SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Social activities discovery site Lifecrowd today announced it has secured $5 million in initial funding to expand its online marketplace that helps users discover and participate in fun activities in their area, connect with friends and meet new people.
Lightbank, the Chicago based investment fund focused on early-stage technology companies, is leading the investment and will take a seat on the Lifecrowd board of directors. Others participants include Bullpen Capital founded by Paul Martino (seed investor in social gaming pioneer Zynga), Baroda Ventures (seed investor in Fab.com) and Prism VentureWorks (seed investor in The Receivables Exchange). Lifecrowd received additional backing from MuckerLab, where it became the first start-up to emerge from the Santa Monica based accelerator program just last month.
"This powerful group of experienced tech investors brings an incredible collective expertise in localized online commerce to the table, as well as deep experience in marketplace development, scaling up on a domestic and international level, and a thorough understanding of what today's consumers want," said Lifecrowd CEO Bong Koh. "This combined knowledge and broad network reach will be a tremendous asset as we expand Lifecrowd into new markets and build new platforms and products that help our users enrich their lives and discover new, fun activities."
An online marketplace for social activities, Lifecrowd fuses online social networking with offline activities by providing a platform for users to discover and participate in casual group activities going on in their area—from wine tastings to dodge ball games. At Lifecrowd, users can browse a curated selection of outings, events and host-led sessions, view photos and read user reviews about activities going on in their area, including volunteer opportunities. Users can sign up for activities directly through Lifecrowd and even reserve/pre-purchase spots for paid activities. The site uses social filtering via Facebook and personalization methods to recommend fun activities aligned with users' interests.
"The social activities space is really heating up and we see a tremendous market opportunity for Lifecrowd's approach to catapult it to the head of the pack," said Paul Lee, Partner at Lightbank. "Bong and his team have created a service that resonates with people, that solves the problem of finding fun things to do in your area with an online marketplace of activities that perfectly blends the online and offline components of social networking."
Lifecrowd emphasizes casual settings with a typical group size of 8 to 10 people—big enough to socialize without being overwhelming. All activities are created by users, called "Hosts," and with Lifecrowd, anyone can be a host, not just a business or merchant. The site also lists a variety of volunteer opportunities, perfect for individuals who want to participate in community service, but don't know what's available, where to go or how to get started.
To begin exploring new adventures today, register now at Lifecrowd.com.
Lifecrowd is a marketplace for social activities connecting people, interests and culture. Lifecrowd inspires its online community to experience life offline by providing a platform for both discovering and hosting local activities. By integrating individual social graphs, user reviews, and personalized recommendations, Lifecrowd lets users super-charge their social calendar. Lifecrowd currently is live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego. The company is based in Santa Monica and its team, investors and advisors have helped build pioneering web companies including Groupon, Zynga, Fab.com, Zocdoc, MySpace, Videoegg, Blackboard, Aggregate Knowledge, Lowermybills, and Yahoo.