Twenty Something London, a popular online platform that showcases the independent businesses of London, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube to raise £160,000 to revamp and expand its popular website. Those who help fund the project will receive 7.40% in equity.
The platform’s key mission is to bring every major city’s independents to the fingertips of locals and tourists, where and when they need them. It has been featured in the Startup100 along with UK media outlets such as The Evening Standard and Metro. The company has noted two gaps in the market that continuing to plague not only London, but also other cities throughout the world:
- It’s difficult for people, both locals and tourists, to sift through the saturation of chains and brand names to find the independent places that bring a city to life
- Independent businesses lack an affordable, effective way to market their business online.
Describing future plans, the Twenty Something London team noted, “The new TSL platform, to be launched in March 2015, will let users post their favourite places and latest discoveries to be curated by the TSL Team. Users will socially interact in the context of their city, liking, listing and sharing places, following each other to see what places and events are trending amongst friends, and organizing get-togethers with only a few taps of an app.”
“Once a bar/restaurant/event has been posted, the business owner will be able to claim ownership of the page, update listings, run campaigns and boost their page to top of search, homepage placement and social media channels from their own access point on the site, without having to worry about CTRs or binding contracts.”
“By shifting our focus from the user’s need to their experience, building intrinsic incentives to drive user contributions, and collapsing all barriers in the purchase journey, we aim to elevate the expectations of ‘recommendations platforms’ as they stand and change the way people perceive and interact with cities. We will hone this model in London, and then take it worldwide.”
Also revealing market information, the team noted, “According to a report by Nesta, small consumer facing businesses in the UK are currently spending £731 million on online advertising each year (an average of £1,631 per business), projected to rise to over £1.04 billion per year over the next five years. Of this total expenditure, around £23 million is spent on advertising on hyperlocal websites, such as TSL.”
“Further growth in the hyperlocal sector will be stimulated by small businesses overcoming their understandable aversion to experimenting with online advertising, and according to the report, ‘businesses that are situated in the community are more likely to be seen as a ‘trusted guide’ and may thus have a role to play in stimulating this activity.’ We believe this bodes well for TSL as it reflects our model and positioning.”
In regards to any competitors, The team shared that its research suggested the landscape of recommendation platforms in London and globally is extensive, ranging from established websites such as Timeout and TripAdvisors to smaller, niche market seekers and city-specific blogs.
Set to close on December 3rd, Twenty Something London has already raised nearly £76,000.
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