Mobile social-mapping player has winning investment proposal

27 Feb 2009

Mobile social-mapping player Locle has won the top prize of €10,000 at the Docklands Innovation Enterprise Awards for having the best new investment proposal.

Dublin-based Locle is a social-mapping application for mobile phones that combines information from a user’s mobile handset address book with social networks such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace to create mapping services showing them where their friends are.

Locle is an enhanced mobile web experience that facilitates ‘here’s where I am, and here’s where my friends are’ for social networks and groups.

Co-founder of Locle, Ronan Higgins had 15 minutes to present the company’s business plan to a panel of judges comprising Sean Melly of Powerscourt Investments; Michael Murphy of NCB Ventures; Sean Mitchell from Movidia; and Michael Farrelly from TNS Media Market.

Locle has received letters of interest from two of Europe’s largest and fastest growing social networks (Netlog and Badoo), which together represent over 60 million users.

The company is a Charter member of the Oslo Alliance, formed by the top 15 location-based social-software companies.

Established in 2008 by Higgins and co-founder, Peter Oonk, Locle has received several awards including the Eircom web innovation award, and was shortlisted for the 2008 Golden Spider Best Mobile Application Award and the 2008 Nokia Mobile Innovation Award.

The company has already secured seed funding to take it through year one and is now seeking additional funding from investors.

The other finalists at the awards were Mary Skelly from Microbide and Matt Bonner from Trezur, who each received €1,500.

Now in its seventh year, the Docklands Innovation Park Enterprise Awards programme is the initiative of the Bolton Trust and DIT Hothouse and is aimed at showcasing the best innovative companies to investors.

Previous winners include: Breakout Interactive (2008); Officemetrics (2007); Ripple Software (2006); Glantreo (2005); Sigmoid Pharma (2004) and Allergy Standards (2003). This year’s awards were presented by Paul Maloney, chief executive, Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

By John Kennedy