AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Localeur, the buzzworthy travel startup based in Austin, continues to grow at a fast pace since launching at South by Southwest Interactive this March. Today, the innovative young company has announced its plan to unveil its first native iPhone app during the PhocusWright Conference's startup workshop between Nov. 19-21 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Localeur said it also plans to add Los Angeles, its fifth city overall, to its community in advance of the conference.
"PhocusWright is the perfect place for us to showcase our first native iPhone app, and to share our unique point of view on the industry that the future of travel is local," said Joah Spearman, the startup's co-founder and CEO. "When Millennials are traveling to cities like Austin or L.A., we don't want to do what tourists do; we want to go where locals go. Localeur makes that possible."
Localeur helps Millennial travelers experience local by providing credible local recommendations from a curated community of local insiders who know various aspects of the city from where to eat and drink to places they consider overrated or tourist traps. Localeur's web-based app was named one of the favorites at SXSW by Digital Trends just days after its launch and, in June, Localeur was named one of Austin's top innovative startups by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and SXSW Interactive.
Unlike many travel startups launching apps, Localeur's native iPhone app won't be plagued by lack of relevant content. Localeur received a major stamp of approval and validated traction earlier this year when it was able to strike a partnership with Google just three months after launching. With the launch of its native iPhone app, Localeur says it will now retain exclusive rights to all of its content.
"Many of our competitors haven't truly invested in their communities and their content to provide authentic, lasting value to Millennial travelers," said co-founder Chase White, who leads product design and development for the startup. "Localeur's native iPhone app will enhance our product experience in very powerful ways, tying in new social and geo-location functionality to create the single-most valuable mobile resource for a Millennial traveler."
PhocusWright is an influential travel event each year, showcasing interviews, presentations and talks with leaders from the who's who of the travel industry ranging from Expedia and TripAdvisor to Internet giants such as Facebook and Google. Senior executives from these and other key travel-focused companies attend the conference annually to learn about new startups that could become the next successful company in the space, perhaps following in the footsteps of recent success stories in travel like AirBnB and HotelTonight.
One of the driving forces in Localeur's traction is its impressive community of locals spanning across its four initial markets: Austin, Houston, New York City and San Francisco. Its network already includes community managers for companies such as EventBrite and car-sharing startup Sidecar along with contributors to popular sites and media publications such as Vice and PopSugar.
Localeur has also built a diverse roster of angel investors, including Central Texas Angel Network member Chris Shonk, Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka founder Clayton Christopher, prominent New York-based, globe-trotting DJ Mick, and Travis Devitt, a hedge fund specialist who has led public market investments in TripAdvisor and Expedia. The company has also secured investments from current and former executives for notable companies ranging from biotech giant Amgen to FedEx and Goldman Sachs. Heather Brunner, the former chief operating officer of Bazaarvoice and newly appointed CEO of Austin-based startup WP Engine, is the startup's newest angel investor.
"I had the privilege of hiring Joah at Bazaarvoice as the director of operations and watched him lead travel market strategy there. With Localeur, he continues to demonstrate a keen understanding of travel space," said Brunner. "Localeur's product design and style of content clearly demonstrate Joah and Chase can connect with the Millennial audience. I'm very impressed Localeur has had such strong traction in well under a year's time without VC funding."
Today, site visitors can go to www.localeur.com on both desktops and mobile devices to explore local recommendations in Austin, Houston (launched in June), San Francisco (launched in August) and New York City (launched in September). The startup will launch Los Angeles content in advance of PhocusWright and says it plans to double its reach in major cities over the next six months.
Spearman previously co-founded the style portion of SXSW and advised companies like ESPN X Games and FedEx on experiential and social media marketing. Prior to working at Bazaarvoice, White worked in brand management and taught social media and web entrepreneurship through Duke University's Talent Identification Program.
Localeur is a curated community of local insiders who want to help travelers experience local. 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