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 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 Fifa corruption arrests: Nike reported to be 'multinational sportswear company' at centre of bribery claims over Brazil shirt deal
- 3 Facebook Messenger sends 'creepily' precise location data, as revealed by Marauders Map Chrome extension
- 4 Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths Students' Union diversity officer to keep her job after vote of no confidence petition fails
- 5 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
Hopes raised for treatment of severe amnesia after scientists retrieve lost memory – using light
Playboy model April Summers speaks out about being a victim of a voyeuristic sex crime
Poorest part of London is wealthier than the richest parts of Northern Ireland and Wales
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
How to live to be really old
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...