Mobile start-up Aloqa announced that it has raised $1.5 million from angel investors and Wellington Partners. The company sits at the growing three-way intersection of mobile, local and social. Specifically, it alerts users to interesting events, locations or people in proximity, when those things match preset preferences defined by a series of “channels” within the app (i.e., “notify me when I’m within 3 blocks of a Facebook friend”).
Presumably, for this to work, a great deal of data will need to be aggregated, and location aware applications (i.e., Aloqa-Facebook channel) will need to be more saturated. Without the former, there is no content and without the latter, there is no network effect. I had lunch with mobilePeople‘s Jeff Porter yesterday, and he agreed that there are lots of really interesting mobile products coming out, but it’s all about the data — in terms of both importance and difficulty.
Still, Aloqa has an intriguing proposition if it can pull it off. The product itself is also in line with a clear trend we’re seeing toward local discovery engines. At its simplest form, this started with the very popular Urbanspoon iPhone app, and it’s evolving in many directions including content push. The latest iterations are Geodelic, Mingler and Aloqa. Expect more, but don’t forget, it’s “all about” the data.
Aloqa is being run by top-notch individuals, including Sanjeev Agrawal, formerly of Google and mobile voice search company Tellme (acquired by Microsoft). The app launches first on Android with other platforms likely to follow. More to come after we talk to Agrawal and co.