The hunt for a clean, well-lighted place to pee in New York City can be treacherous. But a new app, called Looie, promises to help germophobes avoid Trainspotting toilet nightmares. For $25 a month, it provides users with access to a network of vetted, guaranteed-clean bathrooms in Lower Manhattan.
Launching July 15th, starting with access to seven bathrooms at cafes and restaurants in TriBeCa, Looie’s success will depend on how many New Yorkers are squeamish enough to be willing to pay to pee. Looie’s 27-year-old founder and CEO, Yezin Al-Qaysi, knows it’s a strange business model, but promises his app will provide “amazing,” “heavenly” experiences. “I know. All the sudden you’re bottling up water and you’re selling it. But here, you’re getting a consistent, amazing experience all the time,” Al-Qaysi told International Business Times. “You won’t have to flush with your foot anymore.” An undisclosed angel investor is funding the pee-monetizing venture.
The app’s functionality is simple: Type in your current location and it shows you the closest pristine toilet, which you can reserve, then access via a virtual key when you arrive. The app is currently testing at TriBeCa cafe Mulberry & Vine. Inspired to create the app by his own bathroom-finding struggles while living in the city, Al-Qaysi plans to expand to 40 more facilities by the end of te year, in the Financial District, SoHo and the West Village. Al-Qaysi’s company will clean each bathroom seven to 10 times a day with organic cleaners, and will add baby changing stations.
Finding heaven in a bathroom doesn’t come cheap, though: Users would have to use the app almost once daily to have the price per bathroom trip come out to less than a dollar. It sounds a little like flushing money down the toilet.