New Zealand company, CityInsidr, is seeking to raise between $200,000 and $300,000 from the sale of shares to bring its peer-to-peer travel and entertainment recommendation app to market. The regulated offer is being made through AlphaCrowd's equity crowd funding platform.
CityInsidr is a peer-to-peer recommendation app that helps people find the best places to visit, stay, eat and play when they travel by connecting them with like-minded users. When people search for a review on CityInsidr the proprietary algorithm called ‘Kindred Engine’ matches them with people of similar interests and demographics – and presents them with relevant and highly targeted recommendations and advice.
Funds raised will be used for finalising the technology platform, intellectual property protection, marketing, and support for the app’s upcoming launch in New Zealand and Australia.
The offer is an opportunity for investors to gain early exposure to an exciting new business. It has an attractive valuation with the prospect of solid capital returns, all within a standard venture capital investment timeframe of three to five years.
“What sets CityInsidr apart from other rating platforms is that we don’t serve you with meaningless star ratings based on a million anonymous reviews. We show you a select number of quality reviews from people like you,” said Matt Hockly-Holdich, Joint Managing Director and Co-Founder, CityInsidr.
“Every traveller knows that the best and most useful recommendations come from people who think like you, and that no one knows a city like a local.”
To give users more relevant advice, CityInsidr inverts the traditional review model used by TripAdvisor, Yelp and FourSquare, where hotels and restaurants are rated by aggregating the scores of all reviewers. Instead CityInsidr identifies, verifies and rates reviewers, providing results based on the reviewer’s reliability, relevance and fit to the individual user.
CityInsidr offers a transparent loyalty programme that gives reviewers, known as ‘Insidrs’, a range of meaningful financial, experiential and promotional rewards based on the number and quality of recommendations they provide. They can also earn income by providing a peer-to-peer advisory service for tailored, travel focused services such as quick tips, journey or itinerary planning and tours.
“Our business model is built around simplicity and transparency, including seamless integration with Booking.com,” said Matt.
“In addition, we have a very capable and experienced Board and management team.”
CityInsidr’s leadership team includes Jurek Kubiena, previous CIO, Retail Bank, National Australia Bank, Angela Tangas who was part of the team that launched Yelp in Australia, Matthew Cuming, Senior Communications Consultant with Hinton and Associates, and Anthony Nelson, Vice President Strategy, Group Finance IT at Credit Suisse.
AlphaCrowd Managing Director Lasith Weeraratne said, “What’s particularly attractive about CityInsidr as an investment proposition, beyond the compelling business model and high quality leadership team, is the sectors it operates in and the multiple revenue streams it can generate.
“CityInsider gives investors exposure to a number of highly-prized markets: algorithm-based search, social networking, mobile technology and international tourism. What’s more, CityInsidr has developed an ecosystem of income streams which beyond generating revenue also reward and motivate the ‘Insidrs’ providing the reviews and services.”
CityInsidr’s initial focus will be on outbound tourists from New Zealand and Australia, which numbered 10.6 million in 2015. Further international expansion of the platform is planned for the United States and United Kingdom over the medium term.
“We’re very optimistic about the credible opportunity to scale CityInsidr globally once we have established a solid foundation in New Zealand and Australia,” said Matt.
Investments begin at $1,000 for asset class, ordinary shares. The first closing date is 30 June 2016.