Rummble, the U.K.’s answer to the location-based services craze, has bought Wi-Fi finder Total Hotspots.
It’s largely a talent acquisition: Total Hotspots managing director Alex Housley becomes Rummble’s vice president of business. The two companies partnered earlier this year to bring Total Hotspots’ database of Wi-Fi access points to the Rummble community.
Total Hotspots is the profitable startup behind an iPhone app that tells users where the nearest paid and free hotspots are around the world. Rummble is lowering Total Hotspots’ price in the iPhone app store from £2.99 to £0.59 over Christmas.
London-based Rummble is part of the wave of startups developing location-based social networks through mobile apps. There are others including Foursquare, which has about 150,000 users, and Gowalla, which raised $8.4 million in a second round of financing announced last week.
Housley says Rummble’s unique value is in its hyper-targeted personal recommendations. The app doesn’t give ratings that are the same across the board for all users, like you might see on review site Yelp. Your tastes differ from other people’s preferences, so Rummble studies your likes and dislikes when you check into different places and can suggest places based on what people with a similar profile prefer.
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