neighborhood-centric directory of local businesses has got about $1 million in venture funding; almost 400 advertisers paying roughly $600 a year, mostly for “deluxe” business profiles; and an 88 percent renewal rate.
They seem to be getting some traction, and they’re going places…
In mid-October, CitySquares is going to re-launch using new neighborhood slicing-and-dicing capabilities from Urban Mapping and Localeze, all based on an open-source Drupal platform. The site is also confidently planning to expand beyond Boston, with another northeast city set for Q2 2008, and a third one for Q3.
Co-Founder Ben Saren says the site’s re-do reflects a key truism: hyperlocal is about neighborhoods, but the reality is that neighborhoods are often “in-between” other neighborhoods. The new version of the site is going to present searchers with the five closest neighborhoods, as well as proximity options. “They can be five miles or ten blocks,” he says. That’s the Localeze part of it.
They’ll also identify neighborhoods within neighborhoods, such as Observatory Hill, which is a section of Cambridge. That’s the Urban Mapping part of it. The ability to sell across neighborhoods will help sell ads for the many small businesses “in between.”