CitySocialising raises £260,000 from London Business Angels investment
Female CEO raises investment to fund completion and roll out of V2.0 into additional UK cities
London, 10th March 2009.
CitySocialising (www.citysocialising.com), the social network that enables outgoing professionals to connect offline with new local friends through shared interests in cities around the UK, has raised £260,000 of early stage investment from a syndicate of investors and management led by the London Business Angels network. This investment will fund further growth into new cities, complete the development of a new web platform and initiate marketing.
Launched in London in January 2007, CitySocialising subsequently rolled out sister-networks in regional cities around the UK, including Manchester and Leeds. Although the current site is relatively basic, the business has achieved annualised revenues of £300,000 despite being developed on a shoe-string budget. The site is based on a user subscription model, whereby users can sign up for free to create a profile and try out the site, then can opt to pay a subscription to attend and organise locally-based social activities to meet and socialise in groups with others from the CitySocialising network.
The second version of the site, which will include live city event listings, bespoke event creation tools, much improved social networking functionality and a site redesign, will be launched in May 2009. The site will also imminently launch in further new cities, including Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool and Cardiff.
Sanchita Saha, CEO of CitySocialising commented:
"The long term value of the CitySocialising proposition is underscored by the fact that we have raised this investment despite the global economic crisis. Somewhat uniquely for an internet business, we've been generating revenues from almost the beginning and have therefore been able to expand quickly into additional cities through organic growth.
This investment has come at an excellent time for us. We're in the midst of building our extensively developed version 2 site which is set to launch in May and the funding enables us to acquire additional expertise to our management team, expand our development unit and initiate marketing as, to date, our growth has been purely via word-of-mouth and natural content optimisation. The London Business Angels network was supportive throughout the fundraising process and CitySocialising will hugely benefit from the expertise our investors bring."
Anthony Clarke, Managing Director of London Business Angels commented:
"CitySocialising represented a unique opportunity to our investors; a profitable social networking site with a dynamic entrepreneur who has bootstrapped the company to its current position. With high growth in both members and subscribers and one of the highest retention rates we have ever seen - CitySocialising is providing a service which its members are clearly comfortable paying for despite the economic downturn."