Article originally published as Nextdoor Raises $21.6M to Build Social Network for Neighborhoods on Technorati
Nextdoor, the social network targeting the ‘hyper-local’ market, announced Tuesday that it has raised $21.6 million in it’s latest round of funding. Led by veteran Greylock Partner venture capitalist David Sze, Nextdoor is trying to build the next big social network for neighbors, block-by-block. Currently Nextdoor has more than 8,000 neighborhoods in the U.S., and members are posting over 500,000 messages daily about lost dogs, babysitters, referrals for local dentists, doctors, plumbers, as well as garage sales, civic minded activities and setting up local community watch programs.
“Every social network on Earth pitches me and I say no to nearly every single one of them.” Sze, who was also an early investor in Facebook and LinkedIn, says he thinks Nextdoor, “has all the hallmarks of being the next great massively valued social network.”
Sze told the LA Times that, “Every social network on Earth pitches me and I say no to nearly every single one of them.” Sze, who was also an early investor in Facebook and LinkedIn, says he thinks Nextdoor, “has all the hallmarks of being the next great massively valued social network.”
“I was fortunate enough to be involved in the early growth years at both LinkedIn and Facebook and have seen how the seemingly simple act of connecting people can lead to major change in the world and create seminal independent companies,” said Sze. “Nextdoor is uniquely positioned to become the social network for your neighborhood and Greylock is honored to lead this round of funding at such a pivotal time for the company.”
Users are required to provide a real name and address to sign-up, and information is only visible to others in the neighborhood. Once signed-up, whether starting a new neighborhood, or responding to an invite by someone you know in your existing neighborhood, users can then see block-by-block, who is on the service. Clicking on a specific residence will bring up information about who lives there, along with other information that is self-disclosed.
Nirav Tolia, who co-founded Nextdoor back in 2010, told Bloomberg News that the company isn’t trying to make money yet because it’s focused on attracting more users. Research from Borrell Associates estimates the market for local online advertising is poised to reach $96 billion this year. But in order to advertise locally online, you have to create the audience first, which sounds like what Nextdoor is rightly focused on at the moment.
“Where you live and who lives around you is an essential part of your life. Yet there is no easy way to keep track of everything that happens in your local community, and it’s even more difficult to stay connected to the people in your local community,” Tolia said. “Nextdoor can change all that. Nextdoor can be the service that connects you to everyone and everything that matters around where you live.”
Along with the funding information, the company also released Nextdoor 2.0, a complete upgrade of their user interface, taking into account the feedback they received from users of the service. Improvements include increased focus on crime and safety, adding a dedicated section for urgent alerts, as well as the ability for police and fire to share updates directly with members, and a ‘nearby neighborhood’ feature allowing members to share information with surrounding neighborhoods.
People can learn more by visiting Nextdoor.com, where users can sign up to become part of an existing neighborhood already in the system, or create a page for a new neighborhood.