Townsquared Raises $5.26M
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Townsquared, a private network platform for local business owners, has raised $5.26 million in new VC funding from August Capital and Floodgate.
Townsquared, the only online community designed to help small businesses connect and share resources with each other, today announced a mobile application for iOS users. Floodgate and August Capital have invested $5.26 Million in the startup which is currently working with thousands of small businesses across the country. Townsquared's mobile application will allow small businesses to share expertise and best practices, receive the latest neighborhood news, organize local promotions and events, and send and receive crime and safety alerts in real-time.
Small businesses play a critical role in the U.S. economy. According to the Small Business Association, they command over $4.7 trillion in annual spending and provide 56% of all net new jobs. They are also the 4th largest economic force in the world. Yet, 50% of all small businesses fail within the first five years (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
'Being a small business owner is one of the hardest jobs on the planet,' said Rohit Prakash, CEO and Co-Founder of Townsquared. 'I grew up in a small business family and I've talked to thousands of people in small businesses. They spend countless hours on everything from inventory to staffing to marketing -- even working the register. They're expected to be an expert on all facets of their business, yet that's impossible. Connecting with other neighborhood business owners that go through the same experiences eliminates isolation and gives them an incredibly valuable resource. Sharing advice, information and efforts, can be the tipping point between success and failure. Facebook is your friends network, Nextdoor is your neighborhood network, Townsquared is the local business network.'
Townsquared key features and capabilities include:
Live Feed - Townsquared members can get on-the-go updates from their business neighbors, stay on top of news, events, and discussions, and quickly contact the community when they have questions or information to share.
Urgent Alerts - Urgent Alerts can be used to immediately reach all members of a Townsquared neighborhood with time-sensitive news such as a shoplifter-at-large, emergency responder actions, local evacuations, major street closures, and suspicious activity. These alerts use push notifications so no one is left unaware. Local beat police have urged businesses to communicate on Townsquared on crime and safety topics in an effort to help prevent crime or apprehend perpetrators.
Member listings - Members have access to a full directory of local businesses, giving them far greater reach than they normally have.
Topic Channels - Townsquared's topic channels allow members to communicate city-wide about specific industries and issues, to organize movements around legislation or simply get answers from other business owners who have successfully addressed problems or opportunities.
Resources - Quick access to the resources section of the Townsquared app allow members to share valuable, evergreen documents that can help their businesses thrive. This can include social media and SEO How-To's, guides to getting permits and licensing, channels for grants and loans, or best practices in store layout and shoplifting prevention.
'As a neighborhood business, it is difficult and overwhelming to find all of the information and resources I need on a daily basis,' said Guillaume Blanchet, General Manager at La Boulangerie in San Francisco. 'When we opened our cafes, we used Townsquared to connect with other small businesses to promote the new location, stay informed on neighborhood crime and safety issues, and network with the neighborhood ahead of our grand opening. Since joining the online community of businesses on Townsquared, I've been able to keep up to date with all of the local activity and information I need to run my cafes productively and successfully.'
The Townsquared mobile app is free and is available for download in the Apple App Store.
Townsquared was founded in 2013 by Rohit Prakash and Nipul Patel, who both came from small business families. Townsquared is the only online community specifically designed to help neighborhood businesses be more successful by connecting them to other businesses and local resources. When businesses join Townsquared, they get access to a vibrant community that works together on crime and safety issues, provides neighborhood updates, and gives them the ability to form partnerships and co-sponsor events, and organize efforts around government initiatives.
Townsquared works with thousands of small businesses across the country and continues to grow and expand into new markets. The company has raised $5.26M in funding from Floodgate and August Capital. The Townsquared community can be found at www.townsquared.com and via the Apple App Store.
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