November 27, 2015
Townsquared made two big announcements earlier this month. They announced a $5.26M funding round from August Capital and Floodgate, and also the launch of their mobile app for small businesses.
Based in San Francisco, Townsquared is an online community for small business owners to help them leverage their connective power by share resources, expertise, neighborhood news, and crime alerts with each other.
“Being a small business owner is one of the hardest jobs on the planet,” said Rohit Prakash, CEO and Co-Founder of Townsquared in a statement. “I grew up in a small business family and I’ve talked to thousands of people in small businesses. They spend countless hours on everything from inventory to staffing to marketing–even working the register. They’re expected to be an expert on all facets of their business, yet that’s impossible. Connecting with other neighborhood business owners that go through the same experiences eliminates isolation and gives them an incredibly valuable resource. Sharing advice, information and efforts, can be the tipping point between success and failure. Facebook is your friends network, Nextdoor is your neighborhood network, Townsquared is the local business network.”
According to the Small Business Association, small businesses account for the 4th largest economic force in the world. They command over $4.7 trillion in annual spending and provide 56 percent of all net new jobs. Still, 50 percent fail within the first five years. Townsquared is trying to decrease that rate by making it easier for small business owners to be connected to the resources they need to thrive.
If you’re a small business owner or know someone who is (which should cover just about everyone), here are some of the features Townsquared offers:
- Live Feed – Members can get on-the-go updates from their business neighbors and stay on top of news, events, and discussions
- Urgent Alerts – These can be used to immediately reach all members, by a push notification, of a Townsquared neighborhood with time-sensitive news such as a shoplifter-at-large, emergency responder actions, local evacuations, major street closures, and suspicious activity.
- Member listings – Members have access to a full directory of local businesses, who they can connect with personally.
- Topic Channels – Townsquared’s topic channels act as a forum to communicate about specific industries and issues, to organize movements around legislation, or simply get answers from other business owners who have been there, done that.
- Resources – Allows members to share valuable, evergreen documents that can help their businesses thrive. This can include social media and SEO How-To’s, guides to getting permits and licensing, channels for grants and loans, or best practices in store layout and shoplifting prevention.
Townsquared was founded in 2013 by Rohit Prakash and Nipul Patel, both of whom grew up in small business families. They worked together to create a product that they wish was around when their parents were getting started.
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