AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Localeur today announced it plans to expand into New York City next month in advance of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. New York City represents the startup's fourth city in six months after launching Austin before South by Southwest, launching Houston before Free Press Music Fest and, most recently, launching San Francisco before Outside Lands Music and Arts Fest. The company plans to release a native iPhone app and double its city count in the coming months.
"With Austin, Houston and San Francisco, we have some of the nation's largest cities in our community, and New York City is one of the world's top destinations," said co-founder and CEO Joah Spearman. "From fashion bloggers and designers to entrepreneurs and foodies, we'll have locals of all types contributing to make sure Localeur shares the best of New York, allowing Millennial travelers to experience local."
Localeur has grown rapidly and attracted substantial buzz since being founded early in 2013 by Spearman and Chase White, the company's co-founder and president. The two met while working at Bazaarvoice, and realized a curated community sharing recommendations from locals would better serve travelers than review-driven sites.
New York residents slotted to contribute include Jace Lipstein, founder of popular lifestyle site Grungy Gentleman, Susan Morgan, of influential brand agency Team Epiphany, Whitney Pozgay, designer of women's wear brand WHIT, Luke McCann, a Brooklyn-based fashion designer and electronic music promoter, and Dre Hayes, co-founder of The Foundation, who is also an investor in Localeur among dozens of others.
"From the moment I first heard the concept from Chase and Joah to my recent travels to Europe, I've realized this is a product I absolutely need when I travel," said Hayes. "I continue to believe more and more in Localeur because this is a resource everyone wants when they visit new places."
After being named one of the top mobile apps of SXSW by Digital Trends, Localeur has continued to gain traction, launching Houston in late May before being named one of the top innovative startups in Austin by its Chamber of Commerce and SXSW Interactive in June.
"There aren't many startups in Austin, consumer or software, that have gained traction as quickly as Localeur," said Travis Devitt, an early investor in the company who has led public market investments in companies like Expedia and TripAdvisor. "I'm confident they will be a major player in both the travel and local industries which have recently produced some very successful publicly-traded companies in TripAdvisor and Yelp."
After being approached by Google in the spring, Localeur partnered with the tech giant to provide its local-savvy content to its popular Field Trip app alongside companies like Thrillist, Zagat and Eater.
"When I met Joah and Chase, I was immediately impressed with their strategy on how take on this massive space where so many others have failed," said Chris Shonk, the company's first angel investor and member of Central Texas Angel Network. "Not many startups can get this kind of momentum with under half a million dollars raised, so I'm even more excited about Localeur's future as they close an even more significant round of funding."
The local music discovery program will be fully introduced this fall and will help local musicians take their careers to the next level by tapping into Localeur's community of influencers in major cities. Brooklyn-based R&B duo denetia and sene and Austin-based rock duo The Wind + The Wave are the first two acts to be featured in the program with more acts from Localeur cities to come.
"We are really excited to work with Localeur, and have our music shared with their community of music tastemakers in cities like Austin and San Francisco," said denetia and sene. You can learn more about denetia and sene at http://www.denitiaandsene.com/.
"Our music is extremely important to us so Localeur's focus on authenticity is a perfect fit for what we're doing as musicians," said The Wind + The Wave. You can learn more about The Wind + The Wave at http://thewindandthewave.com/.
Localeur investors Terry Lickona, executive producer of Austin City Limits and producer of The Grammys program, and Mick Batsyke, known prominently as MICK, will advise Localeur on its music program with industry influencers such as Carter Adams, formerly of The Windish Agency who has worked with acts such as Theophilus London and Odd Future, and Lizzy Newton, who books talent for the South by Southwest Music Festival, will also advise the initiative.
Localeur believes its music program will help discover and launch successful careers for local musicians through a unique mix of awareness, influencer outreach and live music performances.
"From what we've already seen from Localeur in just six months, it's clear they have a great sense of local discovery and taste," said Batskye, formerly known as Mick Boogie. "Tech startups have advisers, but musicians seldom have that type of support, which I believe Localeur is in position to do for these emerging musicians."
Localeur is a curated community of local insiders who help travelers experience local by sharing recommendations on their favorite places to eat, drink and hang out. If it's not local, it's not on Localeur. www.localeur.com Follow Localeur on Twitter and Instagram @Localeur and at www.Facebook.com/Localeur