Localmind, a location-based Q&A service, arrived on Android this week, after closing a round of $600,000 in angel funding last month. The app was a hit at SXSW earlier this year but at that time was iPhone only. Localmind leverages location-based services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places, allowing users to instantly message people who are checked in to a venue. For example, a user can be at home and text friends checked in at the local bar. Is it crowded? How was parking? And so on.
According to LocalMind cofounder Larry Rachitsky, it has about 20,000 users. To continue that momentum, the company is exploring some paid business models. The first is a trial that allows local business owners to get directly involved with the customers asking questions about the venue in real time. Trial markets include the tech-savvy New York, San Francisco, Montreal and Vancouver. Convenience is key here since business owners can be away from a landline or PC yet still respond to inquiries using mobile.
Another model is an advertising program that allows businesses to buy ads that would appear when users ask questions about any business in their same category. The third model is a regional-based questions system that would help users ask questions about areas they may be going to later on or further away.
BIA/Kelsey will watch closely for further details about the functionality of the third model and new services as they emerge.