Will Scully-Power

Local Business Data Provider Locu Raises Seed Round
September 7, 2011, 7:24 pm
Filed under: #mktgcloud, Data, Datarati | Tags: ,

Locu, a data-focused startup founded by MIT graduates and computer science researchers, is closing a seed round of over $600,000 from East and West coast investors, including Factual founder Gil Elbaz, Google’s Bruno Bowden, Cloudera founder Jeff Hammerbacher, Hubspot’sDharmesh Shah, Twitter VP of Engineering Michael Abbott, Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollumMIT’s Ed RobertsJean HammondMatt Ocko and Mitch Roberts. Early stage investment fund Quotidian Ventures is also involved.

Locu plans to create the world’s largest real-time, structured repository of small business offerings data, such as restaurant menus, with the goal of helping better local search.

The seed round was for $623,000, to be exact. 60% came from East Coast investors (Boston, New York) with 40% from West Coast investors (San Francisco, Los Angeles). There were also a couple of other Boston-area investors involved and one other early stage fund, who did not want their name disclosed.

The startup’s founding team includes Rene ReinsbergMarek Olszewski,Stelios Sidiroglou-Douskos and Marc Piette, and is advised by Sep Kamvar, Professor of Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford. The founders’ backgrounds include an impressive array of experience with Google, Cisco, IBM, Bloomberg, VMWare, Microsoft, Sun, McKinsey and Morgan Stanley.

The founding members originally came together at MIT, where they won last year’s MIT Linked Data Ventures competition, supervised by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Since then, Locu has grown its engineering team, but is still actively looking to hire more people over the next few months.

The first product from Locu is the soon-to-launch MenuPlatform.com, which is designed to be a simple way for restaurant owners to keep their menu system up-to-date. The platform will include features like automatic import from any file format, integration with Facebook and other sites across the Web, a mobile application for on-the-fly, real-time editing, and, most importantly, fast and easy updating.

More: http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/07/local-business-data-provider-locu-raises-seed-round


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