reetlife.com Announces £600,000 Funding and Ambitious Growth Plans
British startup secures funding to launch across new counties and help neighbours across the nation connect, share, and build stronger local communities.
LONDON, July 31, 2013-- streetlife.com, the local social network, is pleased to announce it has secured £600,000 investment, with a mandate to raise a further £3 million before the end of 2013. The funding comes from existing shareholders including Archant Digital Ventures, and new financial investors Shohet & Cie S.A.
The local social network provides a platform for people to connect and share with their neighbours and to foster stronger communities. The funding will be used to launch the service in new areas of the UK, introducing the brand on a county-by-county basis using a tried and tested model to drive user numbers and build thriving online communities.
In a 2011 survey with YouGov, streetlife.com reported that 51% of people described the sense of community in their area as weak or non-existent. An encouraging 44% said they’d like to become more involved in their local community, but cited a lack of time and knowledge about where to find local people and opportunities as barriers.
streetlife.com has addressed this obstacle by providing an easy way for residents, community groups, local authorities and businesses to exchange practical information, advice, opinions and resources. Approaching 100,000 users in more than 500 communities currently use the site to share recommendations, organise social groups and discuss public services, with 81% of users reporting that they feel more connected to their local community since joining streetlife.com.
The success and rapid growth of the local social network has attracted a number of prominent financial backers including Paul Ettinger, one of the founding team behind Caffè Nero, Steve Pankhurst, founder of Friends Reunited, and Gi Fernando and Ankur Shah, co-founders of Techlightenment.
The latest round of £600,000 funding comes from international financial investors Shohet & Cie S.A. and existing shareholders including Archant Digital Ventures, digital incubator arm of Archant, one of the UK’s largest independently-owned regional community media businesses, with whom streetlife.com formed a partnership in 2012.
Serge Taborin, Managing Director of Archant Digital Ventures, comments: “Local media has played a key role in informing and engaging communities for decades. Digital platforms have opened up new opportunities to extend those relationships beyond editorial content, and Archant’s investment in streetlife.com is a prime example of that strategy. We are delighted with the extraordinary rise of the platform, which now provides a rich source of highly relevant local stories for our journalists, and we strongly believe that this latest round of investment will enable streetlife.com to accelerate its growth nationally.”
streetlife.com is preparing launch campaigns in several new counties from September, with a further £3 million funding expected later this year to enable the organisation to fully capture the UK market.
Matt Boyes, Founder and CEO of streetlife.com, says: “Social networking has a key role to play in bringing local people together to talk about the issues they care about and make a positive difference where they live. We’ve shown that online interaction can facilitate real-world meetings, encourage people to become more involved locally, and enhance their sense of belonging. It’s a very exciting time for streetlife.com; this funding will enable us to bring the benefits of local social networking to new communities across the nation.”
streetlife.com, the local social network, has a simple aim: to help people across Britain make the most of where they live by connecting with nearby residents, groups, organisations and businesses.
The streetlife.com team believes that better connected neighbours build stronger communities, and that digital media has a key role to play in bringing together people with busy routines or reduced mobility, to discuss and improve the local issues they care about.
Main uses of the site include:
• discussing nearby news, crime, planning proposals and public services
• finding locals with common interests, organising and attending social groups and events
• sharing skills and belonging with neighbours, from hedge-trimmers to spreadsheet skills
• recommending and discovering local businesses and tradespeople
• promoting, campaigning and volunteering for community projects and local causes
streetlife.com is a privately funded limited company headquartered in Covent Garden, London. Following a successful pilot in the London Borough of Wandsworth, streetlife.com is now available nationwide.
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