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  • Writer's pictureCivStart

One Seed-Stage Startup Designed for the Age of COVID-19

All the way back in 2013, TimeOut was asking why no one was helping people avoid long lines and congestion at crowded venues prior to arrival. They were worried about concertgoers and sports stadiums. Fast forward six and a half years, and we find ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, and that same question has become one of life and death.

There are a ton of different apps out there to help drivers avoid automotive traffic, but there wasn’t a single tool to help people navigate crowds and wait-times, where the software would virtually wait on your behalf.

That’s where Whyline, a startup in our 2019 cohort, comes in. They are now taking solutions that route around traffic to the next level — not just navigating efficiently between points A & B, but within point B itself.

When they originally built the solution, they aimed to give people back their time and make businesses more productive and efficient. In the age of COVID-19 however, they never could have imagined that their products have now evolved into life-saving tools. They’re now working on the front lines with governments, hospitals, and private sector enterprises across the US and Latin America to help curb the spread of the contagion.

Their virtual queuing and ‘smart’ appointment scheduling solutions are currently being utilized as part of nationwide emergency response plans by governments, hospitals and urgent care centers to assist in the triaging of patients, including telemedicine and COVID-19 testing. Most notably, Whyline partnered with the likes of Adobe, Oracle, Accenture, Splunk and Globant (among others) to jointly deliver a COVID-19 patient screening, appointment scheduling and reporting tool for Tarrant County, Texas.

Staff members, in turn, use Whyline’s software to tightly control onsite foot traffic and utilize the 'big data' that they aggregate to report up the chain quickly and with precision. Whyline has also been assisting large retail banks eliminate their onsite queues by providing their customers with remote appointment scheduling capabilities based on their location and specific transactional needs.

Many states and localities are trying to decide when they can safely start to reopen businesses and essential government services. And whenever they decide, Whyline is helping them do it safely. They’ve already been doing their part, offering ‘pro bono’ work for a number of governments during the crisis, and have recently launched a free version of their software for all small and medium-sized businesses. States like Georgia have already issued specific safety guidelines for reopening businesses to utilize appointment scheduling & virtual queue management solutions, while other large states and companies have been following suit.

It appears that we will be dealing with COVID-19 and its effects on governments and businesses for some time to come. What we know is that the most effective way to enforce safe social distancing principles at places like DMVs, courts, grocery outlets and cafes, etc. is to limit the amount of people onsite at any given time. With Whyline’s solution, government leaders and business owners can provide much needed transparency to their customers and residents before they ever leave the house, conform to safety guidelines by allowing people to wait virtually from their home or car, and optimize operational efficiencies with faster transaction times & reductions in customer no-shows or walkaways.

With several of the country’s top medical experts predicting "significant COVID-19 activity for at least the next 18-24 months," and longstanding changes to consumer behavior thereafter, Whyline is committed to doing its part to support small businesses, governments, and the residents and customers that rely on them. If there can be a silver lining to all this, people may never have to wait in a DMV line ever again.

To book a demo with Whyline for your government or for your small or medium-sized business, please contact us. Whyline is just one of our startups doing critical work supporting governments and businesses in this time of crisis. For more information about CivStart's COVID-19 state and local government solution kit, read more here.

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