Life & Style

Let the bidding begin

Want to get in some batting practice with a top cricketer? Or record a song with your favourite singer? How about getting some Internet brownie points with a tweet-out from a celebrity?

These can be more than just wishful thinking, say Savan Daru and Mohit Lalvani, co-founders of Uber Dreams, an online portal that claims to make wishes come true. The Worli-based start-up was launched in August 2016. This week, they’ve added a new section to their website called Uber Auctions, and the first to go under the hammer is Shilpa Shetty Kundra. To be more specific, a weekend yoga retreat as VIP guests of the star.

Lalvani, who is also CEO of the company, says, “We believe there has never been an Indian website which offers what we do. It’s unique, and looking at the way people have been bidding, they seem to be enjoying the concept.” The auction, which launched on March 10, will be on till March 15, and includes three nights stay at a 5-star hotel in Jaipur, to-and-fro flight expenses for two and an interaction and selfie op with Shetty.

Daru adds, “We have a big charity angle — the more you bid, the more goes for charity. We’ve tied up with National Association for the Blind, Virat Kohli Foundation, CRY, ReefWatch Marine Conservation, People for Animals and Voice of Martyrs. Around 10 to 70% goes to a charity of the auction winner’s choice.” Auctions will also feature products like autographed cricket bats and prized internships in various industries.

The website’s other services are Uber Experiences and ‘You Dream, We Fulfil’. Experiences range from partying on a yacht to getting a dog whisperer. As for the latter, log in and share your dream experience, and Uber Dreams will work towards making it feasible.

So far, there have been over 5000 sign-ups and 1800 dream enquiries, with 18000 unique visitors a month. Currently, the focus is on Mumbai and Pune, with some experiences available in Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. They also plan to launch a mobile app by the end of this month.

So while we’re old enough to know that there’s no Genie in the lamp to grant us wishes, there’s nothing to stop us from fulfilling them ourselves.

Give and receive

Charitybuzz.com:

The US-based site’s auctions bring together celebrities, luminaries and brands, and gives people access to them. Bid for walk-on roles with Hollywood A-listers to power lunches with Fortune 500 CEOs, and support a charity in the process.

IfOnly.com

Probably the most similar to Uber Dreams, they call themselves “a marketplace for incredible experiences”. There’s no bidding involved here : choose what you like and donate to a cause while having the time of your life.

Omaze.com

“Good things come to those who give.” So if you believe in karma — and in spending quality time with folks like Ian Somerhalder and Scarlett Johansson — this is the site for you. Donate to a cause and win a chance to meet celebrities. The more you donate, the more your chances of winning.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 2:45:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/let-the-bidding-begin/article17442359.ece

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