise partnerships with other technology companies could become revenue streams.

Perl said Arrangr just launched a deal to integrate its technology with videoconferencing company Webex. Using Arrangr, Webex conference call participants can poll each other to determine the best time and date for their next meeting.

Fine Fettle is an early adopter of Arrangr’s technology. The medical cannabis dispensary’s Newington location uses Arrangr to schedule and onboard new patients and customers for their pharmacist consultations.

Fine Fettle Dispensary Manager Dennis So said his company previously manually scheduled new customers’ first visits, which meant a lot of back-and-forth calling between staff and clients.

“It was tedious … work and we figured there was an opportunity here for us to improve,” So said.

Now, Fine Fettle sends a “welcome” email to new patients with an Arrangr link to schedule an available time for a pharmacist consultation.

“We can focus on the patients in front of us and free up our time for other things that call for our attention,” So said.

Perl said Arrangr helps take the “scheduling chaos” out of the process.

“The average meeting is a half hour, but it could take 10 times that amount over several days just to set up a meeting, and so the productivity of someone just crashes,” Perl said.

What’s next?

Arrangr currently has three full-time employees with six people that help out on a part-time basis. The company doesn’t have a formal office space; it operates remotely. Perl works out of his Chester home.

He said creating brand awareness is one of the biggest challenges. There are already a few established names in the space, but he thinks Arrangr’s broader suite of options can help it stand out.

Hiring more developers and full-time staff is another goal, Perl said.

“There are so many more things that we can do if we had a bigger team to do it with,” Perl said.


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