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Oct / Nov 2017
The VIP Life

WRITER: Ramsay Short 

New concierge app Velocity Black promises to power the ultimate lifestyle. From yacht parties to submarine rides, it’s all at your fingertips in this members-only digital club.

If by the end of this article you do not sign up to be a member of Velocity Black I’ll eat my hat. And I like my hats. A lot.

Picture this pressing situation: you’re in London, it’s late August, a couple of days before Burning Man is set to start across the world in Nevada’s Black Rock desert. The festival sold out months ago, your chances of attending are less than zero, but you’re desperate to go. You open up the Velocity Black app on your cell, you message your request – “I need two tickets for Burning Man, flights over tomorrow, and an outfit. Can you do it?” Within a minute a reply appears, “No problem. Check your inbox this afternoon and all will be sorted.”

This is the premise of Velocity Black, a high-end digital members club and 24/7/365 concierge service that promises to instantly fulfil even the most difficult of requests.

“Ok, so we had one customer in New York who texted us in the morning asking for a sloth – yes the animal – to be delivered to his wife’s birthday party as gift that same evening,” says Zia Yusuf, Velocity Black’s CEO and co-founder alongside Alex MacDonald. “We made it happen. So Velocity Black basically takes away the hassle, enriching people’s time by taking care of their requests so they can get on with their daily lives via a seamless digital process that always delivers.”

It’s a persuasive sell, even if a sloth doesn’t sound like your typical – or lively – party entertainment. After all, who wouldn’t want an on-hand go-to person to provide them with immediate fuss-free recommendations and unique experiences – from trips, meals and events – that are not only curated for them based on their needs and profile but also booked for them and automatically settled to their account.



Indeed, if you fancy flying a fighter jet to the edge of space, spending a week learning how to shoot sniper rifles in the Scottish highlands from former SAS officers, swimming with Orca whales in Norway, or simply need a recommendation and booking for an off-the-beaten-path exclusive restaurant in Vienna during a weekend break in the city – VB sorts it.

The clincher, though, is the immediate gratification the app delivers in this ‘See it, Buy it’ era: wherever you are and whatever time of day it is, VB promises a response within a minute or less, and to find exactly what you want, making this an essential tool for busy types with high expectations and little time.

Of course it doesn’t come cheap and it’s clearly aimed at high rollers with expensive taste. Annual membership is approximately 2,600 USD plus an additional one-time 500 USD sign-up fee, plus of course the price of whatever experiences or tickets you’re booking. Exclusive, free, membership benefits include invitations to private parties from Coachella to Cannes and perks like free spa treatments, making the price tag a little easier to swallow. And, it’s still a lot cheaper than a personal assistant. But how does it actually work?

“We have an incredible mix of expert staff across our offices in London, Miami, New York and L.A. who are always available combined with our specialist knowledge-driven database, which we codenamed ‘brain’,” says Yusuf. “So we have a personal, human, rapid response team who engage with ‘brain’ as well as secondary teams, experts in different fields, who are able to contribute their exclusive knowledge. The system and our staff are able to crosscheck recommendations with customer’s profiles to deliver their needs exactly with the minimum of hassle and the maximum of satisfaction.”

And it’s working. Having launched last June, Velocity Black’s members are already in the thousands and climbing, and include a number of celebrity endorsements from stars such as Gigi Hadid, Poppy Delevingne, Rita Ora and Martha Hunt (though in the interest of full disclosure, they did receive free memberships).

So if living the celebrity lifestyle is on your to-do list alongside heli-skiing in Alaska, or you have a nagging desire for a sidekick who can get what you want when you want it, then Velocity Black, like the ultimate remote control for your life - may be just the ticket.

Now come on, you’re not going to make me eat my hat are you?

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