Top 10 Location Based Startups to Track

By | June 16, 2008

With the iphone leading the charge to have GPS in consumer phones, location based services are positioned to be the next big thing in the software industry. This article checks out some early entrants in the fledging industry.

1. Whrrl http://www.whrrl.com/
Whrrl is a new mobile network that lets you aggregate information as you visit different places in life. It’s generally like a location review service that’s wrapped up in a map mashup and a social network.

2. Brightkite http://brightkite.com/
The service, a device agnostic, SMS-based application, lets you “check in” at various locations out in the real world and then see who else is there, has been there, and who is nearby. You can check in via text or via the web, but text is easiest if you’re mobile.

3. Loopt https://loopt.com/
Loopt is a mobile social mapping application. Using cell phones and mobile devices, it displays the locations of a user’s friends along with their presence status (available, away, etc) visually on maps or on lists. Based on GPS and related data, users can request alerts when friends are within a certain distance, send messages to groups of friends in particular area, and be able to tag and blog physical locations in a way that’s accessible to friends through Loopt. Users can also take pictures from their cell phones and tag them; these pictures will be available to friends and others on the Loopt network.

4. Rummble http://www.rummble.com/
Rummble users build their social network on with a basic relationship (i.e. friend, relation or business) but then apply tags to that. Users can review almost anything (restaurants, stores, coffee shops, etc.). Rummble has an algorithm that works out which reviews by others in the user’s network to trust, based on user’s behavior and relationship to them. Rummble functions across Web and mobile and Facebook.

5. LOcle http://locle.com/
Not much is know about this startup. Here is what i have gathered
Locle is the hottest mobile geo-social networking app, showing your location and if friends are near, without a need for GPS or operator LBS.
Locle [2] is an application for Java Mobile, Symbian S60 and S80, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry phones that allows users to share their location using either GPS or cell-tower. The application integrates into Facebook and other social networking websites with open APIs (application programming interfaces). Locle is developed by Leprecian, Ltd., who also own GSM-Tracker [3], a cell-tower semantic tagging community website.

6. PublicEarth http://www.publicearth.com/

PublicEarth’s goal is to become the premier data source for this next generation of location specific data and content. They define next generation location specific data and contact, in its essence, in the same way that the Google Maps Mashups work: “content attached through geographical coordinates to relevant points of interest in the physical world, describing in organized detail the attributes of those points of interest, accessible through a simple intuitive web mapping interface.”

7. uLocate http://www.ulocate.com/index.php
uLocate is calling WHERE a platform for mobile LBS widgets because you can personalize which services you choose to use on your cell phone and you can use the Where.com website to drag-and-drop new services to your phone.
WHERE is also the world’s first mobile location-based services (LBS) platform built with both consumers and developers in mind. The WHERE platform offers easy access to global positioning system data (GPS), a simple programming paradigm, and a unique go-to-market opportunity for mobile application developers.

8. Citysense http://www.citysense.com/home.php
Citysense, a location-based service that the company calls “social navigation.” The first Citysense application is a mobile map that shows the busiest nightlife hot spots in San Francisco. Citysense is currently available only for the BlackBerry, but an iPhone version is promised.
“Citysense demonstrates the power of combining anonymous, aggregate location data for social navigation,” said Sandy Pentland, chief privacy advocate and co-founder of Sense Networks.

9. RadiusIM http://www.radiusim.com/
RadiusIM relies on location-based features to differentiate it from other web-based instant-messaging services. It offers access to key IM services such as AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and Google Talk, and it lets you search for other RadiusIM users based on their location.

10. My own?
I haven’t really named my startup yet. Suggestions on the name are welcomed.
My startup(in a few words) will be on the topic of
• Discovery of Mobile generated Content
• Creation of Content on Phone
• Community Conversation
Think of it as Digg on your phoneJ
if you want one of the limited invites when it launches, just leave a comment below. Thanks!

Just an plug for an event that my friends are organizing. If you are in Silicon Valley, do check this out.

Should YOU Mobile? – Opportunities & Challenges in the Mobile Space

Date: Friday, June 27
Time: 5:30 – 9:00 p.m
Venue: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 950 Page Mill Rd, Palo Alto.

If you want a free invite(I have 2), just email me! me@zhouwenhan.com

You might also be interested in:
TodaysTen.com: Daily Top Ten List to jumpstart your knowledge

11 thoughts on “Top 10 Location Based Startups to Track

  1. Andrew J Scott

    Would love an invite – and great to see us in the list! Rummble also works via SMS, incase you dont have data access (mobile internet) on your phone.

  2. Ken Adams

    Excellent list! Would love to know when you launch. Thanks!

  3. Rish

    Good List! You can add our app BlipSocial to the list too!

    BlipSocial makes your every day mobile web apps location smart!

    We have a Blackberry client available today that enables a combination of community and point of interest based applications. (other clients coming soon)

    We have also launched a developer program that allows developers of apps that could benefit from user location without having to deploy a local application (we will manage the user’s privacy settings).

    http://www.blipsocial.com
    http://apps.facebook.com/blipsocial

  4. Kevin

    Hi, I’m the founder of Metroseeq.com, I just launched it as a variation of yelp and walkscore but focus more on local deals. It offers a different way of searching – predominantly using Google Maps. I’d appreciate it if you can check it out and maybe make it on your list next time. thanks!

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