Dragon backs rise of social network
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 10 October 2011
A 22-year-old British entrepreneur, backed by Dragons' Den investor Doug Richard, is set to launch a mobile phone-based social network this week and is preparing to raise funds to expand to the US.
Rich Martell, who set up his first site at university, has developed Spottd, which received approval by Apple over the weekend and is now live on the App Store. The service, described as a "location centric app that's all about discovery and sharing the things you love", allows users to find deals, events or services using the GPS in their phones.
He compared Spottd to social news website Digg. "Digg was a place where you could share with anyone when you found good links or articles. This is similar but for real life." Spottd will initially just be available to iPhone users, before the parent company Floxx launches an app for Android, and then possibly BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Mr Martell is heading for the US later this month for more than 20 meetings with US venture capitalists to secure funding of up to $7m (£4.5m) to expand Spottd internationally.
He hit the headlines last year after developing the controversial website FitFinder, which allowed users to share the whereabouts of attractive students, while at University College London. After the site took off – it had 250,000 hits a month after it was set up – the university forced Mr Martell to shut it down, accusing him of bringing the institution into disrepute.
After graduating, he worked in the City, including a stint at Goldman Sachs. He was approached by Mr Richard and Silicon Valley investor Kevin Wall who backed him with about £100,000 to relaunch the site as Floxx earlier this year. "The interest then was creating a location-based social network around mobile apps," Mr Martell said. "We always wanted to allow people to share more things."
The company predicts that it will have 2m users within two years. Currently there is a team of six, but that is expected to expand soon. It has also developed MapChat, an instant messaging service where you can interact with users around you.
- 1 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
- 4 Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
- 5 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
David Haines remembered: Death of British hostage executed by Isis lamented from the Balkans to Sudan
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Jennifer Lawrence to make public appearance after nude photo leaks as Met Gala Ball 2015 co-host
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
iJobs Money & Business
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...