Pivt’s John Chapman Interviews with Dallas Innovates
Pivt is designed for a post-COVID world. The app enables professionals and their families who have relocated or work from anywhere to build meaningful social connections—while swapping information about their new area. The team has set up shop in Dallas-Fort Worth to launch across Texas, with 10 companies in the region using the app so far.
Citing a booming population and its return to post-COVID normalcy, the team behind the Pivt social app have chosen Dallas-Fort Worth as its new testbed for honing the user experience.
Think of Pivt as a spin on NextDoor: The app’s membership is comprised of professionals and their families who have relocated or work from anywhere and who are interested in helping peers adapt to new cities and build meaningful social connections.
Pivt connects those who have relocated, along with anyone in a work-from-anywhere environment, to others who have lived their experience, so they can make get trusted information and make a city feel more like home.
“When we made the decision (to launch in DFW), COVID was impacting some regions more than others,” says John Chapman, director of global biz development at Pivt. “In New York City, everything was closed down in the winter. From our perspective, if this app is supposed to help you connect, help you know where in cities to live, find dentists for your kids, etc., it didn’t make sense to launch in a city that didn’t give you any options.”
Chapman was attracted to the region’s status as one of the fastest growing metros, along with the presence of Toyota, Texas Instruments, American Airlines, AT&T, and other companies that have set up shop or relocated here. Not to mention the growing number of people moving. “We viewed it as a great hub,” he says, “for our inevitable launch in Texas.”
Relative to conventional options like web searches, Pivt’s model differs because information and recommendations on the app aren’t affected by advertising or spam, Chapman says. Anything found on Pivt has been posted by someone who’s gone through a relocation or remote work experience in a user’s designated city.
“There’s a reason Randi Zuckerberg has backed Pivt—she thinks it’s a different tool,” Chapman says. “We’re not ad supported. It’s all coming from our users.”
When Chapman spoke with Dallas Innovates on July 20, Pivt had only been in use in DFW for about a week. So far, 10 companies in the region are using the app, and another 10 are in negotiations with Pivt, he says.
Users were already looking for recommendations about the best dentists, sushi restaurants, live music and cycling groups.
To further boost its membership, Pivt is offering a limited three-month free trial period for companies in the region, according to Chapman. Pivt will hone its app in the Dallas region through September, then proceed with plans to expand to Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
Pivt was designed to boost the well-being and retention of relocated and mobile workers, according to Chapman. On average, companies spend $90K relocating an employee, yet about a third end up leaving, mostly due to a lack of social connection and difficulty acclimating to their new city.
“We’re the new necessary benefit for companies looking to retain talent and support their employees,” Chapman says. “We’re looking for companies who want innovative solutions [for retention], beyond the ping pong table, or beer at work, which aren’t relevant for the flexible workforce.
“With folks working from home, we’re hearing a lot about employee burnout and turnover, and companies need to find a way to support workers and families in this new reality. Pivt is the first social app that does just that.”