Rene Reinsberg receives MIT Entrepreneurship Award for 2011
/ By Albert Hecht /
Rene Reinsberg, CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based Locu that he set up in 2011 to provide data on local businesses, with a current client base numbering more than 30, 000 has seen his what was intended to be a temporary working integration with web domain and hosting service GoDaddy made into something more permanent.
Rene Reinsberg’s startup, Locu founded when he was still a student at MIT in 2011, has officially come under the GoDaddy wing, after the two companies had formed a working alliance in May of this year, with GoDaddy integrating Locu’s Website Builder application into their global web building and hosting system.
Although exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, industry estimates have it that GoDaddy’s founder and CEO Blake Irving will be paying out around $70 million to bring Locu into the fold, as well as taking the more than twenty company employees, including Reinsberg himself onto the company payroll.
Reinsberg’s concept behind Locu is to help businesses develop create, manage and update their service menu for either the web or mobile applications. Currently their system is being utilized by over 30, 000 businesses on the West Coast of America. Most local users are involved in the hospitality industry, with a large percentage of them being restaurants, however other satisfied users range from accountants, interior decorators, legal practices, health spas, hairdressing salons, photographers, home remodeling companies as well as a number of other service suppliers.
According to Reinsberg, Locu has built up a data base covering “millions of businesses” operating throughout the US. The data contains specific details such as hours of operation, address, services lists and prices.
Geared largely towards service providers, Locu assists these businesses to first of all get their unstructured data into a more structured format. By doing so then can then much more readily make their company information and service details readily available via Locu’s specially developed platform. The information services that are capable of sharing information from Locu are Facebook, Foursquare, TripAdvisor and Yelp among others. According to industry experts, the appeal of Locu’s system when compared to their rival data providers is that their system has been programmed to absorb and distribute information considerably faster and more efficiently than their competitors.
According to GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving , Locu epitomizes what GoDaddy is all about –helping the ‘little guy’ thrive on the Internet, ” “Locu is comprised of amazing technologists who have taken the very complex problem of helping small businesses ‘get found’ wherever consumers are looking and are solving it through elegant, technology-based services.” Summed up Irving in a statement after the takeover deal became public.
Locu has so far enjoyed the benefits of $4.6 million in outside funding, following its Series A funding in the spring of 2012 with General Catalyst Partners, Lowercase Capital, Lightbank and SV Angel, Naval Ravikant, Babak Nivi, Quotidian Ventures, and Matt Ocko of Data Collective each taking a share, and now looking forward to a very healthy return on their investment.
GoDaddy, who themselves were acquired by a coalition of venture capitalists KKR, Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover in July, 2011 have been on an acquisition drive this year, earlier acquiring another startup, mobile website-building called M.dot earlier in 2013 as they strive to ensure that their web domain and hosting service currently hosting more than one million domains can provide an ever inclusive one-stop shop for all their online activities.