Latest Investment: Localmind

Happy to be part of a $600k seed round funding Localmind, with the deal led by Granite Ventures, joined by Montreal VC firms Inovia Capital and Real Ventures. The company is moving to San Francisco and looking to shake things up.

Here’s the story from Tech Crunch and from the Localmind blog itself. Ever want to pose a question to someone at a specific location? Localmind gives you the ability to send any question you want to someone that is at a location you are interested in. That person (who is either a Localmind user or one of your Foursquare friends) receives the question to their phone and responds, in real-time. Localmind goes on top of not just Foursquare, but also Gowalla, Facebook Places, etc. to get you that quick answer. I’ll certainly be using it the next three days while I’m in Montreal attending the International Startup Festival.

While there are a lot of sites (like Yelp, Loopt) which try to post evergreen answers to questions like “What’s good on the menu?”, Localmind is the best to ask questions like “What’s the special TODAY?” and other time-sensitive queries.

What do I like about this as an investor? Normally, I like deals that can have an early exit and be totally funded by angels, and I also like deals which are enterprise-oriented. This deal qualifies on neither case. But as I’ve said before, I first look at the team (and this is a great team which has worked together before) and then look at the market. It’s eminently clear that our phones will be doing more and more for us. And a lot of the value of the mobile platform is location-based. Localmind (think Quora meets Foursquare) solves a big need, and I have no doubt that the market will be immense. However, I also realize that when you swing for the really long ball, you need to have access to VC money. This isn’t a play looking for a quick phone app to be acquired; this is more hoping to get in at the ground floor as an API that can work with multiple platforms and become ubiquitous. So having VCs on both coasts can only help. Additionally, the challenge for Localmind will be to grow viral, from hub to hub. That’s a model I don’t mind studying, and you can only learn by getting involved.

I especially want to thank the good folks at Year One Labs for bringing Localmind to Montreal and introducing them to their great team of mentors. We’re keeping our fingers crossed on this one: unlike other companies I normally look at, this one is binary. It’s go big or go home.  Guys, hoping you go BIG!

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