Validated, a New App, Gets You Around the City for Free

By Jake Laycock


November 21, 2016

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Like many Seattleites, Tov Arneson enjoys the growing riches of restaurants and shops the city offers. But he found that the cost of getting to these spots—in parking fees or via a rideshare service—was becoming a challenge. That’s when he and his friend Ian Lyman came up with an idea: Why not let businesses buy rides—or parking—for their customers? That idea morphed into Validated, an app Arneson and Lyman launched last year that allows a business to cover a portion of a customer’s transportation or parking costs, as long as users meet the retailer’s minimum spending requirements. “Our goal is to help cities work better,” says Arneson, CEO of the Seattle-based startup.

“As consumers, we’re frustrated with how much it costs to get around; as business owners, we know firsthand how getting around is an obstacle to our bottom line,” says Arneson.

App users can shop at Validated merchants, such as Arc’Teryx (downtown) and Pandora jewelry (Westlake Center), using their smartphone to scan a code from the store receipt that gives credits toward ride services Lyft and ReachNow or toward PayByPhone, a parking-meter service that lets drivers use an app to remotely pay for parking. Users can also transfer credits to their debit or credit card.

The amount customers must spend to get credit varies from business to business. Sullivan’s Steakhouse (downtown) and clothing store Ian (Belltown) credit customers $7 for every $100 they spend; Loulay restaurant (downtown) credits shoppers $2 for any amount spent.

More than 12,000 people had downloaded the app (available on both iOS and Android) at press time, and that number is bound to grow. Validated currently is working with more than 80 businesses in Seattle and Portland, with plans to expand to San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

Taylor Swift/YouTube

New auditorium, better BMX track and a greener Seattle

Casket Case Bellevue company’s product featured in Taylor Swift video Social media absolutely lost it after a casket manufactured by Bellevue-based Titan Casket was featured in American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s recent “Anti-Hero” music video. Tweets and Instagram posts from Swift’s fans about the casket have generated tens of thousands of likes and retweets, resulting in…

Act Theater: History of Theatre group shot-cropped

Seattle Celebrates Black History Month

A guide to events happening throughout the city in February

From the Northwest African American Museum to the Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle residents have an abundance of opportunities to celebrate the achievements of African Americans in February during Black History Month. The annual celebration began in the United States in 1976. Countries around the world also celebrate the month. Here’s a guide to events…

Photography by Tyree Harris

Book Excerpt: Marmots May Be Running Out of Time

New book explores endangered species in Pacific Northwest

In her debut as a book author, Josephine Woolington turns back the clock to examine events that have shaped Pacific Northwest wildlife in an effort to provide a deeper sense of place for those who call this unique and beautiful region home. Where We Call Home: Lands, Seas, and Skies of the Pacific Northwest sheds…

Illustration by Arthur Mount

Seattle Artifacts: The Mystery of Chief Seattle’s Death Mask

Is it real? Where did it come from?

In different parts of the world, and throughout the course of history, death has been memorialized in a variety of different ways. One of the more intriguing was death masks. Typically, a wax or plaster cast was made of a deceased person’s face, which then served as a model for sculptors when creating statues and busts.  …

Photography by Sage Chen

The Art of Weathering Winter: Foraging, Bathing, and Gold Dust

Two Seattle Chefs on the Soothing Hobbies that Get Them through the Winter

Though I’ve lived in Seattle nearly my entire life, the early winter sunsets, which fall like a set of blackout curtains over the world, never fail to feel like a curse. This year, though, I wanted to challenge myself to find a better way to get through it. Could it be an opportunity to surrender…

DSC_5132 copy 2 hero-min

Hip-Hop Healing in Seattle

Rapper Carter Costello’s house is more than just a venue for artists

The last time I was at Seattle rapper Carter Costello’s house was under the cloak of night. I had been invited to an art and music show — featuring Seattle photographer and artist Baby Claypool, a duo of fire dancers, rapper Nobi and Costello — by local photographer James Gerde. Once I set foot on…