Nearcircles, the app that lets people create private social networks with others who live in their neighborhood, has raised US$1 million in a pre-series round to grow its footprint in Indonesia, where it recently expanded. The funding came from IDN Financials, which is based out of the startup’s home market, Singapore.
Live in 3,200 neighborhoods in the city-state, Mumbai, and Jakarta, Nearcircles has so far connected more than 100,000 people who have created hundreds of thousands of local discussions. The startup is proving to be a crucial way for people to keep track of what’s happening around them, from garage sales to city-wide events and updates about crime.
“The funds will be primarily utilized for team expansion in Indonesia, mainly in Jakarta for a year’s timeframe,” co-founder Suresh Mylavarapu tells Tech in Asia.
The startup is facing several challenges like setting up a team and running to speed in a new city, and marketing the app. Yet in just three weeks since its newest launch, it has signed up 20,000 fresh users across 825 neighborhoods. Those users are even discussing upcoming elections in the app. “Local parties and the election board are creating their official accounts on Nearcircles for sharing updates with Jakarta residents,” says Suresh.
Nearcircles is one of a handful of companies aiming to be Facebook for neighborhoods. In the US, the most popular player in this space is Nextdoor, now a member of the billion-dollar startup club.
The company is looking at several revenue streams, but hasn’t monetized. Instead, it’s focusing on gaining critical mass in its markets.
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