Crowdfynd is a Startup Alley participant at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 that is taking a crack at the age-old problem of managing lost and found items.
How does it work?
If you lose an item, you can use either Crowdfynd.com or their iOS mobile app to post info about that lost item (last location, descriptions) as well as post a monetary reward amount that is held in escrow.
If you find an item, you can post that you have a lost item in your possession and alerts are sent to posters of lost items matching the criteria.
Lost pets are another obvious use of this web/mobile ecosystem. According to co-founders Pinaki Saha and Jay Sebben, pets have already begun to become a major use for this week-old web/mobile ecosystem.
Crowdfynd is based out of Chicago and has raised $100,000 in angel funding. They are initially marketing the system mostly in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, however the service it is live and functional in any market.
To be fair, there are many “lost and found” mobile software and hardware solutions out there, like Bikn or BeatTheBushes or NextDoor. However, Crowdfynd has some interesting partnerships on their roadmap that may increase value.
For example, they are in talks with Yellow Cab and various public transit authorities to consume their data about lost items turning up on those systems. This could simplify the process for finding a multitude of lost items. Couple this with their crowdsourced approach and differentiator of paying rewards and there are a few things to like here.