Travel Startup Localeur Launches in Advance of SXSW
Curated Community of Austin Locals Share Recommendations with Visitors
AUSTIN, Texas, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — With the successful public offerings of travel and local-content companies TripAdvisor and Yelp, a new travel startup – Localeur – has launched today. Localeur aims to help Millennial travelers experience local by providing credible local recommendations from a curated community of local insiders. Localeur launches for the Austin market only, in advance of South by Southwest, but plans to expand in 2013.
Localeur is co-founded by Joah Spearman and Chase White whom met during their time with Austin-based ratings-and-review software company Bazaarvoice before its 2012 IPO. The company’s core demographic is Millennials, whom the co-founders believe are not served by existing travel and local-content providers. Localeur is also introducing the new Twitter hashtag #experiencelocal for travelers whom seek out local experiences and recommendations.
“Localeur gives Millennials the confidence of having a local experience by putting the recommendations in the hands of local insiders,” said Spearman, CEO, who previously served as director of operations and strategic initiatives and later led travel market planning for Bazaarvoice. “Review sites don’t get to the heart of a city and travel books get outdated too quickly.”
“Austin is a perfect fit to launch Localeur and a model city for the kind of local travel Millennials want,” said White, president. “People in Austin are very attuned to eating and shopping local, and our curated, screened group of Localeurs offer recommendations that only fellow Austinites could know.”
Early investors in Localeur include Austin-based serial entrepreneur and investor Chris Shonk, Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddy Vodka co-founder and CEO Clayton Christopher, and Austin City Limits executive producer Terry Lickona. Other Austin investors include identity protection industry leader Joe Ross and Spredfast co-founder Ken Cho.
“Localeur’s value proposition for travelers is to offer relevant recommendations from people who are in the know and true local authorities in their respective niche,” said Shonk, whom led the funding round for Localeur. “This quality over quantity approach, as opposed to the one-size fits all/algorithmic solutions currently in place for the industry, is precisely what this mobile, social, on-the-go demographic demands.”
“As the executive producer of Austin City Limits for 37 years, I think I know a thing or two about what it means to be local in Austin, and Localeur is tapping into that,” said Lickona, who also acts as associate producer of The Grammys.
Additional investors include New York-based DJ Mick “Boogie” Batyske, best known for his regular mixtape work with artists like Jay-Z, and fashion and retail branding expert Dre Hayes, whom co-founded The Foundation. Montreal-based creative Marcus Troy is also invested in the startup along with Diane Terrell and Don Hale, communications experts in the education sectors in Memphis and Atlanta, respectively.
“I live my life traveling between cities like Austin, Brooklyn, Las Vegas, Berlin, and Tokyo and it’s important to me that my experiences in these places are authentic and unique,” said Batskye. “I’m excited about having Localeur as a credible resource when I travel for gigs all over the world.”
“Localeur’s community is built on a social media-savvy, taste-making audience of locals and I think it’s a much more authentic way to provide tips to Millennials,” said Troy, who works on creative projects with brands such as Bentley, Nike and Sony Vaio.
Before Localeur, Spearman co-founded experiential marketing agency AvecMode which has worked closely with SXSW, the Formula 1 race weekend in Austin, and ESPN X Games. He was recently named Emerging Business Leader of the Year by the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to co-founding Localeur, White worked in coordinated software design for Bazaarvoice retail and brand clients for online user-generated content programs. White formerly taught social media and entrepreneurship to students at Duke University as part of its Talent Identification Program and worked in brand management at a design agency.
Localeur is a curated community of local insiders who want to help travelers experience local. If it’s not local, it’s not on Localeur. www.localeur.com Follow Localeur on Twitter and Instagram @Localeur.