Community-based social network gets angel funding from Nadir Godrej

Delhi-based LocalCircles India Pvt Ltd, which runs a community-based social network, has landed an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Nadir Godrej, managing director of Godrej Industries, in his personal capacity.

The firm is now also looking to raise another $2 million in funding from both individual investors and seed funds, a top company executive told Techcircle. Sachin Taparia, chairman and managing director of LocalCircles, said he expects to wrap up the funding exercise in another couple of months.

The news of funding from Nadir Godrej was first reported by The Economic Times. Godrej has also come in as an advisory board member of LocalCircles. Apart from Godrej, R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, is also the member of the advisory board of the company.

LocalCircles is the brainchild of Mukesh Gupta, its president and CEO, and Taparia, who started the company in 2012.The online platform enables people to connect with local communities such as neighbours, colleagues, parents/teachers, nearby friends and family and other locals sharing common interests. The portal also helps people seek assistance from their local communities in cases like fire, medical emergency and women’s safety issues.

The portal is currently on an invite-only mode. Also, the company is not planning to generate revenue for one year.

“The money that we will raise will largely be used in strengthening the credibility of the portal and advertisements,” said Taparia.

To strengthen the credibility and security, the startup is initiating a ‘reach out programme’ which involves sending physical invitations to join the network. The invitation contains a unique code to signup and also ensures that a resident of one colony within a city only joins the neighbourhood network.

The portal was launched early this month. In couple of weeks, the portal claims to have around 2,000 users and 25-30 communities. “We are aiming to mark 150,000 users by September 30, 2013,” said Taparia.

He also added that the company is planning to replicate the model in other eight cities of India after six months. “For six months, we are only going to focus on Delhi and NCR,” said Taparia.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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