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Kiwi Entrepreneur Takes On Google Maps

Kiwi Entrepreneur Takes On Google Maps

Social recommendation app, Posse, has gained a massive foothold in the market – transforming the way that people search and view local shops. It is now the fastest growing recommendation app in New Zealand, with thousands of consumers nationwide using Posse to find places to eat, drink and shop every week.

Founded by New Zealander, Rebekah Campbell, Posse is the world’s first social recommendation app for local businesses. Backed by prominent Silicon Valley investors including Founder of Google Maps, Lars Rasmussen, it is now the number one recommendation app in both New Zealand and Australia, taking on the likes of Foursquare, Yelp and even Google Maps.

Google Maps digitalised real-world streets, and now Posse has gone a step further giving users a digital view of the inside of shops and restaurants. All panoramic interior photographs on Posse are tied to the phone’s compass, which gives users the same effect as Google Street View for the interior of a shop or restaurant.

“This technology is a real game changer for us – there is no other search tool which gives users a crowd sourced panoramic view of a restaurant’s interior,” Ms Campbell said.

Uptake of the app in New Zealand had been particularly strong - one-in-five users are from New Zealand. The Android version of the app hits the Google Play Store this week, which Campbell believes will more than double the app’s existing user base in NZ.

“New Zealand is one of the most popular countries on Posse. From Auckland and Wellington right through to Napier and Queenstown, there are literally thousands of recommendations right across the country.

“NZ is extremely popular amongst foreigners – we have seen a huge number of American, Asian and Australian users recommending New Zealand places on the app!

“Following the launch of the Android app this week, I expect NZ to hit 100,000 users by the end of the year – it’s very exciting to see such strong uptake in my home country,” Ms Campbell said.

Consider these statistics:
Since its launch in 2013, over 200,000 people have downloaded Posse across New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the US.
• 45,000 local businesses have already listed on the app
• Over 145,000 recommendations have been made by consumers
• Nearly 5,000 New Zealand businesses listed
• Huge spike in people using their smart phones to search for places to eat, drink and shop

What makes Posse so unique is the fact that people can search their friend networks, rather than anonymous review sites, to get recommendations on restaurants, cafes, bars and shops.
“We developed Posse to bring ‘word of mouth’ to the digital world,” Ms Campbell said.

“This is a world-first – Gone are the days of having to call up friends or keep scraps of paper with lists of trusted recommendations on where to go.

“With Posse, all you need to do is fire up your phone. Whether you’re travelling or in your hometown, the process of searching for somewhere to go has never been so simple and reliable as now,” Ms Campbell said.

Posse is a two-sided network of consumers and shops. Consumers recommend their favourite places and search for recommendations from friends. They can also collect rewards from the retailers next time they visit. On the other side, businesses use the app to engage with existing customers and promote to new customers.

“Small businesses are looking for ways to shift marketing online but don’t know where to begin. Many businesses have used daily deal sites, such as Groupon, without any success.

“Posse gives these business a much more targeted way of reaching out to customers. They can thank their loyal fans and incentivise new business with gifts and giveaways to targeted consumers,” Ms Campbell said.

About Posse
Posse is an Australian company based in Sydney, Australia. Founded by Rebekah Campbell in March 2013, Posse is a service that connects consumers and shops through a social platform. It is the world’s first social search service, which enables consumers to search for restaurants, cafes, bars and shops that have been recommended by their friends. The two-sided network also enables merchants to engage existing customers and promote to new customers.

Backed by prominent Silicon Valley Investors, including Lars Rasmusen (Founder of Google Maps), Bill Tai (Partner Charles River Ventures, seed investor in Twitter) and Alex Harvey (CEO Asia, Macquarie Bank), Posse is set to take on rivals like Foursquare, Yelp and Google Maps.


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