Citysocializer is an early social site in the UK which attempted to marry both online networking and offline – not unlike Meetup.com, though the aim was more ‘dating-lite’ than community groups. Like Meetup, someone could create a regular networking event and run it off the platform. But that early business model, which pulled in revenues from real-world events, has helped keep the site going and today they are turning their service into a platform where any brand can launch their own “socializer” service, with a white-label version.
Backed by European VC fund PROfounders Capital, the company is supported by UK entrepreneurs and tech luminaries Brent Hoberman, founder of Lastminute.com, and Michael Birch, founder of Bebo.
The first two clients to take on the platform are Northern & Shell and MPG. The former launches OK!socializer for its popular OK! magazine, while MPG launches their own version of citysocializer for readers of its Gay Times and Diva magazines. MPG is Europe’s largest gay media publisher.
Founder Sanchita Saha says they are acting in response to the increasing number of media and commercial brands that want to extend their proposition, reach and campaigns into the offline realm amongst readers. The site also launched an iPhone app last month.
The platform lets a partner launch their own social network creating online and offline events and “real world communities of socially active brand advocates” (they day). Clients can monetize these channels with user subscriptions for premium access and events, advertising inventory and also group deals and discounts.
That sounds familiar – publishers are scrambling for new revenue streams and real-world events are becoming a bigger revenue stream.
Citysocializer is based in the East of London in the ‘Tech City’ area.