Loku launches public beta
At the Innotech Beta Summit, Austin tech startup Loku.com was demonstrated to the masses and announced it would be exiting their private beta to launch their public beta, and “the site that reveals what locals care about” is finally open to all. The “big data for local” contextual search engine helps people find news, deals, businesses and events in a hyperlocal area using an algorithm that defines and ranks local content across the web uniquely.
The user interface is gorgeous, easy to scan, and certainly meets their standards of “helping you live a more local life” whether using a browser, smartphone or tablet. It is interesting to compare trends even in different parts of a city. A quick search of 78701 (downtown Austin) was dominated by fitness, music and arts while 78641 (Leander, a suburb north of the city) was mostly civics and education, both of which are accurate results for those areas.
Solving a big problem with the web
One of the major complaints of the web is that it has been inadvertently used to splinter people, but Loku seeks to bring people back together and to live more locally rather than virtually. It is not uncommon for Austin based companies to have a communal ethos and to seek ways to bring community together, as it is part of the culture of the town. They liken the site to asking a local what is happening in an area, what’s good to eat, or where to hang out whereas much of the web leans toward tourist information.
Loku is fantastic not only for residents of the 15 markets it currently serves, but for people looking to relocate and get a feel for a city. It is also a useful tool for those looking to get offline and find local events. Other uses include using it as a blogger resource for inspiration for covering local market information, as well as for simply expanding one’s horizons. The company has already raised $1.25 million between their own seed money and two rounds of angel funding.
Try it out for your area, and if they aren’t in your market yet, try testing zip codes 78704, 78613, 90210 or 10035 to get a variety of results.