Just received this news from my friend Ben Saren. His company, Citysquares.com, just raised its series A funding round from eCoast Angel Network. The amount was not disclosed. Up until now, the site was self-funded. The company will use this investment to expand its sales and marketing operations and improve the user experience on its website. CitySquares.com is a Boston-area hyperlocal web site.
Ben sent me this article providing more details about the deal and CitySquares itself:
Ben Saren founded Citysquares with partner Bob Leland with the intention of providing neighborhoods in the Boston area with a meeting place on the web — each designed around the qualities that make that neighborhood unique. In 2005 the pair launched sites for seven neighborhoods in Somerville and Cambridge; the company now covers 25 separate communities from South Boston to Allston/Brighton.
While Saren would not disclose specific traffic numbers for the various sites included in Citysquares, he said the following has been loyal, and the five-person company has experienced traffic growth climbing at what he describes as a better-than 45 degree angle over the past year. Forty percent of the site’s traffic is new, while 60 percent comes from repeat traffic, he added. Revenue, from businesses advertising on the sites, was under $1 million in 2006.
What it means: Congrats on the funding Ben! I am a strong believer in hyperlocal sites and content. It takes a lot of efforts to get them off the ground and it’s difficult to get to critical mass but, if you’re successful, you become deeply ingrained within your community.