Locals launches social networking platform for entrepreneurs

Image Credit: Locals.org

Locals.org, London’s real life social networking platform for entrepreneurs has launched in the UAE, following a $11 million USD round of seed funding.

It provides a digital platform for entrepreneurs to grow their network in real life and allow users to connect with other entrepreneurs via user generated events recommended based on their personal and business interests using AI.

Founded by serial entrepreneurs Eugene Nevgen, Natalia Vodianova, Sergey Gonchar and Timon Afinsky, Locals.org aims to build the region’s largest real life social networking platform and scale across the Middle East.

Over 200,000 entrepreneurs have joined the app, providing an innovative way to connect aspirational people in real life via common interests, whether they want to grow their network, talk business, play sports, socialise or find new like-minded people.

By helping people to connect online and to meet in real life, the app gives an opportunity for users to both host and participate in various activities and events. Over 25,000 events have taken place on the platform and 400,000 connections have been made between users.

Natalia Vodianova, Co-founder of Locals.org, said:  “The Middle East is a melting pot for talent and entrepreneurialism. We want to provide an avenue where we can not only connect people with entrepreneurs and businesses, but go one step further and allow people to find communities or events to facilitate connection in real life.”

Dubai-based entrepreneur, former Miss World Australia and philanthropist Jessica Kahawaty, hosted the Padel tournament on Locals.org, which saw over 50 entrepreneurs attend the event. The video snippet of the event went viral and gained 170 million views on Instagram.

Sam Altman (founder of Open AI), Nik Storonsky (founder of Revolut), Jeremy Jauncey (founder of Beautiful Destinations, creator of MyDubai), Michael Acton Smith (founder of Calm), Camilla Al Fayed (founder of Farmacy), Pavel Durov (founder of Telegram), Natalia Vodianova (supermodel and co-founder of Locals.org), Herman Narula (founder of Improbable) and Matthew Freud (founder of Freud Communications) have hosted meetups and events via Locals.org in the past two months.

Eugene Nevgen, Co-Founder and CEO of Locals.org, said: “The country has always been a hub for entrepreneurs with over 94 per cent of the businesses in Dubai classified as small and medium-sized enterprises.

“Through activities and events-based approaches we are going to create a powerful and safe community that will foster meaningful connections and become a catalyst for entrepreneurial growth in the UAE.”