SOURCE: Verlocal

December 16, 2015 10:00 ET

Verlocal Closes $2.65 Million in Seed Funding

Platform Converts Individuals to One-Person Businesses Through Local Experiences

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 16, 2015) -  Verlocal, the premier marketplace for experiences, announced today that it has closed $2.65 million in seed stage funding to ramp up its already rapidly accelerating growth and traction. The investment was led by VenturesLab and Seven Seas Partners.

"The closing of the seed round will allow us to focus on our long-term strategy, to become the largest marketplace for experiences in the world," said Will Lee, founder and CEO of Verlocal. "Verlocal's recent growth, 20 to 30 percent month-over-month, is a testament to the huge potential for our marketplace."

Verlocal converts individuals to one-person businesses through local experiences and helps people make a living while doing what they're truly passionate about. It is the first open marketplace where anyone can host or participate in experiences, such as cooking classes, outdoor activities or arts and crafts projects. Verlocal is available in nine major cities in the U.S. including San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.

VenturesLab, China's first internet-business incubator, was founded in 2005 by Mark Mai and legendary venture capitalist, Tim Draper. Seven Seas Partners is a cross-border venture fund with a focus on investing in and connecting US and Chinese technology innovation, with managing partner Jack Xu as an early backer of Verlocal.

"By allowing our users full access to curate and manage their own offerings, Verlocal has become pivotal in connecting locals with other talented locals," added Lee. "Rather than focusing on a single category, Verlocal allows any individual to add and edit listings under any kind of category, opening the door to unique and unforgettable experiences for consumers. Through these distinct differences, Verlocal is able to foster a sense of community between its users in every city."

Originally meant as a tool to connect locals to other locals through experiences, out-of-town users have leveraged the platform to connect with locals and share their skills at their destinations. Others have used the platform as motivation to develop new skills to monetize.

"Verlocal capitalizes on the huge opportunity in a growing creative class who are thrives off of the freelance economy," said Mark Mai, investor and founder of VenturesLab. "Verlocal is the future of how these individuals will make money."

Early adopters have shown the ability to generate significant revenue for themselves through Verlocal. One particular user, who devotes a total of just 6 hours a week to offering experiences, has generated nearly $40,000 in revenue after one year. This pottery artist was able to take his artistic abilities and share them with a local audience. Now this potter has a following of locals who frequent his class in addition to the new people he introduces to pottery every week through Verlocal.

For more information about Verlocal, go to www.verlocal.com.

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