The Story This week’s winning campaign is a community software developer from UK equity platform Crowdcube.
LocaFizz is an innovative community software solution that is hoping to lead a digital revolution across UK towns and cities. Its publishing tools allow local people to meet a variety of local needs in one, centralized, vibrant online community. The technology is white-labeled to local editors or journalists – and local people can then publish content within the online hub. According to LocaFizz: “Thirty different customer segments have been researched and catered for to give the richest possible user experience.”
In April of this year LocaFizz’s UK platform TownFizz was awarded £800k as part of a competition run by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and Nesta. Now it’s seeking a further £800,000 via the Crowdcube platform. Nesta’s research suggests that the UK hyperlocal advertising market is worth up to £2.6bn a year.
Communities have always existed both in reality and in the virtual domain of the internet. But they have almost always run in parallel – with convergence between the two rarely being achieved on the sort of scale that should theoretically be possible. This week’s selected crowdfunding project, locaFizz, claims to be the solution.
While the technology for creating convergent communities has been available since the dawn of the net, the advent and more regular use of geo-tagging and geo-locational technologies along with deeper levels of meta-data makes LocaFizz’s task easier to achieve. When you consider the data collected about you by the big online players it is not a big leap to see how they know where you are and what you do a lot of the time. LocaFizz is creating a platform to leverage this information and create a ‘hyperlocal’ online tool – which if built correctly could create the online/offline convergence that would simplify how you interact with your local communities.
However, they are not the first to think like this. Facebook and Google are both huge movers in this space and rely on knowing your tastes and location to generate revenue through pertinent advertising. And then there are the open platforms such as GumTree and Craigslist that provide community classifieds based on the users location. And not to forget FourSquare, a social network that revolves entirely around location. There really are a myriad of platforms out there working with these ideas, but if Locafizz can successfully merge all of the best functionality from these various platforms into one useable tool, as well as claiming enough of the market share to help it achieve a critical mass to make the tool truly comprehensive and therefore useable, then they could be the next web platform to go the distance and become a true industry player.
Amount raised so far: £3,050
Equity offered: 30%
Days left: 59 days (extended)
Tax relief: EIS Pending