Social events startup Lifecrowd has raised $5 million in its first round of funding, with a goal to expand its evolving marketplace that connects like-minded users connect at nearby events, the company announced Thursday.
The service has come a long way since it debuted at DEMO Fall 2011 conference. In its build up from beta to its first round, the company has clearly defined its purpose. Unlike Meetup, which lets anyone create groups centered around one focus, Lifecrowd offers all kinds of singular events. It’s also different in that users create the events, but Lifecrowd’s team curates the listings to ensure only the best show up.
Lifecrowd’s first round of funding was led by Chicago-based Lightbank, with participation from Bullpen Capital, Baroda Ventures, and Prism VentureWorks. And recently, the company became the first startup to emerge from the relatively new Los Angeles accelerator MuckerLab.
“This powerful group of experienced tech investors brings an incredible collective expertise in localized online commerce to the table, as well as deep experience in marketplace development, scaling up on a domestic and international level, and a thorough understanding of what today’s consumers want,” Lifecrowd CEO Bong Koh said, in a statement. “This combined knowledge and broad network reach will be a tremendous asset as we expand Lifecrowd into new markets and build new platforms and products that help our users enrich their lives and discover new, fun activities.”
Lightbank Partner Paul Lee seems especially enthusiastic about Lifecrowd’s potential growth due the hot social activities space enabled by social networking and the Web.
“We see a tremendous market opportunity for Lifecrowd’s approach to catapult it to the head of the pack,” Lee said, in a statement. “Bong and his team have created a service that resonates with people, that solves the problem of finding fun things to do in your area with an online marketplace of activities that perfectly blends the online and offline components of social networking.”
Lifecrowd is currently live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, and San Diego. The site lists 10 cities where the service intends to launch next, including New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Austin.
Lifecrowd screenshot: Lifecrowd homepage