Localmind is a Montreal-born startup whose core product is a mobile app that "instantly connects you to local experts and what's happening on the ground anywhere in the world right now." Today it launched version 2.0 of its app.
Year One Labs invested in Localmind back in 2010, when it was incubating. It later went on to raise an additional $600,000 in a funding round led by Granite Ventures, with Real Ventures, iNovia Capital, Ian Sobieski, Peter Bordes, Ty Danco, Zach Aarons, and Ash Jhaveri also participating. And last year, tech startup expert Robert Scoble called it the best app at SXSW. Following up this informal accolade was a formal one: Localmind won Investor's Choice Award at the Locations & Beyond Summit 2011 in San Francisco in November.
"Localmind connects you with the best person to help with your specific need—whether it's discovering things to do in a city you're planning to visit or finding out what's happening now at a trendy night spot just down the street," said Lenny Rachitsky, co-founder and CEO of Localmind. "We're very excited about this new release. Now users can finally tap into an exceptional pool of unlimited expertise beyond their friend networks and actively learn about places and events from people who've experienced them firsthand."
The Localmind expertise network is built on an active knowledgebase that comes from "going places" and "doing things" rather than simply declaring "likes" or "interests." The company's sophisticated suite of algorithms enables the app to learn about which places and topics users are most knowledgeable and tracks their reputation in the community. An expert system recognizes people for the knowledge they bring to the network, giving them more incentive to answer questions and deepen the collective knowledgebase.
"We got behind Localmind last year because, unlike some apps, it offers real utility in a space poised for exponential growth," said Eric Zimits, lead investor from Granite Ventures in San Francisco. "Localmind is more of a tool than a game, but still provides an element of fun by connecting people to whatever they want to know about a place from experts that actually know what they are talking about. The company is well positioned to capture a share of the market for mobile app downloads, which IDC predicts will reach 183 billion by 2015."
"Localmind is at the epicenter of the social-local-mobile convergence," said Greg Sterling, senior analyst at Opus Research. "And Localmind 2.0 makes solid progress toward realizing the great potential of local Q&A and social search."